27 Jan 2013

Karjalanpiirakat - Karelian pasties

Lately I've been emptying the cupboards of dry ingredients. We had a little Christmas porridge incidence (awful!!! more on that later...) and ever since I've had the most often used dry foods in closed containers and the rest on the balcony in plastic bags (it has been minus zero for many weeks...). Before I'm bringing any new ingredients to my cupboard I've decided to use the old ones away in order to eliminate new infestations, so now on my list to use are the barley grains.

A couple of weeks ago there was a scandal about the baking grandmas and I happened to come across  the Grandma's Design site. While browsing it, I noticed how the Finnish granmas never told any stories of the foods they baked as the Italians, Belgians etc. had a story behind the food they made. In my opinion this reflects well how Finnish people don't really appreciate food but see it only a source of nutrition or even detest it for its calories etc.

Ever since seeing this video from the site I've wanted to make the Karelian pasties. I would like to give them a story they deserve. But since my family is from western Finland, I don't have much of a story to tell as they originate from eastern Finland. They are traditional Finnish (or Karelian more specifically) rye-crust pasties filled with rice, barley or potato filling. Super yummy! (Except for the potato ones...) They are definitely a food to try if you want to try some Finnish foods, probably even on my top 10 Finnish foods to try. You can buy them from cafés, bakeries or even grocery stores: newly-baked, ready-made or frozen (bake-only) ones.

I don't think my mother ever made these home. Instead, they were bought from a bakery or shop. I remember eating them as a child warm with egg butter, the butter melting on top of them and running on my fingers. Back then they were served with ice-cold milk. Nowadays I don't drink milk, so I'd enjoy them with coffee or tea. They are usually eaten with "egg butter" (=eggs+butter). It's quite a job making them but if you're planning to make rice or barley porridge, cook some extra and then you can use it for these lovely pasties and skip the first step.

24 Jan 2013

Salmon Star Tarts - Lohitähtitortut

Star shaped puff pastry tarts are eaten in Finland during Christmas time. Traditionally they are topped with prune jam, or nowadays also with apple marmalade. Last Christmas I came by this tasty recipe with savoury salmon topping. They are incredibly easy to make once you learn the trick how to fold them.
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