Put your pain au chocolat or Lucky Charms aside, here comes Finnish breakfast! What Finns are eating as their breakfast? The biggest difference between Finnish breakfast and many other breakfasts is that Finns rarely eat anything especially sweet, like pastries or cereals, for breakfast. I am a legitimate brekkie junkie and thus guiding you through the Finnish preferences. Let’s go!
As Finns are the biggest consumers of coffee in the world, it doesn’t come as a surprise that many of us start our day with a cup of joe. Most likely it is filter coffee, enjoyed black or with milk. Some add also sugar. Finns have a taste for a particular, soft, round-flavored coffee and that’s why we so often complain (by ourselves, never in public) about bad coffee when abroad. Children usually have milk or hot chocolate in the morning time.
Porridge has been the backbone of Finnish breakfast since, well.. forever. Finnish oatmeal is delicious. I definitely recommend trying Finnish porridge when visiting Finland, at least I can taste the difference. Just add a spoonful of jam or a slice of butter with sugar on top and enjoy.
Another classic is rye bread. At breakfast, Finns make rye sandwiches which include butter, cheese and a slice of cold cut. Vegetables are not mandatory, but usually we throw a couple of pieces of tomato or cucumber to make us feel we are eating a well-balanced meal.
One morning favorite is a Karelian pie. This traditional pie has rye crust and thick rice porridge inside. I know it sounds weird but it is honestly extremely tasty. Actually, it is the most common snack in Finland, sold round-the-clock in shops and gas stations. Both adults and children love it. You can eat a Karelian pie as it is or with toppings. The most common topping is egg-butter mash but you can find mouth-watering Karelian pies with smoked salmon or reindeer in cafés.
Other brekkie styles
Breakfast is not a serious institution for Finns. In cities, breakfast and brunch trends (e.g. shakshoukas & turmeric latte) are clearly visible. Breakfast meetings have become a norm in business and between friends. In the countryside, breakfasts tend to be more traditional and eaten always at home.
Young, busy people opt for a smoothie with Finnish berries, quark or natural yogurt, seasoned with flax seeds and other nutritious little things. I would say that we Finns are health conscious, thanks to media and professionals who keep this topic in the limelight. Most of us know that eating breakfast is a scientifically proven part of a healthy lifestyle. However, it is not uncommon that some of us skip breakfast completely.
Taking care of the nutrition of children has always been a huge priority in the Finnish society. That’s why Finnish kindergarten offers breakfast to all attending children. As a bonus, this practice helps the weekday morning chaos of families all around Finland.
Dear reader, what is your favorite breakfast food and why?