You just wouldn’t understand

Chanterelle Soup and salt-cured salmon with Finnish flat bread "rieska" made of barley.Every so often I’m asked for my favorite Finnish dish and every time I come up with something along the lines, “well, it’s really hard to say because there are so many good dishes back home. You know, in the countryside we eat a lot of fish and wild game.” An answer that won’t offend anyone, won’t make me come out like a snob, and the kind people will comprehend. And why? Well, really just because I would be badly misjudged if I was being plain honest. Or, at least it would require a lengthy explanation from me to make anyone understand.


I would be badly misjudged if I was being plain honest


Charring whitefish (European Lavaret).

Let’s imagine a situation where you have just met me and discovered that I enjoy food and cooking. We are at a dinner party and I’m wearing a nice Italian style suit and my appearance is that of a well traveled young man from Europe. You ask me about my favorite dish and I answer, “whitefish roe (like caviar but more fine) with blinis, hare fillet (wild rabbit) with chanterelle sauce and roasted root vegetables, and mallard (duck) soup.” How do you think the conversation will continue?

My father with his hunting partner and a wild hare they caught.

Let me tell you. After a long pause I would continue, “it’s really just some simple food that we eat in the countryside.” Then, not to look like a completely ignorant fool, I would need to elaborate further by telling you that, “you see, my home is in the woods, pretty much in the middle of nowhere, and we hunt, fish and forage in my family. We also cook what the forest gives us, which just happens to be the kind of food you would normally only find in gourmet restaurants. But in my family, it’s just normal food.”

Not the answer you were expecting? Well, there you go. That’s why I’ll just keep it to myself and instead tell you that,

I really like the way my mom makes salmon and mashed potatoes. Oh, and the berries we have in Finland are truly awesome


Any tasty comments?