Since I’ve posted a few more local posts, I’m back to posting about my Finnish culinary experiences. Since I last posted about ice cream, I figured I’d stay on the topic, and share even more about the flavour I’m still keeping an eye open for over on this side of the world…
Lemon-Licorice Ice Cream
In an earlier post I mentioned ice cream in Finland. With every sidewalk filled with people enjoying frozen treats, it’s easy to see why Finland tops the global charts as consumers of dairy products!
A chart shows that in 2007 Finns consumed over 360 kg/capita/year of dairy products (excluding butter) well above the 206 kg/capita/year that Canadians consume, and leaps and bounds above the global average of 108 kg/capita/year. They aren’t the only dairy-loving nation though, their neighbors in Sweden come close with an average of 355 kg/capita/year in dairy product consumption according to the chart which comes from the FAO Statistics Division 2011.
I first tried scooped salmiakki (salty licorice) ice cream in Turku, from a riverfront vendor. When I visited the fortress island of Suomenlinna another ice cream vendor was bound to get my business too! (It was also an uncustomary 33 degrees!). I was so sad to see that although they carried the same brand of ice cream, they didn’t have that specific flavour in the cooler at the moment, so instead I tried something a bit different….
Licorice and lemon- they aren’t flavours that I would normally think would go well together… but it was fantastic! I could equally taste both the lemon tartness (tempered with the ice cream smoothness and sweetness of course) along with the dark licorice saltiness.
The little vendor had a small cafe table and chairs so we could rest in the shade while enjoying our cones, but we didn’t take too long, there was just so much to explore in the island. (Or more accurately, series of connected islands.)
Getting to Suomenlinna was pretty easy; there’s a ferry (which carries foot traffic, bikes, and two cars per trip) from the terminal at the market square in Helsinki. There is also a tourist ferry which costs a bit more and takes a different route, but since our ticket was for a round trip, we just took the main public ferry.
The trip was super smooth when I went (it didn’t trigger my motion sickness thank goodness) and only about 20 minutes long. Getting on and off is really efficient too, with few vehicles to manage. Around the island there are many different parts, including art galleries, shops, restaurants and cafes, and many, many museums. There are also residential buildings (including a hostel if you want to stay overnight on the island) but they are all well marked so you can avoid interrupting someone’s privacy. There are also many docks for boats, many lovely picnic areas, the amazing and intimidating fortress structures, and even a beach to go swimming or enjoy the sunshine.
I’ll share more about Suomenlinna in another post, along with a tasty lunchtime treat!
Want even more salmiakki posts?
Check out the Foodie in Finland, who shared a recipe along with some great stories.
“I’m actually a huge fan, something that tickles my Finnish friends as they’re not used to Brits liking this – indeed our first night in Helsinki was rounded off by them buying us salmiakki shots and laughing to themselves as they expected us to spit it back out. ” – Foodie in Finland