Popular fish dishes in Finland
Fish is an inseparable part of the traditional Finnish diet. Finnish fish is known to be healthy and nutritious as a food and many species are found in abundance both in Saimaa and Finland’s other freshwater lakes. Whether it’s perch, zander, pike, salmon, grayling, whitefish or vendace, Saimaa has well famously clean waters supporting good stocks of game fish and this is reflected in Finnish food. There’s something on offer from the regional cuisine to suit everyone during your Saimaa holiday.
Among other Finnish freshwater fish is the vendace, or “muikku” in Finnish, which is widely eaten throughout the Lakeland region. Commonly floured and fried, some would call it a delicacy that is in any event very popular with locals and guests alike.
Finnish freshwater cuisine – what’s on offer
Finnish fish specialities form an integral part of the regional cuisine in Saimaa and the rest of Finnish Lakeland. Whether the food is self-prepared or served in a restaurant, the freshwater dishes of Lake Saimaa are a real treat. Smoked, roasted, poached or fried, they melt in the mouth. You’ll regularly find vendace or perch on offer as a take-away or sit-down-meal in market squares in the height of summer, particularly with fresh potatoes and melted butter. In autumn and winter, you might find trout roe, whitefish or vendace served with dark rye bread, smetana (similar to sour cream) and onions. Vendace roe is known for its fine texture and exquisite taste.
Out on the water – try your hand at fishing
Whether you’re a passionate hobby angler or you just want to try a new experience, you’ll find a wide range of fishing trips available around Finland’s largest lake, Saimaa, or if you spend your holiday at a summer cottage, you may often have a rowboat available so you can try your luck on your own. Be it fishing rod, net or trap that interests you, seasonal fishing licenses are easily available either from local shops or online. Maybe you’ll feel the tug on the line as a salmon or perch bites, or catch a swarm of vendace or whitefish in your net. Once speedily processed they’ll be ready to be smoked, for example, or fried. Of course you can also find fresh local Finnish fish from the fishmongers in the shops and market halls of the towns and ports.
In the winter and spring, fishing enthusiasts go out into the Saimaa lake-country over the frozen waters in search of Finnish fish under the ice. Typically having less in the way of physical returns, the payoff from ice fishing is more from the rest and relaxation found in the expanse of beautiful scenery that you’ll discover for yourself during your visit!