Despite my love of fish eggs, raw scallops and exotic fruits, I don’t think that anyone would ever call me a particularly adventurous eater. Still, while on a trip to Finland, I had nearly no choice but to try new, unknown things due partially to the different culture and different tastes, but also due in part simply the language differences!
I visited an open-air pop-up food market in the medieval city if Turku in June, and there was a vendor selling dried fruit and nuts. All of the signage was in Finnish, but most also had little pictures, (though not all) which was sometimes beneficial since the dried product rarely kooks like the fresh one. (Just look at grapes and raisins for example….). Of course, the Finnish signage might have said “candied” or “dried” or “salted”… but without Internet on my phone to run my translation app… I’d never know!
So… I picked out a few things (along with some fantastic Italian-style nougat)… having no idea what they would be like, and in one case, what it even was!
With a density that reminded me of candied ginger, the first treat I tried was a candied/dried lemon slice. I hesitate to call it dried because it was chewy, but also can’t really call it candied because it wasn’t at all sweet. The taste was mellow, with a light lemon taste without any of the typical tang or sour taste. It was also finger-licking sticky! Not a treat to enjoy out and about…. Save this one for when close to a place to wash your hands! I bet this would be a great treat dipped in sugar or chocolate… Or a nice shake-up from raisins in cookies, muffins, or other baked goods.
From the same shop, I picked out two little almost-globes. I asked the clerk what they were, and he wasn’t entirely confident in replying that they were pears (since English wasn’t his first language of course!). Like the lemon they were dense and sticky, with only a tiny taste of pear that I found very hard to detect. Instead they were just sweet.
I tried the red pear while my companion tried the yellow, but came to the same conclusion; the dried fruit was sweet, but not especially flavorful.
Next up, following suit, was a dried kiwi slice. It too had only a mild kiwi flavour, but was not sticky at all, and instead had a similar texture to a dried apricot, without the skin. I’d say it was my favourite of the three fruits, although I liked the novelty of the others for certain!
Rounding out my snack was a scoop of delicious, natural cashews. (unsalted) Fantastic!
I have a few more posts about my tasty treats in Turku to share with you before I return back to sushi and tea and delights around Calgary. If you want to check out the other things I’ve posted about Turku, please follow my Turku Tag. If you’re interested in seeing more of my trip to Finland, I’ve also started a Finland Tag (which right now is just Turku.. but if you’re coming back to the blog after this has posted, there will be posts upcoming from Helsinki and other places too!)