Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Food Fight

The summer is coming to an end in a way that I have less than two weeks left of work and we are already in the middle of August. Here in Helsinki we can still feel the summer more than ever, with the endless sunshine and warm nights. My favourite food thing in August is rapujuhlat - Crayfish Party. This is an old tradition coming from Swedish royalty and aristocracy in the 1600s, but what really made crayfish fashionable in Europe was Napoleon. We still have this old tradition of getting together to piles of crayfish and schnapps.

Nowadays crayfish - especially if you want domestic - is quite a luxury and the price is in accordance. We got our Finnish crayfish from Stockmann's and they we're already cooked. It was the absolute perfect starter, served with white toast and dill butter, accompanied by some organic Cava.

Sunday was also a proud day for Helsinki and Finland. We are celebrating our second Ravintolapäivä. The idea of the Ravintolapäivä movement is that for one day anyone can start up their own pop up restaurant and advertise it on Facebook. The movement fights against stict legislation when it comes to opening up a business serving food. So for one day Helsinki citizens do not care about legislation and practice some civil disobedience in the form of cupcakes, burgers and cocktails. 

I did not eat in any of the pop up restaurants, but I saw quite a few of them. From my window I could see loads of people queuing into a courtyard in Töölöntori. I had picked up from my morning newspaper that some three quys - Italian, Spanish and Argentinian - were cooking up a storm there. At Töölönlahti someone was cooking some okonomiyaki that smelled gorgeous. What would have been the concept of my own pop up restaurant? Just to bring something exotic to Helsinki I would have gone for a pop up pub serving haggis, neeps and tatties and stovies with a nip of Speyside malt. Genious? Maybe not, but it would have been interesting...

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