The Land of Pickled Fish and Reindeer

While I have always been a fish eater, especially Salmon, I have found that fish is much more fresh from a port city like Helsinki! During the winter months, many Finns break a hole in the nearest lake, stream, or river that is covered with ice, and they ice fish for their dinner! I have had delicious fish dinners throughout my time here, and I really like putting smoked salmon on all of my Finnish breads! 

For dinner, the Finns like to cook root vegetables with a meat or fish paired protein. One of the most traditional and Finnish dinner meats is, you guessed it, REINDEER! Reindeer, as I have mentioned in my Lapland logbook, is one of Finland's most popular animal. They are hunted in the fall and winter seasons and are often cooked as a delicacy for holidays and fancier dinners. In Helsinki, reindeer meat, (in Finnish, the word is: poronkäristys), is one of the healthiest foods you can eat! In fact, reindeer meat is high on B-12, omega-3 and omega-6 and can now even be found on Finnish pizzas!

How did I feel when I tried it?:

I was very hesitant when I first tried reindeer at one of the teacher's houses over the holidays! She prepared the reindeer meat with lots of spices and root vegetables. Because we don't have reindeer in the U.S.A., I was very nervous that I would not like it. But, I did not want to disappoint my kind hosts who made the Finnish supper! I took my first bite of the reindeer....and... I loved it! It was very tender and flavorful. Many say it tastes similar to a steak dinner. I can't believe I ate reindeer in Finland and enjoyed it!