Tag Archives: Finland

11 Facts About Beer in Scandinavia

August 3, 2017 | Leave a comment

11 Facts About Beer in Scandiland 

    1. In Sweden and Norway, you have to go to specialist shops to buy anything stronger than 4% (in Sweden, that’s 3.5%). In Norway, only an estimated 50% of the population live in a town or parish that has this specialist shop (aptly named the Wine Monopoly).
      Systembolaget Sweden Christmas
    2. In Norway, you cannot buy beer after 8pm Monday to Friday, or after 6pm Saturdays. Not at all on Sundays, any public holidays, and limited hours only on Christmas Eve, Pentecost Eve and New Year’s Eve. Basically, you Should learn to be very organized with your alcohol shopping in Norway – but at 7.57pm on a Wednesday, just before that Champions League match starts, you’re likely to find several stressed out people queuing in your local shop to get that 6-pack scanned before 8.
      Olsalg Norge
    3. In Norse mythology Ægir is credited as the beer-god – known for throwing frequent parties for the other gods, with copious amounts of strong beer for his guests.
    4. In 1857 there were 353 breweries in Norway – the population was only 1.5 million. Beer brewing was encouraged by the government (and failure to brew could be punished) – as drinking beer was considered better than drinking liquor.
      norsk ol norwegian beer
    5. Between 2002 and 2008, the number of breweries in Denmark grew from 19 to over 100 – a result of growing economy and popularity of craft and gourmet beers.

    6. Until Sweden joined the EU in 1995, beer with higher ABV than 5.6% was forbidden, and the government had to abolish their monopoly on wholesale meaning foreign beers were finally made available to thirsty Swedes.
      sweden eu sverige eu 1995
    7. Since the early 1970s, it has been illegal to advertise for alcohol in Norway.
      Norwegian beer advert
    8. Per capita Denmark is the biggest beer drinker in Scandinavia; consuming an average of 60.6 litres vs 52.7 and 51 litres, respectively. If we go Nordic, Finland towers over the others at 77.4 litres per capita. (The UK, for comparison, clocks in at 67.7 – Ireland at 97.5)

      European beer consumption Telegraph

      Photo: telegraph.co.uk

    9. Despite the Danes drinking more than Norwegians and Swedes, the latter two flock to their neighbour in the south to take advantage of the cheaper prices and overdo the drinking far more publicly than most Danes would.

      (Foto: BJARKE ØRSTED/SCANPIX NORDFOTO 2002)

    10. No random beer facts without this one – beer was illegal in Iceland until 1989.
      beer ban iceland celebrations
    11. After he won the Nobel Peace Prize, Dane Niels Bohr – famed for his contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum theory – was gifted a house from brewery Carlsberg; next to the brewery, with a direct pipeline meaning Bohr had free beer on tap whenever he wanted.
      Niels Bohr Beer

Seven things about Nordic Midsummer

June 9, 2017 | 1 Comment

 

Seven things about Nordic Midsummer

The longest day of the year is very important to us Northern people. We have light! And not only that, we have so much of it we hardly see dark and we get to make up for all of those months of candle lit cosiness and snow.

We all celebrate the day slightly differently, so here are a few facts to get you started in the preparations.

Sweden treats Midsummer like it’s national day. Actually, Sweden’s national day is a few weeks earlier, but everybody celebrates Midsummer instead. It’s always celebrated on the closest Friday (this year, 23rd June) and it’s a public holiday.

In London, it’s celebrated on the Saturday because we need to not be at work when we do it.

St John’s Eve In Denmark and Norway, the evening is celebrated on the actual day (23rd June, no matter if it’s a Friday or not) and there, it’s called more St John’s Eve as well as Midsommer Aften.

Sweden and Finland celebrate with Midsummer poles. These are a bit like May Poles, except it’s not May and ours have a lot of fertility symbols associated with them. The Midsummer poles are covered in flowers and greenery. Everybody wears flower garlands in their hair and very summery clothes. Some people try the yellow/blue flag combo for clothes, but it is rarely a good look.

Danes burn witches on Midsummer eve. Much like the British burn Guy Forkes, the Danes like to burn witches on this evening and send them off to Blue Mountain in Germany to dance with the devil. All while the (usually stuffed hay effigy) witches are burning on the bonfire, Danes sing songs about how much they love Denmark (usually a lone guy on a guitar will lead the singing – he always sings with his eyes closed and is very serious).

It’s still all about food. For the Swedes, it is all about the day long picnic and being outside. Meatballs are featured and it is high season for Sandwich cakes, too. The Danes tend to celebrate in the evening with dinner at home, but spend the evening trying to bake stick bread on the embers of the bon fire (it never works).

