Scandinavian / Finnish cookbooks

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Matt Grandy
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Scandinavian / Finnish cookbooks

Post by Matt Grandy » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:24 am

I wonder what Finnish or Scandinavian cookbooks posters could recommend to me?

I've been living in Helsinki for seven months now and as the cook in the family I've investigated the shops and markets working out which recipes in my old repertoire I can reproduce with the ingredients here.

Some meals either can't be made or are too expensive to make in Finland so I'm looking to replace these with more local recipes.

What is the best book out there for fresh everyday Finnish food?



Scandinavian / Finnish cookbooks

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CH
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Re: Scandinavian / Finnish cookbooks

Post by CH » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:43 am

Well, every publisher seems to have their own traditional "big book of cooking", for instance WSOY has their "ruutukokki" series. But... I assume you want one in English. I don't think there are that many around, but I would suggest you go to a bookstore and ask the sales assistant for help. At least the ones I've seen tend to be a bit... touristy.

There are a lot of recipes on the Internet, though.


Upphew
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Re: Scandinavian / Finnish cookbooks

Post by Upphew » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:47 am

Hmm, can't recommend any book, but how about http://www.pirkka.fi/ruoka/reseptit/paaruoat ?
All stuff should be available in almost any K-store (sure, bigger the better the chances are), so nothing overly exotic there.
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Jukka Aho
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Re: Scandinavian / Finnish cookbooks

Post by Jukka Aho » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:52 pm

Matt Grandy wrote:I wonder what Finnish or Scandinavian cookbooks posters could recommend to me?

I've been living in Helsinki for seven months now and as the cook in the family I've investigated the shops and markets working out which recipes in my old repertoire I can reproduce with the ingredients here.

Some meals either can't be made or are too expensive to make in Finland so I'm looking to replace these with more local recipes.

What is the best book out there for fresh everyday Finnish food?
Can you decipher recipes in the Finnish language or are you looking for a cookbook written in English?
  • Koko perheen ruutukokki — This is the one I would have recommended, but it appears to be out of print at the moment... unless you manage to find a stray copy in a local bookstore.

    (The word ruutukokki refers to the checkered pattern on the cover of the book. Don’t be fooled by that design, though — there are several other Ruutukokki books in the same series. The other books, however, cover more specialized diets — such as recipes which are low in fat and supposedly healthy, or suitable for diabetics or vegetarians. The one linked to the above is the most generic edition.)
The following cookbooks are quite generic as well and might be comparable to the Ruutukokki book mentioned above:
Yet some more:
If you’d like to take part in some home-cooking courses, you might want to take a look at here. (Here’s a brief introduction to the Martta association — the association arranging those courses — in English.)
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Cory
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Re: Scandinavian / Finnish cookbooks

Post by Cory » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:30 pm

Matt Grandy wrote:I've been living in Helsinki for seven months now and as the cook in the family I've investigated the shops and markets working out which recipes in my old repertoire I can reproduce with the ingredients here.

Some meals either can't be made or are too expensive to make in Finland so I'm looking to replace these with more local recipes.

What is the best book out there for fresh everyday Finnish food?
I think there are many of us on this board who've been here for 10 + years and have been through this same issue at the start. Tweek the recipes that you typically make with something on the shelves here. Recipes need not be followed exactly as written many times. If you'd give us an example of the type of recipe you have difficulty reproducing, I bet one of us can help you make it with a few options.

I was lucky because I have a mother-in-law who is an "old-fashioned" cook/baker so I learned with her guidance..Finnish words for cooking and baking were some of the first I learned.

One of the websites I've used is http://www.hellapoliisi.fi/ This lady is just plain fun!

If you don't understand written Finnish, here's a website that has all the very basic recipes http://www.finnguide.fi/finnishrecipes
You'll also find a link to some cookbooks. I've got the "Finnish Cookbook" from the International series (yellow and red hardback)... it's got all the basics, too.

So do tell... what "home" favs are you having troubles finding ingredients for?
Last edited by Cory on Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Rosamunda
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Re: Scandinavian / Finnish cookbooks

Post by Rosamunda » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:38 pm

Cory wrote: Finnish words for cooking and baking were some of the first I learned.
Me too. I found it relatively easy to learn the keys words for mixing, pouring, frying etc and then the utensils and the measurements. So I'm quite happy to use Finnish recipes from magazines, newspapers (Hesari sometimes has some good ones) and off the internet. I have also been on a couple of courses (in Finnish) and my pathetic language skills were no problem.

