I had a little crush on this Finnish word. I liked to let the word slowly roll off of my tongue and pretend that my fresh acquaintance with this single Finnish word, somehow won me some bona-fide Scandinavian credentials (We figured that looking up the translation in a foreign language for the words I Love You just did not cut it anymore these days.) So the two of us would be driving in the car and we would play a game of repeating the word Karjalanpiirakka. Okay fine, it wasn’t a very original game. Or a thrilling one for that matter. But still, we now knew how to say Karelian Rice Pasties in Finnish and we were damn well going to be make sure that everyone knew!
Karelian rice pasty is a traditional pasty that hails from (but of course!) the Karelian district of Finland. It is made a of thin rye crust stuffed with a simple rice filling that is then baked into warm and gooey goodness! This is eaten topped with Munavoi…which is just a fancy way of saying egg-butter. Egg butter is well, no prize for guessing, egg and butter. Mix 2 chopped-up hard boiled eggs with 3 tbsp melted butter and add some white pepper. Spoon some of this over your Karjalanpiirakka and you have yourself some comfort-food Finland style.
While we are on the subject of Finnish words, I just googled some Finnish tongue-twisters…you know in the spirit of she sells sea shells…and this is what I found!
Kokko! Kokookko kokoon koko kokon? Koko kokonko? Koko kokon.
Yes! That sentence is NOT just nonsensical gibberish. It actually means
“(Kokko (name)! Would you gather up a bonfire? The entire bonfire? (Yes) the entire bonfire.)”
Okay, let’s just say that the sentence was not entirely nonsensical gibberish.
Coming back to Finnish cuisine, and specifically Karelian dishes, we never got around to making Karjalanpaisti, which is a Karelian version of meat stew. We figured that the Icelandic Kjötsúpa that we made a couple of weeks ago, was plenty in the way of Scandinavian stews. Hey, if you have eaten one, you have eaten ’em all…right? Dude… Odin doesn’t smite us for our blasphemy or anything, but really in between all the laziness and more laziness, and the armchair philosophy and keeping up with the Kardashians, there is only so much culinary exploration that a gal has time for…ya know?
Honestly, I don’t know if we will ever get the chance to ride on sleds, hunt reindeers, have impulsive affairs with tall blonde and mysterious Scandinavian men or for that matter eat Finnish food in Finland …But we figured, we might as well make some Finnish rice pasties, pop an Aki Kaurismaki film into the DVD player and feel the smug satisfaction of an effortlessly-cool world traveller. Be warned though, it may also make you feel like a museum relic, because, seriously, who even uses a DVD player anymore?