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Finnish food: Supermarket shopping tips

How many of you find yourself googling for typical foods to have in the place you are visiting? Probably quite a few of you, unless you don’t think that food is an important part of the traveling experience in which case you are not to be trusted.

This is also the case for me, but since I am a food fanatic in the sense that I simply enjoy tasting things and all of the things; I take this aspect of my traveling very seriously (as should you). Whenever I travel I always love exploring supermarkets and not just the supermarkets downtown where more tourists shop than locals, but whenever I’m a little bit out of the very center of the city I go into a food shop and explore. I have found out that every country’s supermarket smells different on top of having a completely different food selection even in today’s globalisation age, which is great for me and you!

So here I am with a supermarket guide for you in Helsinki!

If you are renting an Airbnb then finding a supermarket will be very easy, but if you’re not it won’t be difficult either as they’re everywhere. Just stay clear of the ones on Aleksanterin katu as those are very small and won’t have everything. Once you have found your place; be it "K-Supermarket", "S-market" or "Alepa" then you can begin with the shopping!

Let’s start with savoury. You MUST get rye bread as it is the national food here. Not too exciting, I know, but we do eat a lot of it. Get the "Resummies" kind and smother it with butter, cut up some cucumber and top it off with cheese. There you have it, a typical Finnish ‘Leipä’ or sandwich (in English). If you don’t eat animal product you can get Valio oddly good cheese slices!

After this you will want to get some freshly made karjalanpiirakka or if you want vegan ones they will have them in packages as well. If you are staying at an airbnb you can take the karjalanpiirakka home and make a typical spread we put on them. Boil some eggs and cut them up then just mix them in with butter and voila. Unfortunately if you are plant based vegan butter will have to suffice.

Next, we have the famous ‘lihapulla’, which means meat pastry. These are great also because they have an amazing plant based option called ‘Vihis’, which tastes exactly like the meat version (if not better). The photo on the left is another delicay - the Karjalan Pirakka (Karelian Pie). These are a wholemean pastry with usually a cheese, rice, or potato filling (or a combo). Recommended!