Home in the HEL

It’s been a rather long time, don’t you think?

I sure have a whole lot of catching up to do in both reading AND writing, ah the burden of the internet.

I am no longer in Stockholm, but instead home in my lovely and cosy appartment overlooking the gorgeous Pohjois Satama (Northern Harbour) of Helsinki, Finland. After a nerve-kneading struggle we FINALLY have the wifi reconnected and I can show you all the adventures Marta and I have been up to!

Stockholm was an incredible nonstop food/fun/friends/family/fika-fest, but I’ll do those posts later because there is FAR too much to update on! Instead I’ll start from the present!

But first, look and see what was parked in front of my building on my way home from dinner tonight:

A Finn with an OREGON license plate!!!

So far, Finland has been an errand-fest: Passport renewal, internet re-installation, laundry (and relearning how to use our ridiculously complicated washer and dryer), but besides that there have been a couple of meals of course

Salmon/artichoke/potato/capers salad from F8 at Stockmann

Chicken/artichoke/marinated mushrooms salad with balsamic reduction

Oh yeah…and in Finland every lunch place always has all-you-can-eat bread n butter

Stockmann is Finland’s largest department store and it’s 10 or so stories sell absolutely everything you can possibly need whether it’s luxury salon services, Burberry trench coats, washing machines or trendy world class coffeemakers. The top floor also features an 8-restaurant complex comprised of a cafe, bar, sandwich buffet, sit-down restaurants, ice cream/desert bar, and Asian Wok/Grill/Salad gourmet food court.There is also an ENORMOUS grocery store at the ground floor which would make the hearts of any gourmand palpitate featuring an epic and overwhelming selection of cheeses, breads, meats, and of course ice cream (try four aisles worth). And the candy/chocolate section is an entire tourist attraction on it’s own…just a small example:

We Finns have a RAGING sweet tooth…and salty one, as long as it’s in the form of Salmiakki- in other words the salted licorice that verrrrry few non-Finns are able to find palatable

Of course, since Marta and I plan to eat out as I have some business to do with my new gig at Emaho Magazine (check out my first article HERE) we couldn’t pick up too many groceries, but you know…just the essentials:

…And unpictured hot Finnish rye bread and Korvappusti cinnamon-cardamom buns of course

To all you fans of Siggis in the States…this Skyr is 98x more delicious and thick (and with something like 18g of protein)

Lingonberry Yoghurt!!!


For dinner tonight, Marta and I were feeling like some Finnish food with a modern twist, so we headed into town to the newly opened Kaarna Baari ja Keittiö

Kaarna’s menu featured Nordic tapas as well as some more traditional dishes; Finnish food tends to contain a lot of fish and game…as is evident on the tapas menu

We however decided to go straight to the main course:

Reindeer hamburger steak with onions and peppers, braised in sour cream with greens, tomatoes, capers, and gherkins wrapped in traditional Lappish flatbread

Absolutely delicious and not gamey in the slightest, in other words a Lapland rendition of the hamburger done right

Grilled chicken breast with potato rosti, carrots, turnips and a red wine and chanterelle sauce

Chanterelle mushrooms are quite prevalent in Finland and Sweden and as a result these beautiful local fungi make an appearance frequently in local dishes:


Well, well, that is all for tonight, I have several posts planned on the past week- all filled to the brim with fashion, food, and luxurious wedding festivities

Until then, EID MUBARAK to my Muslim readers, sadly this is the 5th year in a row I am without my family for this holiday but of course I’ll still be celebrating all the way up here in Scandinavia

What are your impressions of Finnish food? Finnish food has a rather poor reputation (as highlighted by Jacques Chirac during France’s bid for the 2012 Olympics when he insulted the British by saying the only place with worse food is Finland), but it is beginning to modernize and utilize the bounty of fresh ingredients the country has to offer in order to reinvent the traditional dishes with more robust flavours

Have you ever eaten reindeer? If not, what’s the most bizarre thing you have ever eaten?

And what’s your favourite yoghurt?


11 thoughts on “Home in the HEL

  1. Yes yes yes! I love this post!! I had reindeer several times when I lived in Helsinki, in various forms… steak, sausage, and thinly smoked. I find traditional Finnish food (as in, home-cooked by my host parents) either fairly bland or way too heavy on sauce, but it’s true, it is modernizing and you can get some really delicious stuff. Unfortunately I’ll be living on a psychotically tight student’s budget but I hope we can find somewhere to go with decent prices when we meet up. As for yoghurt, who knows what my favourite is, but I do love the versatility of viili 🙂

  2. yum – the salmon dish looks amazing!

    I never had reindeer and due to my veganism I probably never will, but I ate scorpion and snake in beijing two years ago. The tiny scorpion tasted like fried crisps and the snake had a rubberlike texture – ewwh, no not again. Oh and then there was this expensive speciality at a japanese restaurant, which my friend explained to me as one of the most expensive foods in the world but didn’t know the english name for it (her father ordered and payed). I don’t know, except of lobster I kind of don’t see why people make such a bust about most luxus, expensive dishes *shrug*.

  3. The thought of reindeer scares me a little! Probably because it just isn’t something that is common here (US). Skyr yogurt sounds yummy! I don’t actually like siggi’s because it is a little too thin for me so I am sure your brand would trump it!

  4. I’m glad you’re back to the blogging world 😀 heh
    Your food is making my mouth water as alwayyyyys! Ahhh my gosh.
    Current favorite yogurt is TJ’s european, but it changes about everyday 🙂 I love siggis too!
    Congrats on the article girl! You, my friend, are living the dream 😉

  5. Lady I have missed you!
    That selection of bulk candy looks a bit overwhelming…in the best way of course 🙂
    Never had reindeer! I guess the most exotic or weird thing is bison? Yep I’m not very adventurous
    I love that kind of yogurt!! You’re right it’s so thick and delish, but quite expensive here 😦

  6. Lady I have missed you!
    That selection of bulk candy looks a bit overwhelming…in the best way of course 🙂
    Never had reindeer! I guess the most exotic or weird thing is bison? Yep I’m not very adventurous
    I love that kind of yogurt!! You’re right it’s so thick and delish, but quite expensive here 😦 boo

  7. I just love yogurt in general – it would be way too hard to choose! Yum, yum, yum, European food! And Stockmann’s looks *awesome.* 😉

  8. Girlll you got some good eats! Reindeer steak sounds interesting, I am a big fan of venison so I would defo love to try it! Congrats on the new gig, had a read through the article and boy did it leave me drooling ;)! Glad you are having fun and looking forward to more recaps. Oh and as for my fave yogurt, i love it in general but I have a special spot for Alpro Vanilla Soy Yogurt- it’s like eating cream!

  9. yay your back! Lovely and amazing eats. Never tried reindeer but I’m always game to give anything a go 🙂 I really wouldn’t count this as bizarre but I suppose for most people it would be but I’ve eaten Kangaroo meat! Fave yogurt would have to be Jalna Natural.

    By the looks of it your enjoying your making the most of it in Finland 🙂

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