Here are seven Finnish foods to buy and try at a Finnish grocery store. I hope these tips help you if you’re on a quest to find some local food and puzzled by the options!
Without further ado, here are the first four Finnish favorites that you should taste.
#1 Fazer Blue Chocolate
In Finnish: ”Fazerin Sininen”
Where to find: Candy aisle of any shop, also small kiosks. This product is everywhere as blocks and bars.
What is it? This blue-wrapped chocolate is a Finnish icon. The divine taste comes from fresh milk as many other brands use powder or condensed milk. We Finns know we should only eat two small pieces of chocolate a day, but Fazer Blue is so delicious…
#2 Jenkki Chewing Gum
In Finnish: ”Jenkki-
Where to find: Candy aisle of any shop, also small kiosks. This product is everywhere too.
What is it? This Finnish gum is healthy for your teeth because of a dental innovation called xylitol. In Finland, when we speak of gum, we always mean xylitol gum. Non-xylitol gum is candy to us.
Jenkki has been around since 1951. The name means ’Yankee’ in Finnish. Post-war Finland was a huge fan of United States.
#3 Pulled Oats
In Finnish: ”Nyhtökaura”
Where to find: Supermarket or bigger.
What is it? A plant-based protein made of Nordic oats and beans. It has a unique, subtle taste. The nutrition values are fantastic: over 30% protein with nine amino acids. No additives, no chemicals and made near Helsinki.
Yes, it’s 100% vegan. This Finnish food innovation makes me so proud! Their site has mouth-watering recipes.
#4 Queen Ice-Cream Cone
In Finnish: ”Kuningatar-
Where to find: Any grocery store. Also some kiosks.
What is it? An old-school ice-cream cone with vanilla ice-cream and raspberry & blueberry jam. In Finland, we call a jam made of raspberries and blueberries ‘Queen Jam’. Hence the name of the ice-cream. This ice-cream is made in Finland and of fresh Finnish milk.
I hope those four foods sound yummy and worth tasting (well, I guess gum isn’t technically
#5 Karelian Pie
In Finnish: ”Karjalanpiirakka”
Where to find: Bread section of a grocery store. Usually on the shelf of the store bakery.
What is it? Karelian Pie is made of rye crust and thick rice porridge like filling. It’s a staple of traditional Finnish cuisine. Both adults and kids love it.
Karelian pies are best straight out of someone’s oven, second best store-bought. They take forever to make and require some serious cooking skills (my home-made versions have looked like roadkill pizzas). So if you get self-made pies, be in awe.
My family (and most Finnish families) buy them at a store. As you may encounter several kinds of Karelian Pies and only Finnish words, I’ll explain now what’s the difference:
- Karjalanpiirakka = Karelian Pie (the real deal)
RukiinenPiirakka = Karelian Pie (a synonym, the same thing as above)
- Sulhaspiirakka = Mini Karelian Pie (has a sweeter taste than the original Karelian pie)
- Perunapiirakka = Potato Pie (rye crust with mashed potato filling)
- Porkkanapiirakka = Carrot Pie (rye crust with carrot-rice porridge filling)
#6 Rye Bread
In Finnish: ”Ruisleipä”
Where to find: Bread section of a grocery store.
What is it? Rye bread is the backbone of Finnish kitchen. It’s what kept us alive for centuries. There’s a huge variety of rye bread in any store, each having a unique flavor. So if you don’t like the first one you buy, try another!
Oh and one cultural detail! If you ask for ”dark bread” in Finland, we always think you mean rye bread. Multi-grain, seed bread and all that is ”white bread with [insert the specific ingredient here]” for us.
#7 Finnish Squeaky Cheese
In Finnish: ”Leipäjuusto” (literary: Bread Cheese)
Where to find: any supermarket or a bigger.
What is it? Squeaky cheese is a flat cheese usually made of cow milk. It really makes a funny squeaky sound when you bite into it. The flavor is mild. Finnish kids absolutely love it.
I’m a huge fan of Leipäjuusto. Everything just works so perfectly in it! The texture, the taste, feeling nostalgic about eating it at my granny’s as a kid. Oh, it’s so yummy.
You can eat squeaky cheese cold or warm. It’s a must-try with cloudberry jam (in Finnish: “
As a cold dish, I love to slice it on top of rye bread with the above-mentioned jam. The warm dishes include a pan-fried and Lappish baked version.
The laziest option (that’s often me) is just putting the cheese into the microwave and then adding the jam. Still super yummy!
Have you tried any of these foods and what did you think? Do you have anything to add to this list? Comment below!