FIVE FROM FINLAND: Comfort foods
Whether you crave some edible comfort for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert, Finland has no lack of tasty options.
The local culinary scene has been developing rapidly in recent years and focuses heavily on fresh ingredients, local produce and exciting flavours. But this doesn’t mean we don’t have the perfect taste for comfort.
Tickle your taste buds and get comfortable with these five Finnish foods!
These passionate liquorice enthusiasts with solid entrepreneurial expertise have taken the traditional black delight to a whole new level by combining the best ingredients, craftsmanship and sophisticated flavours. You’re welcome to join the feast.
“Liking liquorice is actually a matter of passion which can be satisfied by serving customers new flavours and taste experiences,” explained co-founder Jari Nenonen.
Handmade in small batches and packaged with style, this premium liquorice comes in a variety of flavours carefully crafted by famed Finnish chef Tomi Björck. Some combinations are truly extraordinary, like raspberry and rosemary, and orange and black pepper.
Currently available at selected retailers, LIQ’s mouth-watering flavours are as bold as its business ambitions.
“This has been a passion-driven project, and our goal from the beginning has been to take LIQ to international markets and make it big,” Nenonen underlined.
With sustainability at its core, this revolutionary pizza concept was developed by Finland’s most well-known pizza chain, Kotipizza, and is pretty much changing people’s ideas about fast casual dining.
Saying yes to good things, they serve pizzas with a carefully developed sourdough crust and a plethora of intriguing toppings in a fun and visually appealing restaurant environment. Saying no to bad things, they shun additives, poor animal welfare, plastic, poor working conditions and bad customer service.
“The more people eat these pizzas, the more they will recognise the locally sourced, organic ingredients. This brand is very much directed to millennials,” clarified CEO Tommi Tervanen.
Just as the name suggests, this ice cream company was established by three friends who wanted to create ice creams that they themselves want to eat and can be proud of without compromises on taste and the quality of ingredients.
The most fantastic thing about their flavours – be it blueberry-cardamom, strawberry-vanilla or any of the inventive vegan options – is that the ingredients melt at different times to ensure that each individual taste can be properly embraced.
“Our ice creams are made of natural, real ingredients from scratch, without cutting corners,” said co-founder Heikki Huotari. “We roast our nuts and prepare our sauces ourselves to make the flavours taste so real that they can be instantly recognised even if you’ve not seen the package.”
Established in 2014 by six co-founders hailing from different industries, this rapidly growing burger chain adheres to the principle of serving friends, not customers. And friends deserve the very best.
“We were the first company to bring ‘fast casual’ to Finland,” explained co-founder and CFO Kaj Fagerholm. “Actually, we prefer to call ourselves ‘fresh casual’. We make everything in-house from fresh ingredients.”
At Friends & Brgrs, they bake their own buns, triple-cook their fries and grind the meat themselves. Sauces and mayonnaise are prepared from scratch, too, to ensure a top-notch burger and a memorable taste experience.
Interestingly enough, young women make up Friends & Brgrs’ main customer base. This demographic is ready to pay a little bit extra for the quality, transparency and friendliness that the company offers.
A great success in Finland, Friends & Brgrs is aiming for growth in Europe, particularly in Germany and England. In the coming years, the business plans to open two to three new restaurants annually.
Located in the city of Porvoo, this artisanal chocolate factory produces handmade bean-to-bar chocolate without any additives or preservatives. The only three ingredients needed are cacao nibs, cane sugar and milk powder.
“Compared to mass-produced chocolate, our small-scale approach lets the individual flavour of every bean harvest shine in the chocolate,” explained Peter Westerlund, chocolate maker and factory owner.
Transparency is another crucial component of Westerlund’s flavourful business. During regular times, the factory invites all the chocolate lovers out there to pay a visit and take a look at how their award-winning chocolate is produced.
Text: Zhanna Koiviola
Originally published in September 2019
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