Vendace iss the culinary nobility of Lake Saimaa

Lake Saimaa is famous for its clear waters and delicious vendace. Vendace is one of the most prized and esteemed fish in the Finnish Lakeland, and it is also the most important catch for professional fishermen on Lake Saimaa. Vendace is fished throughout Saimaa, making it a true local delicacy with a short journey from the lake to your shopping cart, restaurant, and plate.

Versatile Vendace

Vendace tastes great when fried in butter, either rolled in rye flour or plain. It is also fantastic smoked, grilled over an open fire, or slowly baked in the oven with onions, butter, and pepper. And the vendace roe, with its refined flavor, rivals the best caviar. The spawning season for vendace is in the fall, from October to December, making autumn the peak season for enjoying vendace roe delicacies.

Where you can find vendace delicacies?

You can enjoy the tastiest vendace dishes at restaurants in the Saimaa region.

You can find fried fresh vendace at the market halls, markets, and supermarkets in the towns around Lake Saimaa, as well as in many restaurants. Fried vendace is also a popular treat at various public events.

You can buy vendace delicacies along your journey. Iivari’s smoked vendace from Tertti Manor can be found at the manor’s gourmet shop or online store. Be sure to explore the vendace delicacies from D.O. Saimaa producers as well.

Here are a few examples of the most reliable vendace spots in the Saimaa region. Also, explore the offerings from other restaurants in the Saimaa area.

Tertti Manor, Mikkeli

Restaurant Niinipuu, Puumala

Muikkuterassi, Savonlinna

Sahanlahti Resort, Puumala

Harjun Portti, Punkaharju

SpaHotel Casino, Savonlinna

Sami Kuronen ja muikku.

Seal-Friendly Fishing Practices

Many fishing methods, such as loose-throated fish traps, nets, and longlines, pose a risk to the endangered Saimaa Ringed Seal. If you plan to set vendace nets in Lake Saimaa, be mindful of the fishing area and season, and ensure you comply with local regulations.

For truly seal-friendly and responsible vendace fishing, purchase fresh vendace, often pre-cleaned, directly from local fishermen or markets in the region. Alternatively, enjoy a delicious vendace meal at the local restaurants.

Fortunately, you can also fish for other lake fish in a seal-friendly manner. Switch to using Weke and Saimaa-model fish traps, and fish with a clear conscience. These traps have throats that do not open wider than 15 cm, preventing young seals from entering.

Norppa kalliolla.

Join a vendace trawling cruise

A vendace trawling cruise is a unique opportunity to explore the fishing culture of Lake Saimaa and witness vendace trawling up close while enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Saimaa archipelago. During the cruise, a guide will explain the stages of vendace fishing and the cultural aspects of fishing in Saimaa. The cruise includes dinner, and if the catch is good, you’ll get to take some vendace home with you.

Puruvesi Vendace Trip: A journey into local delicacies

On the Vendace Trip, you will see the world of EU-nameprotected Puruvesi vendace. Vendace is the local champagne, unique with its tender bones and rich in vitamin D. During the boat trip, you will found out the environments where vendace live and the challenges they face throughout their lives. With a bit of luck, you might even catch a glimpse of a Saimaa Ringed Seal enjoying a vendace feast. The expedition culminates in a gourmet moment on an island, featuring 100% locally produced traditional vendace delicacies.