Posts Tagged With: Finnish

Fun Festivals – Finnish Dialect Speaking Championship

You say you want to attend a contest that is conceptually easy to win? One that’s not physically demanding? Then the Finnish Dialect Speaking Championship is the event for you. It’s held in early July in Kuopio, Finland. Keep in mind, past winners tend to possess a strong command of this Nordic language.

Finnish girl (right) practices with her dog (left)

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Sauna Baked Eggs

People often talk how it’s so hot that they could fry an egg on the sidewalk or on the hood of a jar. Indeed, I saw a film of a British soldier frying an egg on the hood of his jeep. He was part of the British army fighting the Germans in North Africa in 1940-1942.

But what about baking an egg? I had done research on the Finnish Sauna World Championship. Temperatures inside their saunas reached 240 degrees. I wondered if that would be high enough to bake an egg. So, I made the below photos. I was just being whimsical. Then I found out their is such a thing as Korean Sauna Baked Eggs!

Korean sauna goers would munch on eggs actually baked in the sauna. Who knew? The baking took seven hours, turning the egg-white brown and giving the whole egg a nutty flavor. Nowadays, most people make sauna eggs with a specialized rice cooker or with an instant pot. Now you know. And I’ll have to try making Sauna Baked Eggs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Fun Festivals – Finnish Sauna World Championship

Relax while competing! Enter the Finnish Sauna World Championship. Simply stay the longest inside Finnish sauna in a temperature of 110 degrees centigrade, 240 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thousands attend the championship in Heinola, Finland, but only dozens compete. Why? Because the temperature of the sauna is 28 degrees over the boiling point of water. But there’s no humidity! It’s true, sauna’s humidity is low, running from 10-to-25 percent. So give it a whirl. Compete!

Or maybe not, in 2010 a contest died. Staying a sauna too long can do nasty things to a body. Spectate!

But maybe you have a competitive nature, while having the inactive disposition of a rock. Then this competition is for you. Compete!

Maybe you like the idea of thousands of spectators and TV audiences watching your nearly naked, sweaty body, covered with only a towel. Compete!

It’s held in August, when it’s outside anyway. Compete!

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Fun Festivals – Wife Carrying Championships

 

The best way to carry the wife

Ronkainen, a legendary Finnish robber of the 1700s, had would-be gang members carry a heavy woman over an obstacle course to prove their strength. The annual wife-carrying championships in Sonkajaarvi, Finland derive from this test. Wife carrying is not an Olympic sport. However, synchronized swimming is.

Couples race around a track well stocked with obstacles such as logs and a deep pool. At one time, the woman in the event had to be the man’s wife, but neighboring women are allowed. The designated wife must weigh 49 kilograms or 108 pounds. You might think a good wife for this race would be as tiny as possible. But no, the winners earn the wife’s weight in beer. The wife must also be at least seventeen-years old. The entry fee as press time was 50 Euros.

Olympians and marathon runners compete alongside, amateurs, and strange couples on their honeymoons. This seems unfair, but in some respects, the Wife Carrying Championship remains a wide-open sport. And oh my gosh, in addition to the regular race, there is a relay race as well. Root heartily for you favorite team.

Add in the karaoke events, you’ll want to return time and time again. And not just to Finland. National championships exist in America, Britain, Germany, India, Hong Kong, and Australia. Surely, there must be a wife-carrying race near you.

Oh no, the 2021 championship was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic. Middle of next summer, then.

See you there

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D., travel guru

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Great Arctic Eats – Utsjoki, Finland

 

Great Arctic Eats – Utsjoki, Finland

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Are you a diner who shuns crowds, but loves saunas* and watching reindeer ? Do you love words with “aa” in them, such as “kalastaa,” the Finnish word for “fish?” Indeed, do you love Finland but feel uncomfortable with large crowds of Finns who often congregate in the country’s large cities? Do you wish to dine above the Arctic Circle? Well make your way to Utsjoki, Finland, the little town that has it all.
* “Sauna” is “sauna” in Finnish. See? You’re speaking like a native already.
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There are five restaurants listed in TripAdvisor(tm).  So, the competition for your patronage will be fierce indeed. Let’s  visit the local eateries.
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The top rated dining establishment is the esteemed Restaurant Deatnu. They serve traditional Sámi dishes. Yes, they do wonders with reindeer, local berries, and fresh fish. The restaurant has a nice view and a friendly staff. But please, please try the salmon soup.

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Next on our restaurant adventure is Restaurant Aurora Holidays. They serve great local food. Try their delicious reindeer and cod. For dessert, you would do well to order their great sticky cakes. The restaurant looks out on a soothing river. Maybe you’ll even see some wildlife. This pleasant restaurant is run by the family who owns it.
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Winning third place is  Utsjoen Kylatalo Gilsa. It’s known for its hot drinks. Not only is it a charming cafeteria will the flavor of local culture, it also has a grocery store. It’s your one-stop place for food. And remember, you’ll love their buns.

