Here are some of my favorite (food) resources, with a definite focus on local, organic and green things– and where to find slightly better deals.
Organics: general tips
- Luomupiiri a cooperative group with drop off’s all over the city. Lots of imported things, including good prices on organic nuts, quinoa, tea and chocolate. Fresh produce from Finland and abroad. The quality of fresh items varies enormously. I.e., one usually does not get to choose which apples go into the bag. However, definitely worth checking out if there is a convenient drop point: Helsinki organic co-op.
- Pirkka the store brand of the K-Market franchises has good organic produce, milk, and other goods. Usually fantastic prices. They will be selling the same organic apples as Stockmann and Anton and Anton, but one to two euros/kilo cheaper. Highly recommended.
- Other sources: Ruohonjuuri, a completely vegetarian and mostly organic store with several outlets, Herttoniemi farm cooperative, Stadin puutarhuri, which means something like Helsinki’s gardener, and sometimes sells veg straight from their land near the horticultural museum in Herttoniemi. Eat & Joy, reduced locations. There is also a really great co-cop in Haaga: Haagan ruokapiiri, although it is difficult to get a membership.
Organic and Free-range meats
- Beef in the shape of organic, free-range Highland Cattle (the very hairy, red-haired Scottish breed) can be had from Sydänmaan maatila . The farm delivers to Vantaa, and has a deal with Delish on Iso Roba (www.delish.fi). Apparently, one can also (sometimes) get their goods from Kauppahalli 24. That new website’s name means Market Hall 24.
- Reindeer (I know, I know!) is also usually wildish and free-range. Other game meets are also widely available. Look for things sources from Finland. Here are some translations to keep in mind:
- HIRVI => Moose, although some people claim it is elk… it is moose!
- PORO => Rudolph.
- VILLISIIKA => “Wild” boar. Siika means pig. Villi means wild.
Ingredients for the Crunchy
- OATS: they are all over the place in Finland and Sweden, but finding “Scottish” or “pinhead” oatmeal in Helsinki is another matter. There is something approximating it that can be found at least in the S-Market on Bulevardi. You can see a pic of the packaging in this post.
- KOMBUCHA: beware of everything in the stores so far. It is mostly sugar water and not alive. For the time being, self-brewing is recommended. Starter cultures (dehydrated and fresh) are available online from amazon.co.uk. Dehydrated cultures are also available from Ruohonjuuri locally.
Learning about Nordic cooking
Another obscure website that has interesting insights is Julie’s Kitchen , which unfortunately is not being updated. Maybe I just like that she has posts about eating nettles , which are so delicious.
There are many wonderful things to celebrate: the most delicious strawberries, a wealth of forest mushrooms, delicious lettuces in many varieties, rye bread.