Learn more about Finnish specialties:
Mushroom picking is a century-old tradition in Finland. When autumn arrives, it’s common to stroll in the forest while picking wild chanterelles and other mushrooms. To enjoy mushrooms in winter and throughout the year, they can be dried during the picking season. Drying mushrooms intensifies their flavour. Therefore, it is sufficient to use a few dried mushrooms for cooking.
A selection of dried mushrooms from Kaavi Porcini is available for purchase at Café Maa. The mushrooms come directly from the wild forests of North Karelia.
Cinnamon buns are an important part of the café culture in all Nordic countries. Although the shape and the name of the pastry changes slightly from country to country, the Swedish Kanelbulle, the Norwegian Skillingsbolle and the Danish Kanelsnegle all share the same essential ingredients with the Finnish Korvapuusti: a soft brioche dough with cardamom, filled with cinnamon paste and often topped with nib sugar.
For an authentic nordic break, order a cup of filter coffee with your korvapuusti!
There’s no pastry more Finnish than the karjalanpiirakka (Karelian pie). Originally from the region of Karelia in the eastern part of Finland, it has now become a staple snack in the entire country.
This popular pastry consists of a rye crust, filled with rice and topped with munavoi, a paste made with chopped eggs and butter. Its fabrication and its composition are protected by the Traditional speciality guaranteed label of the European Union.
Rye bread is so popular in Finland that it was voted the national culinary specialty in Finland in 2017, year of the 100th anniversary of Finnish independence. Staple food in the Finnish households, it is consumed with all meals, spread with butter, topped with cheese, ham, vegetables, egg, or fish.
The iconic round rye bread is celebrated at Café Maa, where it is revisited by our chef Alexandra Marschan-Claude and served as a slice topped with typically Nordic flavours, including in a vegetarian and a vegan version.
Herring is a common species in all seas of Finland. The coasts of the country are home to considerable schools of herring, making it a very popular fish among Finnish people.
This typically Nordic fish can be preserved and consumed at all seasons, as well as prepared in various ways: smoked, fried, marinated, in a soup, in a salad… Marinated herring is a particularly festive meal and is enjoyed at Christmas, Easter or Midsummer celebrations.
Herring is traditionally served with potatoes and dill, a combination you will spot on Café Maa’s menu, as part of the kala plate or served with rye bread!
Blueberries, lingonberries, raspberries, sea buckthorns, cloudberries.. Different berries are a central element of Finnish gastronomy!
During summer, forests get filled with berries that can be picked directly from nature and enjoyed freshly picked, in salads, pies, juices, liquors… Reserves are also made for winter, since berries can also be dried, frozen, or preserved in water in the case of lingonberries.
Forest berries are superfoods known for their health benefits: wild blueberries are eight times richer in antioxidants than oranges, while sea buckthorn contains three times more vitamin C.
At Café Maa, enjoy Nordic berries in our salads, desserts and juices!
Dill is a widely used herb in Finnish and Nordic cuisine, especially during the summer. It is used to flavour potatoes, graved salmon, and different soups, for example. For many, the smell of dill on top of the season’s first potatoes means the start of summer. Dill has excellent growing conditions in the North, as the days are longer during the summer time, which is why it is mainly used to flavour food in the Nordic, Baltic and Slavic countries.
At Café Maa, you can taste dill in our soups and garnished rye breads, among many other dishes.