Most of my Finnish cookery books are "riista" books since we get a lot of elk, deer and stuff like that. Then I have a few coffee table books that were given to me as gifts such as "Flavours from the Finnish Countryside" which is available in English (but don't by it from Amazon - way too expensive) and has some really nice recipes using local produce:

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And I also use Finland - Nature's Table quite a bit eg: the cabbage rolls recipe (but there aren't many recipes in it and I wouldn't recommend you buy it) http://www.antikvaari.fi/naytatuote.asp?id=575272
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It depends whether you are looking for "special " recipes or just every day grub (in which case get yourself a wok book!).

For me the hardest thing is find decent fresh fish. We get sooooo bored with salmon soup, salmon fish-cakes, salmon fish pie, poached salmon, grilled salmon...

Have you looked in the local library?


AldenG
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Re: Scandinavian / Finnish cookbooks

Post by AldenG » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:37 pm

Another true Finnish cookbook is Suuri suomalainen keittokirja. Several of the more popular earlier suggestions are translations of Swedish classics and may or may not include additions of more particularly Finnish dishes, I don't know. If you wanted those books (Rutiga kokboken; Vår kokbok), it might be easier to get the Swedish version and use Google translate (which does a better job on Swedish) or perhaps your own deciphering skills if you're gifted at that and maybe have some background with German.

For learning to read Finnish, since you're interested in cooking Suuri suomalainen keittokirja is a good place to start. I don't know about Finnish cookbooks generally, but at least in this one, all the recipes are written almost exclusively in the passive voice (the sugar is added, the onions are sauteed, etc) which greatly reduces the amount of grammatical detail and you need to learn in order to understand it. The more general and instructional parts of the book (outside the recipes) use ordinary book Finnish and so they would be harder to decipher for one with minimal knowledge of the language.

It's true that other things being equal, a more organized and systematic approach to learning the language will be more effective. (Though there can be a lot of disagreement of how it should be organized.) However, the big trump card in learning anything is personal interest in the subject matter, which can sometimes outweigh all the other variables combined. If you're really interested in cooking, learning to read recipes in the passive voice gives you a good headstart, I would say.
As he persisted, I was obliged to tootle him gently at first and then, seeing no improvement, to trumpet him vigorously with my horn.


AldenG
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Re: Scandinavian / Finnish cookbooks

Post by AldenG » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:50 pm

P.S. Thanks for that Finland -- Nature's Table suggestion, Penelope. I just ordered one elsewhere.
As he persisted, I was obliged to tootle him gently at first and then, seeing no improvement, to trumpet him vigorously with my horn.


Jukka Aho
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Re: Scandinavian / Finnish cookbooks

Post by Jukka Aho » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:23 am

AldenG wrote:Another true Finnish cookbook is Suuri suomalainen keittokirja. Several of the more popular earlier suggestions are translations of Swedish classics and may or may not include additions of more particularly Finnish dishes, I don't know.
You could argue that generations of Finnish housewives (and the local home economics organizations hell-bent on educating them) have been schooled with material whose primary source of influence has been Sweden and “Nordic” (which in Finland is typically another word for Swedish) customs. Hence, the difference between the two food cultures — at least as far as the “everyday grub” is concerned — may be quite inconsequential, mostly having to do with the preferred type of bread and some local/traditional specialties.

But I would wager a guess the Ruutukokki books, and other similar thick cookbooks translated from Swedish, have nonetheless undergone slight localization in translation. In advertising, they don’t purport to be cookbooks describing the Swedish kitchen but just generic cookbooks with no particular country affiliation — so I think from the reader’s viewpoint the assumption is they describe the Finnish kitchen, or at least dishes that you can easily prepare in a Finnish kitchen, in Finland, from locally-available ingredients. And that’s likely to be the intended marketing image for these books as well.

Here’s another thread which touches upon the subject: according to a poster to that thread, Rutiga Kokboken (Ruutukokki) and Vår Kokbok (Meidän keittokirja) are indeed classified as the “standard” Swedish cookbooks. Then again, we used to be part of the same kingdom...

As for the Internet recipe archives, a pretty good compilation of Finnish sites collecting and publishing food recipes can be found here.

If you want traditional, go here. ;) (The character encoding settings on that site are borked. Those who use Firefox may need to override the default encoding manually in the menus: View → Character Encoding → Western (ISO-8859-1).)
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Pursuivant
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Re: Scandinavian / Finnish cookbooks

Post by Pursuivant » Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:15 am

The only "exotic" ingredients in this is offal :lol:
http://agricola.utu.fi/hist/kktk/kokkikirja/
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Jukka Aho
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Re: Scandinavian / Finnish cookbooks

Post by Jukka Aho » Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:29 am

Pursuivant wrote:The only "exotic" ingredients in this is offal :lol:
http://agricola.utu.fi/hist/kktk/kokkikirja/
That book was ahead of its times... they talk about hampurilaiset and sinkut. ;)

The only thing that has apparently changed is these days it’s the sinkut who eat the hampurilaiset and not the other way around.
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AldenG
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Re: Scandinavian / Finnish cookbooks

Post by AldenG » Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:01 am

A while back someone was asking about baking instructions for . . . was it Reissumies?

