Introducing twelve protected Finnish products

Kitkan viisas, Sahti, Kalakukko, Lapin Puikula, Lapin Poron kylmäsavuliha, Puruveden muikku, Lapin Poron liha, Karjalanpiirakka, Lapin Poron kuivaliha and Kainuun rönttönen

Kitkan viisas (Vendace from Lake Kitka), PDO (Protected Designation of Origin)

kitkan_viisasThe regions of Kuusamo and Posio are known for their large, clean waterways with abundant fish stocks. These waters are also home to ‘Kitkan viisas’, a small and tasty vendace, which is often said to have gained its sobriquet during the Russian Revolution. At the time, the Koillismaa region in north-eastern Finland also saw local residents head east to participate in the building of a socialist utopia. People started calling the little fish ‘Kitkan viisas’ or ‘the Sage of Lake Kitka’ as it was smart enough not to leave its home region, despite having access to rivers running eastwards. Because of its Arctic habitat with low nutritional levels, Kitkan viisas is smaller than other freshwater vendace and its backbone does not harden but remains soft. (Image: Jarmo Pitkänen)

Sahti (beer), TSG (Traditional Speciality Quaranteed)

sahtiA unique Finnish beer, Sahti is made from traditional ingredients and has no additives. Once ready, Sahti is not filtered or pasteurised but served fresh. Sahti is among the world’s most unusual and distinctive malt beverages and one of the last few remaining original beers in Western Europe. Traditionally a drink for celebrations, Sahti is still part of rural culture in its region of origin in Kanta- and Päijät-Häme and Northern Satakunta. (Image: The photo archive of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry)

Kalakukko (fish and pork pie), TSG (Traditional Speciality Quaranteed)

KalakukkoKuopio, in eastern Finland, is known for its Kalakukko, fish and pork pie, which has always made a handy packed lunch and a popular gift. It combines bread, fish and meat in one package. The traditional kalakukko from the Savo region is either round or oval in shape. At its best when still warm, the pie is cut open at the top. Slices are then cut off the crust and topped with the pie filling and some butter. It is purely a question of taste whether you prefer vendace or perch as the filling. The best Kalakukko pies can be found in speciality bakeries and market halls and at outdoor markets.

Lapin PuikulaLapinpuikula (potato),  PDO (Protected Designation of Origin)

Lapin Puikula is a northern potato variety. For centuries now, it has been cultivated in Lapland where the unique conditions lend it its characteristic flavour and aroma. (Image: Marjo Särkkä-Tirkkonen)

Lapin Poron kylmäsavuliha (Cold-smoked reindeer meat), PDO (Protected Designation of Origin)

Lapin Poron kylmäsavuliha is produced, processed and packaged in Finland’s reindeer husbandry regions. Free-roaming reindeer, centuries of experience in processing and smoking the meat, and salting and smoking over slow-burning alder, birch or juniper wood for a week are the elements that produce this unique, tender meat with its rich aroma and distinctive flavour. (Image:  Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry)

Puruveden muikku  (Vendace from Lake Puruvesi),  PGI (Protected Geographical Indication)

MuikkuA great delicacy that has been enjoyed for centuries, this vendace from Lake Puruvesi has been a source of wealth for the region since the era of Swedish rule. Its special characteristic is its soft backbone, which means it can be prepared by frying and smoking or used in soups without the need for deboning. The lake’s unusually clear water gives the fish its silvery colour. Puruveden muikku is also known for the methods used to catch it, as it is usually done with traditional techniques such as using seine. The skills required to locate and catch the fish have been passed from one generation to another. The vendace is also caught on the moonlit nights of late autumn when it comes to the surface of the water – an unusual fishing method that is typical of Lake Puruvesi, with its clear water.
Muikun nuottausta Puruvedellä – Fishing at lake Puruvesi, Saimaa, Finland (Youtube)

Lapin Poron liha (Reindeer meat from Lapland), PDO (Protected Designation of Origin)

PoronlihaA typical staple of northern larders is reindeer. Lapin Poron liha, the meat of this semi-domesticated deer still carries the unique flavour of game. Since we know that the reindeer is selective in its diet, it should come as no surprise that reindeer meat is of excellent quality. When served reindeer, you are offered more than a meat dish. You are offered a journey to riverbanks painted with autumn colours, slopes with wind whistling amidst dwarf birches, freedom – the entire Arctic world and culture. (Image: Erkki Viero)

Karjalanpiirakka (Karelian pie),  TSG (Traditional Speciality Quaranteed)

karjalanpiirakka (2)Who doesn’t love the authentic Karjalanpiirakka, Karelian rice pie? Karjalanpiirakka is true national food. Fresh from the oven and with a layer of melting butter on top, these fragrant pies are bound to make your mouth water. Karjalanpiirakka has the fresh flavour of rye. They are suitable for parties and everyday occasions and can be served as a snack and as a side dish with a meal. Not only traditional and delicious, they are also healthy. Karjalanpiirakka can be eaten as they are or topped with cold meats or a mixture of egg and butter.

