Rye bread, Karelian pies and reindeer, is this all we can say about Finnish food?

There has been a fantastic response by Finnish chefs to the 2005 attack by Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi, who claimed that he had to “endure” Finnish food. This resulted in a wave of Finnish restaurants creating tasty new ways to prepare traditional Finnish food. Though my own experiences at some of these better known Finnish restaurants are generally positive, they are also quite costly. They offer delicacies such as succulent reindeer sirloin, elk sausages and smoked vendace, but they also take foreigners for a ride and charge them for the water. As good as these places are, I for one still want something more home-grown, something from grandma’s kitchen.


One of Finland’s most promising young film directors, Zaida Bergroth has reaped awards and accolades with her short films Heavy Metal and Glass Jaw. Marking her graduation to feature films, Bergroth’s anticipated full-length debut Last Cowboy Standing (Skavabölen pojat) premiered at the 20th annual Espoo Ciné film festival on 23 August.

SKIP the beaten chaincafé track and luxury street premises in Helsinki and try these cafés: great atmosphere, the smell and taste of home made buns as well as good coffee guaranteed.

lauraLaura Närhi is the singer in one of Finland’s most popular bands. Having released four albums with Kemopetrol, she is currently working on her first solo album to be released later this year. We asked Laura for her views on the secrets of her success, the role of music in society, and whether Idols really is a good idea.

joseIT’S RARE for a club in Finland to boast both a live band and a full dance floor on the same night, but for almost two and a half years now the monthly Pop-O-Matic indie pop club has managed to do just that.