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Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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Among the Nordic countries, Finland is often seen as an outlier, partly because Finns don’t speak the mutually intelligible languages of the Danes, Norwegians, and Swedes. The country’s culinary traditions differ, too, having been influenced by Russia rather than by the French haute cuisine embraced by the royal kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Finnish culinary practices tend to be less elaborate than those of its neighbors. With nearly 40 different types of edible berries, Finland often features fruit in desserts, along with an enticing array of dairy products. In the summer, berries are baked into mustikkapiirakka, Finland’s iconic blueberry pie, or pressed and whipped into light-as-air vispipuuro, a lingonberry and semolina pudding. The oven-baked Åland pancake, a specialty of the Baltic islands between Finland and Sweden, is based on semolina or rice pudding inflected with cardamom and served with stewed prunes and whipped cream. On the mainland, Tiger Cake, a chocolate-marbled pound cake, appears on the coffee table that is as much a tradition in Finland as elsewhere.