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@Varislapsi Silly question, what sort of side dishes are most eaten at barbecues in Finland?

 

I'm working on a story that's set mostly there, and my characters are firing up the grill right now. Here in the US, we'd probably have macaroni salad, potato salad, coleslaw, and maybe baked beans along with potato chips (crisps). But, I've seen a few online "US food that Europeans find weird" type lists which suggest that macaroni salad, at least, is not universally known or loved.

 

I've also given myself a serious urge to try salmiakki, just because it keeps popping up every time I google anything about Finnish food. I don't even like licorice! But I want to try it anyway... I hear Pantteri is the safest bet for someone who's tasting it for the first time? Some of the Fazer chocolate offerings look amazing, though. New reason for a Finland trip in the future: the Fazer factory tour!

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@catstaff Uh-oh, I'm afraid I can't help much! I'm not really a barbeque person, hah. Honestly, I can't even remember the last time, and I have the image that a typical Finnish barbeque would be all about sausages and drinking too much beer, which, hopefully, isn't the whole truth.

 

But I think salads like that are very common in Finland as well and we do actually make salads with pasta. I'm sure many people would eat those mayonnaise based salads like potato salad and coleslaw which you can buy at the supermarket, or they could make potato salad with "new" summer potatoes that really are a thing in Finland, we eat them with everything in the summer. When I was little... maybe we grilled corncobs, and also vegetables in aluminium foil (sometimes with cream cheese) or in skewers, and made some basic green salad. Even potato chips are a popular snack in the summer here! So are peas (those in a pod) and of course strawberries.

 

Can't help very much with salmiakki, either, because I like it strong. 😹 I don't eat sweets often, except chocolate, so I haven't tried that many brands. And most of the classics aren't vegan so I can't really remember what they tasted like! But Fazer actually makes a Salmiakki Mix so if you happened to find that bag you could try different ones. Other than salmiakki, I think some of the best Finnish confectionery classics are Marianne, Pihlaja and Vihreitä kuulia, Wiener nougat is quite delicious, too. Those are all Fazer's brands. Perhaps they came into my mind because I had them at Christmas and I still have plenty left. 🎄

Edited by Varislapsi

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@Varislapsi Well, there's definitely a lot of sausages and beer... although since there are kids attending, hopefully not too much beer.🤪 But everyone present is staying overnight at the host's place, so no drinking and driving happening. There's even a few vegetarians present, so veggie burgers along with sausage. Grilled corn on the cob sounds good, but this is a bit of a "last chance before winter" barbecue, so I doubt there are any new summer potatoes available.

 

I appreciate the help, though. I know I'm probably going to screw a few things up simply for never having visited Finland and so I won't know some of the little details, the sort of things that you just don't think might be different. Like in a Harry Potter fic, where my description of a character's university classes was way more American than British, or so several people informed me in comments. Oops. I didn't want my food descriptions to look too much like my own family gatherings if the Finnish idea of barbecue foods was vastly different than American foods. But they actually sound fairly close. Kiitos! 🥰

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I think they might be very close indeed! But yeah, I understand what you mean. Although, it feels like the one thing that's most surprising to anyone visiting our country is that we don't wear shoes indoors, unless it's a public place like some store or a school. 😹

 

By the way, I just read a bulletin of the Finnish Meteorological Institute that last year here was the warmest ever in their statistics. We even had record-breaking temperatures... twice. And there are still people who don't take global warming seriously! But this week we're having a snow warning and maybe also a cold warning in the southern Finland so hopefully this year will be better. Over the next two days we could get some 40 cm (that is... 16 inches) of snow. 😻 ❄️ Helsinki is turning all white!

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1 hour ago, Varislapsi said:

I think they might be very close indeed! But yeah, I understand what you mean. Although, it feels like the one thing that's most surprising to anyone visiting our country is that we don't wear shoes indoors, unless it's a public place like some store or a school. 😹

 

By the way, I just read a bulletin of the Finnish Meteorological Institute that last year here was the warmest ever in their statistics. We even had record-breaking temperatures... twice. And there are still people who don't take global warming seriously! But this week we're having a snow warning and maybe also a cold warning in the southern Finland so hopefully this year will be better. Over the next two days we could get some 40 cm (that is... 16 inches) of snow. 😻 ❄️ Helsinki is turning all white!

 

Okay, that bit about the shoes is funny... not because you do it, but because I actually already included a scene of people entering a house and taking off their shoes! My reasoning being, it's getting to where they're probably wanting boots on while walking around, for the warmth if nothing else, and who wants to wear heavy boots inside? Plus, the Finns grew up in a more rural area, and no mother is going to let their kids track who-knows-what inside on her nice clean floor! Leave those shoes on the boot tray or in the mudroom! (Or, wash your feet before coming inside, if you were barefoot outside.)

 

That's nice you're getting some good white stuff on the way! We had a slushy, icy, couple of inches (maybe 5 cm?) a week before Christmas, but it was all gone by then, and temps well above freezing ever since. And rain, quite a bit of rain, sigh.

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@catstaff Hahah, that's so great! And good reasoning, all true, definitely! I send you wishes for some nice and white winter weather. Who knows, maybe that works. At least your cold thoughts certainly did! ❄️

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