What about the little frogs? The Swedes, at every given opportunity but none more so than Midsummer, will sing songs about little frogs with no ears and no tails, whilst jumping around the Midsummer pole. Old, young, everyone. It’s a thing and it looks odd – but it is super fun. Do join in.

Swedes pick seven wild flowers on Midsummer eve and put them under their pillow. They will dream of the person they will marry. Some don’t even wait that long, as the birth rate spikes in Sweden every year exactly nine months after Midsummer.

There are Midsummer events held all over the UK – both Danish, Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian. Local churches are a good place to start for information on where to go.

There is no big official London picnic (there never is – it’s all a bit spontaneous) but people tend to gather in patches in the different parks and just bring a picnic. Ask local Scandies for details or just wander around and look for the people with flowers in their hair. You’ll find them.

There is a massive official Midsummer Party in London in the evening of 24th June – arranged by London Swedes – it is at the Loft in Kilburn and you can buy tickets here

WIN! Finnish Treats & Film Bundle

May 24, 2017 | Leave a comment

WIN! Finnish Treats & DVD Bundle

No weekend without Fredagsmys – settling down after a long week with something yummy to nibble on and mildly to highly entertaining on the TV is something many of us appreciate.

This week you can win a Finnish-themed treat-box – woohooo!

This week, we have teamed up with the lovely people at Artificial Eye to celebrate the release of The Other Side of Hope – a warm-hearted comedy directed by Finn Aki Kaurismäki – you can watch the trailer here.

We are giving away a lovely big bundle of Finnish sweets and snacks as well as the entire collection of Aki Kaurismäki DVDs, The Other Side of Hope poster and a Curzon Artifical Eye Tote Bag.

To win, simply answer this easy question..

The colours in the Finnish flag are..
A: Red, white and blue
B: Red and white
C: Blue and white

Send your answer to finland@scandikitchen.co.uk by 12 noon Wednesday the 31st of May 2017 to be in with a chance of winning.

The usual rules apply. UK residents only. No cheating. One main winner. No alternative prize and no cash alternative.

The Other Side of Hope hits cinemas on 26 May. Fancy seeing it? Find out where it’s playing and book your tickets here: www.theothersideofhope.com

*This competition is done in partnership with Artificial Eye and subject to change. The winner will be contacted directly.

7 Random Things You Didn’t Know About…. Finland

April 12, 2017 | Leave a comment

 

7 Mind-blowing Facts About Finland

1. The Finns drink more coffee per head than any other people in the whole world (12.2kg per person per year)


2. Finland has the most amount of heavy metal band per capita in the world.


3. There are over 2 million saunas in Finland and 99% of Finns take a Sauna once a week or more. There is a Burger King in Finland that has an in-store sauna.
sauna burger king
4. In Finnish a hangover is known as Krapula.
Krapula hungover moomin
5. The Finns have a word for ‘Staying in drinking beer in your underwear with no intention of going out’ (kalsarikannit)
kalsarikannit homer simpson 1

 

6. Finns have a tradition of Ants Nest Sitting Competition – a fun thing to do with friends. You take down your pants, sit down on an ants nest – first person up, loses.

ants nest people
7. The Finns invented the Molotov cocktail. No, it is not the drinking kind. You know Finns only drink vodka.

molotov cocktail

WIN a Mega Scandi Easter Egg

March 7, 2017 | Leave a comment

WIN a Mega Scandi Easter Egg

As we find ourselves in the deepest, lagom-est lent – we dream about all the sweets we’ll be eating once Easter is here (by Easter, we mean this Saturday.  We have to quality check the sweets well ahead of time, you know).

Scandis are big on Easter. It is a reason to get together, be merry, enjoy some outdoors – or indoors – activities, and gather round a big table filled to the brim with all things nice and decorated with little deformed bright yellow chickens. And of course, munch away on your well deserved Easter egg after lent.

Easter egg chicken decorations

We think our Easter eggs are pretty epic – and so we introduce our annual ‘win a massive Easter egg competition‘. Yay! That’s right, you can win a 23cm diameter Easter egg chock full of our favourite Easter sweets and treats.

Fancy winning? Simply answer the easy question below;

Which colour is usually associated with Easter?

A.) Bright green

B.) Pink

C.) Yellow

Send your answer by email to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before Tuesday 28th March 2017 at midday. One main winner, getting a big ScandiKitchen Easter egg, will be drawn from all correct entries.

