Finland, a northern European country bordering Sweden and Russia, is known for beautiful things like the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, which can be seen up to 200 nights a year in the northern Finnish Lapland and 20 nights a year in the nation’s capital. The country also enjoys phenomena like the midnight sun, which maintains its position above the horizon highest and longest in the north, and Finland is also often called the Land of a Thousand Lakes for its upwards of 188,000 beautiful bodies of water. But the beautiful things Finland has to offer aren’t limited to sights. It’s also known for its promotion of equality, its high-quality education system, and a national social welfare system, according to the World Factbook.
When it comes to food, the country also doesn’t disappoint. Fish and meat are significant additions to meals in some areas, and oats, berries, and milk are common ingredients in popular dishes. From Karelia, an eastern province and the birthplace of famous Finnish epic poem “Kalevala,” comes karjalanpiirakka, pies made with rye flour, potatoes, rice, carrots, and sometimes egg butter spread. Another iconic Finnish food visitors should try, especially in the summer, is grillimakkara, or large grilled sausages paired with mustard. Dishes incorporating new potatoes, one of which is called silli ja uudet perunat in Finland, are also popular due to the many lakes dotting the land. New potatoes are often served with herring (silli), with fresh lake fish and chanterelle sauce, or with butter and salt. Reindeer meat, called poronkäristys, is also a Finnish delicacy. It’s often served with mashed potatoes and is thought to be high in vitamin B-12, as well as fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6.