Finnish love letter to a potato

We at Happy Finn were thinking about doing a blog post about traditional Finnish food. And we had a special friend to do it. And what is the perfect start to approach Finnish food – potatoes. Almost everybody has an opinion about how they like to eat their potatoes here in Finland. Our friend is passionate about potatoes and here she is telling you her side of the story.

”Love letter to a potato,

Potatoes are basic food for us Finns and very cheap basic ingredient. Finns have a very special and delicate relationship to potatoes. When you eat potatoes you should stop and cherish their taste, smell and warmth. I also often discuss with my friends how they like to eat their potatoes. I personally love potato wedges with garlic and dream about oven baked potatoes with blue cheese. Boiled and steaming potatoes with gravy remind me from childhood.

Mashed potatoes are one of my favorites. And all Finns have their own favorite way to make it. One time I had a conversation with my friends on my Facebook page and it was one of the most passionate discussion ever. Someone thought that the only right way to prepare it is to add only butter. Other one would add some cream or milk into it. It’s not out of the ordinary to add some onions or parsley into it, or spice it up with white pepper. I prefer to add only salt to my mashed potatoes so I can taste the soft taste of the potato.

Potatoes are always present in Finnish food table. During midsummer we are waiting impatiently new potatoes that we enjoy with spring onions and herring. In the Fall we are exchanging recipes for smashed potatoes. At winter time we love to make warm casseroles. We usually have potatoes in many different roles on our Christmas tables.

At the grocery store I tend to inspect potatoes with lots of care. I would never pick up those potato sacks, because I need to select my potatoes one by one. I like to wonder if I’m picking up Colomba or more yellow colored Annabelle. I have also noticed that us Finns like to discuss our potato passions at those potato shelves at the store. It shouldn’t be too small, bad quality or too expensive. It’s interesting to follow different choices that families make when choosing potatoes.

Potato is my delicacy. You can enjoy it just how it is. You can just steam it and drop a little butter and salt to it. Perfect! Potatoes are tasty and comforting food. Everyone has their own favorite. My favorite is the floury breed that is perfect with gravy. Potatoes are usually considered as a side dish, but it shouldn’t be. There are different breeds and variety amongst potatoes, so it’s very exciting, delicious and comforting food on our plates. Potatoes should be the stars of the meal.

With love,

one Happy Finn, Silja”