The usual rules apply. UK residents only. No cheating. One main winner. No alternative prize and no cash alternative.

New Finnish Range – Product Sneak Peek

September 28, 2016 | Leave a comment

ScandiKitchen Finnish Range – Coming Soon..

We’re counting down the days to the arrival of our brand new Finnish range – have a look at what’s coming and let us know what you think!


Want to win £20 to spend in our online shop?

Simply choose your three favourite product from below, and send in an email to: finland@scandikitchen.co.uk before 23.59 Sunday 2nd of October. Enthusiastic and excited emails are highly encouraged and appreciated, although the winners will  be picked at random.

Want to win £20 to spend in our online shop?

Simply choose your three favourite product from above, and send in an email to: finland@scandikitchen.co.uk before 23.59 Sunday 2nd of October. Enthusiastic and excited emails are highly encouraged and appreciated, although the winners will  be picked at random.

Like this post? Know someone you think will be excited about any of these? Share it on Facebook to spread the Finland-love – button below.

Our Favourite Finnish Things

September 22, 2016 | Leave a comment

Finland – Land of Coffee, Salmiakki and Saunas

In just a few weeks – early October – we are launching our new Finnish range. That’s right, around 60 new Finnish products are hitting the shelves (have a look at what’s coming here). From rye bread to liquorice, ice cream toppings to chocolate – we are super excited. Can one ever have enough salmiakki or dark strong coffee? We think not.

There are thousand things to love about Finland (in addition to the lakes, of course), here are – in no particular order – a few of them.

    1. Coffee – Kavhi
      Finns drink approximately 12kg of coffee per person per year. That equals roughly 240 cafetieres, or 1200 cups – depending on size – an average of 3.3 cups per day. The word caf-finn-ated suddenly got a new meaning (oh ho ho – excuse our humour, we have had too much coffee and are currently bouncing up and down).
      coffee finnish kahvi
    2. Liquorice – Salmiakki
      Ask any Scandinavian (or Dutch) – they’ll tell you the super salty intense stuff is The Only Liquorice worth eating. In Finnish called Salmiakki, it has an addictive edge that is as alluring to us as a freshly made bread. Finnish is arguably the best – you can check out our pan-Nordic range of liquorice here – Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and Finnish – we have it all.liquorice salmiakki lakris
    3. Chocolate – Suklaa
      They’re good at many things, the Finns. Chocolate is not widely associated with chocolate, but the Karl Fazer brand is truly worth seeking out. It is smooth and creamy, slightly less sweet than many other brands – and it comes in a range of flavours – Salmiakki (of course!), the Praline-filled Geisha, mint-crispy Marianne-flavoured, and the yummy chewy Dumle toffees.
        Fazer Salmiakki – Chocolate with Liquorice 100g
        £1.99
        - +
        Fazer Geisha – Chocolate with Hazelnut 100g
        £1.99
        - +

      More coming – have a look here.
    4. Moomin-trolls 
      These little trolls have a fond place in many Scandi and Nordic hearts. The books, written and beautifully illustrated by Tove Jansson were all published between 1954 and 1970 and were also made into a television series. Raise your hand if you had nightmares about Mårran/Hufsa/The Groke and the scary electrifying little Hattifnatteners?Image result for mummitrollet
    5. The Finnish Language
      Finnish has a word for everything, that’s right – one word where in English you’d need a whole sentence. Some examples;
      Juoksentelisinkohan? – I wonder if I should run around aimlessly?
      Hyppytyynytyydytys – Bouncy-cushion satisfaction
      (any more – please please let us know in the comments. We love these!)

      running around aimlessly
    6. Finnish Rye Bread – Ruisleipä
      Finnish rye bread is robust, dark and full  of flavour – and it pairs oh so well with toppings such as smoked salmon or herring. If you are yet to try the latter, get your hands on some mustard herring (for example, this one) and eat it on a slice of Finnish rye bread (lightly toasted if you prefer). You can thank us later.
      rye bread herring sandwich
    7. Saunas
      Of the many Finnish contributions to the world, the sauna has to be one of the most famous ones. With over 3 million saunas in a country of around 5 million people, it is undeniably an important part of the Finnish society – not surprisingly maybe, for a country who for large parts of the year experiences relatively harsh and cold weather conditions.
      Image result for traditional finnish sauna
    8. Design
      Finnish design – need we say more? Beautiful, simple and sometimes almost supernatural in its use of organic shapes, materials and colours.finnish print marimekko

 

Any other things you love about Finland? Let us know.