We happen to have something called Leipomotekniikka I -- Leipurin Työohjekortit, written by Seppo Peltomäki and Pauli Välimäki, sponsored by the former Ammattikasvatushallitus (now subsumed under the newer Opetushallitus), printed by the former Valtion painatuskeskus (now Edita.fi) and bought from their old shop in or near Tennispalatsi. It has recipes for about 200 baked items, maybe a little over.

I spent half an hour or so today looking high and low on the web for this publication or a new version of it. It's a great book in tabular form that could easily be used by an English speaker with access to some translation help. Each recipe is one A4 page (one or sometimes two-sided) with a drawing of the item, a list of ingredients, a table of stats on time and temperature, and a brief list of quality-check items like color, consistency, etc. Sometimes there are a few sentences about procedure but for the most part they use diagrams instead. For pretzels, there are two pages of diagrams of how to tie them.

Surely something like that must still exist today, though I found nothing like it on edita.fi or elsewhere. This was aimed at future professional bakers and they still have to be trained and probably have a use for reference "cards" like these. Maybe somebody else would have better luck than me at finding such a thing. If it's findable, it would be a great resource for FinlandForumers over the years -- especially if it can be found in online form.

It's a shame that when these things go out of print presumably forever, one can't upload them until we're probably all dead and the ingredients aren't even available any longer. Even the authors are probably dead now and their estates are getting no income from it anyway. I don't get the impression that this Pauli Välimäki is the celebrity politician/editor, because at a quick glance there doesn't appear to be room or interest on that Välimäki's resume to have done this.
As he persisted, I was obliged to tootle him gently at first and then, seeing no improvement, to trumpet him vigorously with my horn.


AldenG
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Re: Scandinavian / Finnish cookbooks

Post by AldenG » Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:05 am

I think Vår kokbok was the first cookbook I ever bought.
As he persisted, I was obliged to tootle him gently at first and then, seeing no improvement, to trumpet him vigorously with my horn.


AldenG
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Re: Scandinavian / Finnish cookbooks

Post by AldenG » Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:24 am

Jukka Aho wrote:
Pursuivant wrote:The only "exotic" ingredients in this is offal :lol:
http://agricola.utu.fi/hist/kktk/kokkikirja/
That book was ahead of its times... they talk about hampurilaiset and sinkut. ;)

The only thing that has apparently changed is these days it’s the sinkut who eat the hampurilaiset and not the other way around.
It's interesting to se här'än, päälle', pohjalle', and laaperin-lehtejä, plus the routine use of saltpeter and juniper berries, the latter being hyphenated along with bay leaves back then.
As he persisted, I was obliged to tootle him gently at first and then, seeing no improvement, to trumpet him vigorously with my horn.


LadyInTheSky
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Re: Scandinavian / Finnish cookbooks

Post by LadyInTheSky » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:54 pm

Here are two food blogs with (free- the internet is good) Finnish recipes, in English, plus a bonus Swedish one The first one is also very good for figuring out the local name for that thing you want for your recipe from home.

• Nordic Recipe Archive: http://www.dlc.fi/~marianna/gourmet/recipe.htm
Hunt around on this site - the structure is a bit odd, but you'll find a goldmine of useful glossaries there, including explanations (w/pictures) of lots of local incrediants - berries, dairy products, grains, mushrooms, etc.

http://scandifoodie.blogspot.com/p/recipes-english.html Some interesting traditional recipes - like Reiska flat bread - but mostly interpreted through a very health, vegan, and lately gluten free lens. A blog by a Finn living in Australia, so you'll have to ignore some of her ingredients list and interpret back to what Finnish basics she's substituting for.

• Swedish food blog, yes, vegetarian again - you can get most of the ingrediants they use here, and at least they are writing their recipes in the same seasonal environment. For this and the last blog it is especially good if you get familiar with the deals on nuts, grains and beans at the ethnic shops around Hakaniemi: http://www.greenkitchenstories.com/recipe-index/

As others above said, recipes from the two major supermarket chains, as well as those on the boxes in the shops are a great way to start, and dip into Finnish. Or you can cheat liberally with google translate. Don't laugh, but I finally learned an acceptible-to-Finnish-eaters way to do meatballs from the directions on the bread crumbs packet ;-).

Hyvää Ruoka Halua!


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