Miko and I had a few errands to do today and ended up at Market Square. The markets there are open Monday -Saturday and on Sunday too in summer. For sale is a variety of seasonal produce as well as gifts and souvenirs. In winter there is a heated tent that you can sit inside to have your kahvi (coffee).
The first stall we came across was selling food from Lapland. On offer were potatoes and vegetables in a garlic sauce and reindeer cooked a few different ways – sautéed reindeer, reindeer soup, reindeer sausage….right next to the stall selling reindeer soft toys.
It’s the Finnish Vappu festival (Spring Festival and May Day Eve ) and stalls were offering kahvi (coffee) and munkki (doughnuts traditionally eaten this time of year ) all around the square. Other stalls had on display mountains of new season strawberries, potatoes and beans.
Finland is known as the land of a thousand lakes and fish provides an important source of protein to the national diet. Miko and I visited a woman on her boat to buy some salmon cakes and fried Baltic herring for our lunch.
Baltic herring is sited as one of the most economically important species fished in Finland. Not only is it good for the economy but it contains much needed Omega-3 fatty acids, minerals and vitamin D. Each year in October, Market Square hosts a Baltic Herring Fair, a Finnish tradition dating back to the 18th century.
We sat beside the water and enjoyed our lunch until some uninvited seagulls joined us. I was taken with their black faces and wing tips but they scared my dining companion and we had to leave.