I was happily surprised with a package from USA sent to me. This package contained a cookbook ”Simply Scandinavian” that I promised to test and write a review about in my blog. You can find a link to this cookbook also in my blog’s links. The book has been written by Tero Kallio and Kimmo Saira, who have released a few cookbooks before this one. This book, however, includes Finnish recipes along the history applied to the modern kitchen. The photographs in the book are fantastic. They show the best and the most beautiful part of my home counrty spiced with the recipes on the side.
What I really find brilliant in this book is its seasonality! Finnish cuisine whilst being so much dependent on the weather conditions have become seasonally focused. This book brings it up by distinguishing the spring, summer, autumn and winter kitchen serving their own treats for the reader. Today, the seasonality is also a significant part of the sustainable development. By favouring seasonal products over the products that are not seasonal, the shipping costs are cut down. Bringing for example strawberries from somewhere to Finland in the middle of the winter asks a lot of money and is non economical. The seasonality means cooking from the seasonal products and this way supporting local produst at the same time. In olden days Finland was force to be seasonal, it was not possible to get summer products in the winter and vice versa. ”Simply Scandinavian” presents this side of the Finnish kitchen in an excellent way.
For me as a Finn, most of the recipes in the book are familiar. The ingredients are proudly Finnish. The seasonality is something that my Aussie man has been astonished about in Finland. We Finns have a special dish for every season and for every party whether it is Christmas, Easter or some national celebration. This can be found also in the book even though it has shaped the Finnish kitchen into a modern direction.
To know if the recipes only look good in the pictures, I tested a few of them: pea horseradish cream, beetroot burgers and blueberry cheesecake. The pea horseradish cream was tasty, but it divided opinions. My mother loved it, but for my Aussie man the taste was a bit too extraordinary, I think. This cream was a great invention and it goes nicely with red meat. I also cooked beetroot burgers because I love beetroot. They turn out to be juicy and nice and a perfect dish for a vegeterian.
The queen of the recipes in this book is definitely blueberry cheesecake! The way this cake is done, is a little unusual. I will not tell the secret, you have to test it yourself! It is definitely a summer/early autumn dish for it demands fresh blueberries that one has to make juice from. The most important thing is to use real forest blueberries with their soft and sweet taste, not the bush blueberries, that my Aussie man thought to be the real blueberries until I took him to the Finnish forest and showed the difference in the taste and shape! This blueberry cheesecake was absolutely heavenly. It had 1kg of cheese and cream mixture so it is far from a diet cake. The colour is tempting because the blueberry juice makes the cake bluish violet. The best thing in this cake is that it is not too sweet, it really does taste blueberries. The blueberry cheesecake was the dessert of my home cooked Finnish dinner and thanks to Tero and Kimmo, my dinner was a success. Everyone loved the dessert and ate it until they couldn’t fit even a spoonful in their tummies.
I recommed this book for anyone interested in the Finnish seasonal cooking and the modern versions of traditional Finnsh recipes. You can find ”pulla”, lingonberry porridge as well as Vorschmack in this cookbook. If you cook your way through this book, you will experience all the Finnish seasons whilst becoming a Finnish master chef!