Playing in Finland

It’s berry season in Finland!

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In one of our earlier blogs, we explained that by exercising your everyman’s rights you have access to vast amounts of berries and mushrooms that grow in Finnish forests every year. Depending on what berries and mushrooms you like, you can collect nature’s harvest from late spring until the snow arrives. Right now we are at the hight of the berry season in Finland. Enjoy!

Wild berries all around!

Currently we are in the middle of the berry season in Finland. Wild strawberries are starting to be out of season already, but you can still get regular strawberries by the boxes. However, the best time to get strawberries that do well when frozen is starting to be behind us.

If you are lucky, you are still able to find cloudberries in the swamplands or for sale in grocery stores. Cloudberries are rare hence they can also be quite expensive.

Raspberries are still widely available as are wild blueberries (aka bilberries).

The time for lingonberries comes later in the fall.

These are the most common berries to be sold and used, but in fact, there are many more edible berries in Finnish forests. You can read more about them here and here.

If you want to go pick your own berries, remember these safety instructions:

  • don’t go alone, or at least tell someone where you are going and when you are planning on coming back;
  • wear long-sleeved shirts and long trousers to protect yourself from insect bites;
  • bring insect repellant and water;
  • download the 112 app onto your phone. You can use that to phone the authorities and it transmits your exact location to them;
  • make sure that your mobile phone as enough battery life to last your entire trip in case you do need to phone for help;
  • wear bright-colored clothes in case you get lost and the authorities need to look for you.

Not into picking your own wild berries or mushrooms?

If you don’t fancy the idea of going to the forest yourself, you can get berries from the grocery stores. Many malls and stores also have separate counters in their lobbies that specialize in berries and mushrooms.

You can also check out your local Facebook groups. Many people supplement their income by picking berries and selling them by the bucketful to people in their neighborhood.  

Finns store most of the berries they pick for the winter either by freezing the berries as is or with sugar and by turning them into juices and jams. Drying is another good way of storing the berries for the winter.  Using dried berries in your breakfast müsli or yogurt is really healthy, but if you want to treat yourself, try this blueberry (bilberry) pie:

Bilberries (aka wild European blueberries)

Bilberry pie

crust:

  • 150 g butter
  • 1 dl sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 dl wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

filling:

  • 2 dl sour cream (kermaviili)
  • ½ dl sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 5 dl bilberries
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar
The pie crust waiting for the filling
  1. Mix the dry ingredients of the crust together. Whisk the soft butter and the sugar together.
  2. Add the egg into the sugar and egg mixture, and keep whisking.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients in with the egg, sugar, and butter mixture.
  4. Press the crust into the bottom and sides of a buttered pie dish.
  5. Mix the ingredients of the filling together and pour over the crust in the dish.
  6. Bake in 200 degrees Celsius for 30-40 min or until the crust is golden color and the filling has set.
  7. Enjoy! For extra enjoyment try with vanilla sauce or vanilla ice cream. 

Want to learn more about the Finnish nature? We have a new tutorial coming out. Keep your eyes out for it!

This post was edited for content and reposted on July 24, 2020.

The mission of Finnwards is to help you build a uniquely Finnish life for yourself and your family. Our online tutorials will give you the information and tools to you need to succeed in your professional and private life in Finland: https://school.finnwards.com/

Minna
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