Food of the Day: Chocolate-Banana Pavlova in Finland

Staff Writer
Sweet Vaasa's airy and light merengue paired with rich chocolate and banana makes for a decadent, over-the-top dessert
Elsa Saatela

Today’s food of the day is the delicious and over-the-top sweet chocolate-banana Pavlova at Sweet Vaasa in Vasa, Finland.

When visiting my hometown Vasa in Finland I usually have a pretty simple and short agenda: spend time with my family and eat at a few of my favorite local spots. I don't want to mislead you on what sort of culinary place we are talking about, though. For most of my life living in Vasa, eating out, or even having a coffee, was not the most exciting thing. Though the town still only boasts a few, mostly chain, restaurants, the cafeteria, lunch food, and bakery scene has seen a big improvement within recent years (of course, just in time for me to have moved far, far away). Now, you can actually sit down at a cozy cafeteria and enjoy a seasonal salad of locally sourced ingredients, or enjoy a delicious in-house sweet treat.

A new favorite my mom introduced me to a few years back when I visited was Sweet Vaasa, an American-inspired bakery offering classics such as cupcakes, rocky road brownies, and big, rich slices of cheesecake. In Vasa, this was the first of its kind, as, believe it or not, a cupcake is still a pretty rare sight at cafeterias there.

My mom and I definitely share a love for all things sweet, and going to bakeries and coffee shops when we are together is a daily must. On our first trip to Sweet Vaasa, she was convinced that I had to try the Pavlova, a massive piece (basically the size of a New York pizza slice) of chocolate meringue cake, filled with chocolate mousse, chocolate sauce, and sliced bananas. Did I mention my mom loves chocolate?

The airy and light meringue paired with rich chocolate and sweet banana was indeed a heavenly combination. Since that first time, I have visited Sweet Wasa on each trip back to Finland, and my mom always has great new recommendations of what I have to try, including the summer version of the Pavlova, topped with fresh strawberries. And no, I will never order the cupcake. Not because I think it will be bad, but because who would ever fly to Finland to eat cupcakes when you live in New York? No, I’ll stick to the more "exotic" stuff...

Do you have a travel photo that you would like to share? A mouthwatering food or drink and the perfect place to get it? Send over photos and tips to esaatela[at]thedailymeal.com.

Related Links
Food of the Day: Escargot in FranceFood of The Day: Artichoke Soup at Le Bristol Food of the Day: Flambéed crêpes with Mandarine Napoleon in BrusselsFood of the Day: Chicken & Syrup Slider at Green Dot Stables