Lapin Poron kuivaliha (Dried reindeer meat from Lapland) , PDO (Protected Designation of Origin)

Lapin Poron kuivaliha is prepared by drying it outdoors between February and April, using a method that dates back centuries. The fluctuations in temperature that occur in northern climes in late winter make the meat tender and give it its natural flavour. In his ‘History of the Northern Peoples’ from 1555, Olaus Magnus mentions the delicious taste of this handy field-trip snack. (Image: The Reindeer Herders’ Association)

Kainuun rönttönen (Rye pie with lingonberries), PGI (Protected Geographical Indication)

Kainuun_RönttönenIn the Kainuu region, bread and other baked goods hold pride of place on the dinner table. It is said that back in the day, when food was in short supply in late winter and the menfolk had to go into the woods for a day’s work, the womenfolk took the last few lingonberries and potatoes from the food store and baked them inside a rye crust. That is how ‘rönttönen’ came to be. At the time, sugar was extremely hard to come by. In Kainuu, lingonberry pies were baked to satisfy the locals’ sweet tooth. The sweetness came from the potatoes that were cooked slowly at a low temperature to allow the starch to break up. Sourdough was used to give a fluffy crust and a rich flavour to the pies, which were baked in a bread oven to produce a delicacy with a crisp crust. (Image: Hilla Martikainen)

vadelmalikoori_SMMSuomalainen Marjalikööri, Suomalainen Hedelmälikööri (Finnish berry liqueur and Finnish fruit liqueur), PGI (Protected Geographical Indication)

These Finnish berry and fruit liqueurs are made from fruit and berries harvested in Finland. Pure Nordic nature and the light-filled summer nights lend the products their unique flavour, freshness, and colour – to delight all our senses. Produced by a master liqueur-maker, the liqueurs are prepared by infusing spirits with fruit or berries until the beverage matures and achieves a rich flavour and beautiful colour. Enjoy Finnish berry or fruit liqueur as-is, use it in mixed drinks or cocktails, or add to a dish to enhance its authentic Finnish aromas.

Suomalainen Vodka (vodka of Finland), PGI (Protected Geographical Indication)

kuvaplugifi_vodka_SMM_kehysMade from Finnish cereal or potatoes and pure Finnish water by distilling, vodka from Finland is an internationally renowned alcoholic beverage. Even though vodka has traditionally been a clear and colourless drink, flavoured varieties are available too. Thanks to its pure flavour, Finnish vodka comes into its own in the form of chilled shots, but it is also suitable for use in cocktails and mixed drinks. (Image: Kuvaplugi.fi)

The protected product name campaign is part of the national Nimisuojasta kilpailukykyä (Competitiveness through name protection) project. The goal of the project is to improve the competitiveness of Finnish food products via the EU schemes to protect names of agricultural products and foodstuffs.

 

 

Product card makes it easier for kitchens and wholesalers to offer local food products

Professional kitchens, wholesalers in the hotel, restaurant and catering (HoReCa) sector and retailers are all looking to increase the range of local foods in their selections. To foster collaboration among various operators, a supplier’s product card has been developed to offer support in negotiations between small companies and buyers.

A simple, everyday tool, the product card helps producers to identify their product’s strengths prior to sales negotiations. The card highlights points that buyers are interested in when evaluating new products.

– First and foremost, the card is intended to help producers prepare for sales negotiations with a potential buyer, explains project manager Päivi Töyli from the University of Turku’s Brahea Centre.

The card includes information on the product’s shelf-life and suitability for special diets, and on whether it is organic and how it is ordered and delivered. The idea behind the card is to encourage producers to analyse their product’s unique selling points and stand-out qualities.

– Small companies’ products have their place in supermarket selections. In the retail sector, we have gained positive experiences from product cards and it’s excellent news that a new and improved version of the tool is now available to assist in collaboration between small companies and HoReCa wholesalers, says the Finnish Grocery Trade Association’s Director Ilkka Nieminen.

In 2012, the Finnish Grocery Trade Association developed a product card for the retail sector, aimed at facilitating collaboration between small food businesses and retail companies. Soon, various operators realised that a similar card would come in handy in negotiations with HoReCa wholesalers and professional kitchens.

The product card has undergone further development to meet the needs of both groups of buyers. The new card also takes into account recent changes in the requirements for package labelling.

Collaboration among wholesalers, professional kitchens and companies is promoted as part of the Paikallisruoan arvoketjua kehittämässä  (development of local food value chain) project. The main partners of the project are the Finnish Grocery Trade Association, HoReCa wholesalers, regional food-industry developers, and the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK). Funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the project began in 2015 and will continue until 2017.

Product card

Product card_2015 , in Finnish and Swedish (if you do not have MS Office, you can download a free Libre Office package from https://fi.libreoffice.org)


The Paikallisruoan arvoketjua kehittämässä project was set up to promote collaboration among HoReCa wholesalers, professional kitchens and local food companies. The Trueflavours.fi (Aitojamakuja.fi) website provides an overview of good practices in this sector.

Running from 2015 to 2017, the project is funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

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