Foods of Power

Finland is known for its climate and love of sauna. Finland, however, is not particularly known for its cuisine. Finnish traditional food does not seem to appeal to the globalized audience. Some even dare to say it is not very tasty. But it does tend to be very healthy. Why? Well, because it is prepared with love, obviously. And because of Superfoods.

In English  | 

Text Marcelo Goldmann

Kuvat Alisa Tciriulnikova

What? You haven’t heard of superfoods? Surely you’ve heard of Superfoods. Those fancy dancy foods, which are supposed to be extremely healthy and make you younger and stronger and faster, and give you the ability to fly.

All right, so I might be exaggerating just a tiny bit. Depending whom you ask and if the Internet is to be believed (as if the internet would lie), superfoods are foods with supposed superior health benefits and those, which have such a high concentration of nutrients that just a relatively small amount of it can provide nutrition comparable to larger amounts of other foods.

Some say “superfood” is just a glamorous word for exotic food to increase sales and price. You may have heard of (or seen in the supermarket) chia seeds, algae, almonds, cherries, coconut, raw cacao, berries; you know, the usual suspects. Perhaps, the most well-known Finnish superfoods are its berries, some of which are: blueberry (mustikka), sea buckthorne (tyrni), cloudberry (lakka), lingonberry (puolukka), cranberry (karpalo), crowberry (variksenmarja), and blackcurrant (mustaherukka).

The truth is a bit of column A, and a bit of column B; but isn’t it always? Suffice to say, there is some truth to both claims: superfoods tend to provide high density of nutrition, having a high amount of vitamins and minerals, and some of them tend to be rather pricey.

The Rural Women’s Advisory Organisation (Maa- ja kotitalousnaiset) has begun a project called Superruokkaa Pohjolasta (Superfood from the North) in which they are raising awareness of the availability of superfoods right here in the North that we perhaps had not paid enough attention to. These are foods which you might be ignoring every time you go to the shop!

By rebranding these foods as Superfoods, they hope to increase our awareness of these very nutritional and readily available foods.

For example, oats (kaura), rye (ruis), as well as fish like the whitefish (siika), vendance (muikku), and pike (hauki); not to mention the delicious mushrooms like the chantarelle (kantarelli) and trumpets (suppilovahvero). And what about root veggies and stem veggies, didn’t you know they are very high on nutrients? There is beetroot (punajuuri), rutabaga (lanttu), radish (retiisi), broccoli (parsakaali), and cauliflower (kukkakaali), brussel sprouts (ruusukaali), and ginger (inkivääri).

All of these are “Nordicly” available, at decent prices, and just so happen to be Superfoods.

Don’t be missing out – get some Nordic superfoods and give your body some well-deserved nutrition. You can find more information at maajakotitalousnaiset.fi, where you will also find recipes for preparation of meals with superfood (only in Finnish so far). Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to have me some sieni-juusto-pippurikermamuhennos on top of some steamed parsakaali and kukkakaali. Nom nom nom!

Published 11.11.2015 in 9/2015

Marcelo Goldmann

A Doctor of Chemical Engineering from the University of Oulu. "Life is like a rubber duckie, you gotta keep it afloat to see its splendor." Instagram: @marcelogman

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