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All self-respecting towns will have a great hamburger joint. Annukan Grill fits this bill nicely. And oh my gosh, oh my gosh, they have a reindeer burger. I want to go there!
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Honorable mention goes to Restaurant Pub Rastigaisa. It serves pizza and has a bar. This restaurant received many reviews written in Finnish, so you know the locals frequent it.
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Utsjoki, unlike many of the other towns reviewed in Great Arctic Eats has a road going in and out of it. It can even boast of a spectacular bridge going into Norway. So you’ll be able motor into town. No dog sleds and hiking needed to get to Utsjoki. Well, I suppose you could charter a plane from Helsinki, but if you want to travel by yourself and see soothing scenery, travelling the last leg of your trip by car really is the way to go. Anyway, there are many must-see sites in Utsjoki.

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Be sure to visit Kevo Strict Nature Reserve.  This place boasts of extremely beautiful hiking routes. You’ll find you self losing track of time while viewing the entrancing scenery. So, be sure to bring a watch with an alarm on it, as the park gets dark at night.

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By all means, see the enchanting church huts. They’re beautiful in their simplicity. All in all, it’s wonderful way to learn Finnish history while staying outdoors. None of that entering the bowels of a stuffy museum for us. The site sports a splendid, little craft shop and a waffle cafeteria. What more could want?

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Drive over the nearby Sàmi Bridge. It’s boasts an elegant, yet impressive dressing. It’s perched over a river dividing Finland from Norway. The bridge and its surrounding are especially beautiful in the twilight. Plus, it doesn’t take much time to take it all in. Just drive your car over the bridge. If you want a quick bit of beauty, this bridge is for you.

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Try to see the beautiful Utsjoen Kirkko. This is the northernmost church in the European Union. So there. The church’s architecture is both pleasant and impressive. Go inside and spend some soul-soothing time with God.

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If you prefer guided tours rather than thrashing about by yourself, look up Aurora Holidays or Tundrasafari Finland. And at the end of a glorious visit, simply unwind at Utsjoki DiscGolfPark.

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As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.”

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– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: Arctic eats, humor, international, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Åland Semolina Pancake with Prune Sauce

Finnish Breakfast

ÅLAND SEMOLINA PANCAKE WITH PRUNE SAUCE

INGREDIENTS – PANCAKEAlandSemolina-

2¾ cups milk
¾ cup semolina or Cream of WheatTM
½ tablespoon cardamom
4 eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sugar
1 cup flour
no-stick spray.

INGREDIENTS – PRUNE SAUCE

12 pitted prunes
3⅔ cups water (½ cup more later)
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn flour
⅓ cup water

whipped cream (optional or is it?)

SPECIAL UTENSIL

9″ x 12″ baking dish

Serves 8

PREPARATION – PANCAKE

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray baking dish with no-stick spray.

Add milk to pot. Simmer milk on low heat until milk warms. Stir frequently. Gradually add in semolina. Stir constantly to prevent lumps. Remove semolina porridge from heat.

Add cardamom, eggs, salt, and sugar to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until foamy. (Scare away unwanted visitors by smearing this mixture on your mouth before you open the front door.) Add flour and semolina porridge to mixing bowl. Stir with whisk until batter is well blended.

Pour batter into baking dish. Put baking dish in oven. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-to-6o minutes or until pancake is firm and golden brown.

PREPARATION – PRUNE SAUCE

While pancake bakes, dice prunes. Add prunes and 3⅔ cups water to pot. Soak for 40 minutes. Add cinnamon stick. Boil to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook for xx minutes or until prunes soften. Add sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.

Add corn flour and ⅓ cup water to small bowl, . Mix with whisk until well blended. Add corn flour/water mix to pot. Bring prune sauce to boil using high heat. Stir constantly. Cook for 1 minute or until prune sauce thickens. Remove cinnamon stick. Pour into serving tray.

PREPARATION – FINAL

Cut pancake into 8 squares. Top pancakes square with prune sauce and whipped cream, if necessary. (Oh, of course it is.)

TIDBITS

1) The penalty for speeding in Finland varies with income. An American CEO might be fined over a million dollars. Tough country on scofflaws, you bet.

2) If you lose your shirt to Finland’s highway patrol, why not indulge your self with a Sauna? Be advised, social norms require you to be naked in the sauna. But you’re already half disrobed, having forfeited your shirt in tidbit 1).

3) It’s also quite acceptable for a bunch of friends to go to sauna together. Where everyone is naked. Good friends indeed.

4) Finland must not have many introverts.

5) It’s considered normal to leave the sauna, run outside, and jump in the nearest lake.

6) Although if its winter, it’s advisable to cut a hole in the lake before jumping.

7) Finns must have strong hearts.

8) What do Finns do if the nearest lake is twenty-six miles away and it’s freezing outside?

