What to eat when in Turku? Well, ‘everything’ jumps to mind, but there are certain delicacies that you should make a point of sampling while in town. If you’re trying to understand the heart and soul of this proud town, you’ll need to do it through culinary combinations and the occasional unusual flavour. And cakes too, there are always cakes. Finnish food has its detractors, but we know better than to trust Berlusconi.
It might be more closely associated with Lapland, but the excellence of sautéed reindeer has made its way down to the Turku archipelago as well. Take that dismissive look off your face — this meat is tender and toothsome, unique and utterly delightful. We’re more at odds with the pickled cucumber it is served with, although the combination of gorgeous meat and mashed potato is always a winner.
First things first — ‘fish rooster’ is the best translation of anything we’ve ever heard. The Finns will never be accused of taking the easy route when it comes to food, although baking fish inside a loaf of bread might b a little too unorthodox, even for us. It is an absolute must-try when in Turku though, and any opportunity to order a ‘fish cock’ is an opportunity that must be taken.
Cabbage rolls are ubiquitous across the continent, and every country brings something unique to the table. You might expect the Finns to shove something weird like raw cod or pickled seal inside the cabbage, but thankfully sense is seen here. Rice and beef take the reins on this one.
Savusilakka is the Finnish word for herring, and you’ll find plenty of this Baltic fish on the menus of Turku. The best way to eat it is when cooked with smooth skinned potatoes, further confirmed Turku’s reputation as the granary of Finland. There’s a potato festival here as well you know, so warm up for that by chomping on some herring and tatties.
Okay, coffee isn’t a meal per se, but you might doubt that by the time you’ve finished your fifth cup of the day. The Finns drink more coffee than anyone else on the planet, drinking a whopping 13kg per person of the stuff annually. They drink it in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening and at night, before, during and after all activities. Drinking coffee in Finland isn’t something you have to do — it is something you simply will do.
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