Food culture

Finnish food culture is a mix of western European, Scandinavian and Russian cuisines. Finnish kitchen rely on fresh ingredients prepared in a simple way. Nature plays an important role in the kitchen as it does in everyday life.

Finnish food is a mix between western European, Scandinavian and Russian elements. It’s quite mild and simple and follows the seasons. Natural ingredients always feature from mushrooms, berries and fish to game – including moose, reindeer and even bear!

Traditional Finnish food includes Carelian pies, mämmi and of course; rye bread. You are certainly going to be asked to try salmiakki – the strong Finnish, aniseed styled liquorice. Finns are eager to discover new dishes and ingredients such as pulled oats.

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Eating

You will be surprised by the large variety of international cuisine and restaurants from kebab, sushi, steak houses to Nepalese, Indian, Thai, Lebanese, Russian and Chinese. Food is not limited just to Finnish culture that’s for sure. There’s a lot of all kind of exotic restaurants all over the country. After all, the worldwide food carnival Restaurant Day, was originally invented in Finland. An event where anyone can put up a pop-up restaurant. So if you want you can offer your cultural dishes to Finnish people, go ahead. They are curious to try!

Eat in Finland
Finnish cuisine
Iconic Finnish Foods

University food

Every university has student cafeterias that offer quality food that is cheap and tasty. There’s something for everyone, including vegan food! You’ll be well catered for to be able to study hard and enjoy the great outdoors.
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Drinking

Finnish tap water is amongst the purest in the world. So no need for bottled water on your shopping list. Finns are amongst the world’s biggest coffee drinkers. You’ll always find a coffee brewing at most restaurants and canteens. It’s usually served black so don’t forget to ask for milk. Hot water is always available for those who enjoy the popular fruit and Ceylon tea blends.

Dairy products are popular with Finns including milk and its sour, thicker cousin, Piimä. Check the label as many a foreigner has mistakenly added Piimä to their coffee! There are also many flavours of yoghurt available too.

Enjoying a social occasion with a summer grill, boat ride or sauna evening is never far away. So Finland makes a decent selection of their own beer to go with that. Micro breweries are also thriving in Finland with more than 50 private breweries to date. Another drink to try is Napue Gin: A Finnish gin, that was selected as best in the world in 2015.

In general drinking habits mainly follow Scandinavian and European practices. Consumption of wine and beer has increased in recent years. You can buy beer and cider from normal grocery stores between 9AM and 9PM. Wine and spirits are only available from the state run ALKO stores. These are usually near grocery stores anyway.

The Finnish affinity for coffee
Small beers in Finland
Finnish customs and manners