9) Run fast! It’s quite possible that Finland has the greatest number of saunas that are exactly twenty-six miles, the distance of a marathon, away of any nation in the world. This explains why Finland routinely garners the gold, silver, and bronze medals at every Nude Winter Marathon event.

10) Ancient Greeks invented the marathon. Or did they? Current speculation has Greece being invaded and settled by Finns around 1,700 B.C.. Finding ancient spas in Greece would go along way to proving this theory to the scientific community.

11) Some people point to the modern nude marathoners of Finland and the naked ancient Greek athletes as evidence of a vast Graeco-Finn empire around 1,450 B.C.. Why is there no evidence of this enormous realm? The au naturel Finns and Greeks, of course, wore no shirts. No shirts, no shirt pockets. No shirt pockets, no pens. No pens, no written history, and Bob’s your uncle.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finnish Dilled Beef Stew

Finnish Entree

DILLED BEEF STEW
(Tilliliha)

INGREDIENTSDilledBeef-

3 pounds boneless chuck roast
1 onion
3 tablespoons butter
3 ½ cups beef broth
1 teaspoon allspice
½ tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons flour
2 ½ teaspoons sugar
2 ½ teaspoons red wine vinegar
½ cup cream
4 teaspoons dill

SPECIAL UTENSIL

Dutch oven

Serves 6 (How big are your bowls?) Takes 2 hours 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cut chuck roast into 1″ cubes. Mince onion. Put roast and butter into Dutch oven. Sauté for 5-to-10 minutes on medium-high heat or until chuck-roast cubes turn brown. Stir occasionally. Add beef broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low. Add onion, allspice, pepper, bay leaf, and salt. Cover and simmer on low heat for 90 minutes. Skim off foam as it occurs. Remove meat from Dutch oven and set aside.

Add flour, sugar, and red wine vinegar to broth and increase heat to medium. Stir continually until sauce thickens. Add cream and dill. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

TIDBITS

1) Ronkainen, a legendary Finnish robber of the 1700s, had would-be gang members carry a heavy woman over an obstacle course to prove their strength. The annual wife-carrying championships in Sonkajaarvi, Finland derive from this test. Wife carrying is not an Olympic sport. However, synchronized swimming is.

2) Finns excel at non-traditional sports as well. Be sure to make your way to Savonlinna, Finland during August for its prestigious Cell Phone Throwing Championship. Participants throw the cell phones over their shoulders and are judged by distance and techniques. Cell-phone-throwing mania is going global having caught in the rest of Europe and in the United States. This would be one Olympic event I would watch. Contact the proper agency for rules of competition. Despite the obvious tie in, I don’t believe Nokia is an official sponsor.

3) Air guitar enthusiasts won’t want to miss the Air Guitar season. Prestigious events are held in Germany along with Japan’s own elimination tournament. However, the crème de la crème of air guitardom is the World Final, held in Oulu, Finland in late August. Don’t forget to pack your air guitar or you’ll be forced to buy one at the local Ouluan shops and you’ll know what high prices you’ll see there.

4) The Mosquito Swatting Championship is held each year in Finland. Contestants try to swat the most mosquitoes in 5 minutes. Over thirty is a good number. I don’t know when the event takes place, but I imagine it is in the mosquito season. Visitors who attract mosquitoes like flies, hee hee, will be asked to sit in the back rows as the mosquitoes biting them diminish the number of mosquitoes available to the contestants.

5) Finland hosts the Ant Nest Sitting Competition. Athletes–whom am I kidding?–sit on an ant hill for as long as they can stand the ant bites. Okay, this one is weird.

6) Relax while competing! Enter the Finnish Sauna World Championship Simply stay the longest inside Finnish sauna in a temperature 110 degrees centigrade, 240 degrees fahrenheit. Held in August in Heinola, Finland, this contest makes a natural companion to tourists taking in the Air Guitar final.

7) Love soccer? Love mud? Head on over to Hyrynsalmi., Finland where over 200 teams from all over the world vie to win the Swamp Soccer World Cup. It’s held during Finland’s mud season.

8) If the idea of bodies writhing in mud gets you hot and bothered, be sure to take in the Kutemajarvi Sex Festival and Matchmaking Festival held in the towns Kangasniemi and Kurikka, Finland. If you are interested, please visit the Rakkausfestivalli’s website where a knowledge of the Finnish language helps a lot.

9) Speaking of speaking Finnish, consider attending the Finnish Dialect Speaking Championship held in early July in Kuopio, Finland. Past winners have usually demonstrated a strong command of this Nordic language.

10) Can’t speak Finnish, but still love to make yourself heard? Alaptika, Finland, puts on the renowned Cattle Calling Championship. Techniques of the champions are closely guarded secrets.

11) Lost at the Cattle Calling Championship? Want to take out your frustration from months of wasted practice? Redeem yourself by entering Milk Stool Throwing contests held all over rural Finland in early summer.

12) But above all else behave yourself while visiting Finland. Finnish prisoners are only allowed to use the sauna once a week. Scared straight, you bet.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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