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It Is Time For Summer Fika

July 14, 2016 | Leave a comment

It Is Time For Summer Fika

Scandinavian people love their coffee. Norwegians are in the top of coffee consumption but Sweden and Finland consume the most cups of coffee per day in the world. So to say the least – Scandinavians are well caffeinated!

coffee drinking gif

But when having a Fika in the summer it is sometimes nice to cool down with a cold drink. If there is no ice coffee available Scandinavians love to make a jug of ‘saft’ – cordial. This cold drink matches any favourite nibbles such as cookies, pastries or cinnamon buns. What Fika truly stand for and what you need to have to create the best Fika moment you can find here. And here you can find 10 ways to Fika so that you can find your new favourite.

jordgubbssaft

Now we want to brew some coffee and make a jug of ‘saft’ – don’t you?

Strong, salty and sweet licourice

May 22, 2014 | 2 Comments

Strong Scandinavian licourice. Lakrids. Yummy. It’s the thing that most of us really miss from home. Since we opened last year, we’ve even converted a few locals onto the taste of Turkish pepper sweets and anything with salmiakki flavour. Salmiakki is a nice Finnish word for saying “ammonium chloride” (NH4Cl) which really does not sound like something that should be in sweets, but we love it so much we see past it.

At the moment we’re doing a little feature on the salty licourice – here are some of the many kinds we stock. Learn these and next time a few sneaky Danes try to offer you one of these sweets, you can knowingly say “Ha! you fools! Don’t you think I know how strong Djungelvrål is?” instead of being the laughing stock when your face ends up looking like you’ve just swallowed a hedgehog.

Tyrkisk peber – a strong boiled sweet containing ammonium chloride. Not for the faint hearted – this stuff is strong. The grey version (firewood) is chewy and a lot milder.
Djungelvrål – little sweet licorice monkeys covered with ammonium chloride. Extremely salty in the beginning, but sweet finish. Not for young kids

PANDA licorice – soft licorice, not too strong. Go for salty or sweet version.
Piratos – Danish salty licorice – chewy, strong and salty. Not for young kids
Salt Bomber – sweet licorice with sugar coating – a good beginner, not strong – ok for some viking kids
Lakrisal – ammonium chloride pastilles, medium strength, a favourite all over Scandinavia – not for kids
Labre Larver – sweet sugared caramel coating, sweet licorice inside – not strong, ok for kids
Nappar – salty licorice dummies, medium strength, OK for kids
IFA salty pastilles from Norway – medium
Salty Dent – from Norway, salty pastilles, chewy (medium)
Bilar “lakrits” – marshmallow type liquorice cars from Sweden – mild. OK for kids. And grownups.

Ask the Scandies: What is proper Sauna etiquette?

February 16, 2011 | 2 Comments

What is the etiquette for using a sauna in Scandinavia?

Oh, Brits! (Erm, you’re a Brit too, David – ed) I do like our need for rules and guidelines, which we stick to so rigidly – except when we don’t want to. But we’ll always be quick to judge others to break them if we’re not doing so. Like the woman on the tube today. I was about to give her the seat that had just been vacated right in front of me, before she barged past and claimed it for herself.

The point of that tale is that she broke the etiquette of travel. Although how you can apply rules of etiquette to the jungle that is the sewer-train system of London, I don’t know. ANYWAY, we’re talking about saunas, not trains. Although a tube train in summer is a particularly unpleasant simulation of the sauna experience.

First of all, we have to make one thing very clear: saunas are a social experience beloved of many in the Nordic lands, and particularly in Finland. They pronounce it “sow-na”. Sowna. What sownas are not are what the Brits may assume are places of ill-repute. Oh yes, all that sauna business that goes on in Soho, “Swedish massage” and the like? No. No, no, no. The sauna is a convivial experience. I said convivial.

Take your towel off, though. No one cares. This is Scandinavia. We’re all the same. Most saunas have separate areas for the sexes, but it’s considered bad manners for the guest not to pop in for a while if invited.

Some people have a beer or two. This isn’t advised. Alcohol in that heat? It’s a recipe for disaster, and with the Brit sauna-taker already having palpitations at being naked in the company of strangers, it’s enough to bring on a turn.

It’s probably best to enjoy the heat in small doses, with regular trips away to the wash area to sip liquids. But not that beer.

And then, when it’s over? Well, if you’re lucky, you get to jump into an ice-cold lake, or roll in the snow. What a treat, eh?

Afterwards, it is often the case that your local host may want to continue the conviviality over food and drink. Here, you can discuss your experiences of what you have just endured.

Sauna is fun.  Go for it.

By Mr David Jørgensen.  

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