Sunday, 24 April 2011

Happy Easter

The Easter Bunny must have been cooking. Not literally, not in the oven... perish the thought! I mean, the Easter Bunny must have found it tough going as he (she?) delivered all those Easter eggs in the UK this morning, because it's been unusually hot for this time of the year...

Of course, things are very different in Finland. Firstly while the UK has been basking in temperatures of around 25C (77F) all week, in southern Finland it has been closer to 14C (57F). Secondly, apparently Finnish Easter eggs are not delivered by a bunny but... wait for it... a chicken! Those crazy Finns, a chicken delivering eggs, whatever next?!

Yummy mämmi
Chocolate eggs aren't the only brown things Finns have at Easter. They also prepare a special delicacy called “mämmi”. Some people say it looks more like excrement than chocolate. Some say it tastes as bad as excrement (which does beg a question, which I shall avoid asking here). In fact, I haven't met many Finns who actually like this rye-based dessert.

I have had mämmi a few times, including home-made stuff in Lapland, and I don't dislike it. I wouldn't say I love it either, but with a suitable amount of cream, it's about as edible as a British Christmas Pudding.

There is one Finnish Easter tradition I much prefer though: the Fazer Mignon egg, almond-hazelnut nougat inside a real eggshell. Now that's seriously yum!

Anyhow, I wish you all a “hyvää pääsiäistä” (“happy Easter”), and not, as I once wished a whole bunch of co-workers in the office cantine, “hyvää paskaa” (“good sh*t”)(1)

Mind you, if you are going to have mämmi this Easter, “hyvää paskaa” might possibly be more appropriate...

1) In defense of my apparent stupidity, I should point out that this is a mistake easily made when you consider Easter is Pâques in French, Pasen in Dutch, påsk in Swedish, etc.


  1. Hyvää Paskaa does seem quite apt

  2. I just found your blog and enjoy tremendously reading it! My own situation is quite the opposite: Finnish language is my home and profession, but I'm temporarily stuck in the States and working hard to understand the quirks of the English language.

    Which surely is much more fortunate a position than learning Finnish. I really respect your efforts!

    Concerning mämmi, it seems that even long-term exposure doesn't make everybody a fan. Personally I believe that it's possible to learn to enjoy it provided you start with tons of ice cream and a spoonful of mämmi, and then gradually start reversing the ratios. Which is, admittedly, a weird way of enjoying a dessert.

  3. Anna-Kaisa, thanks for your kind words. As for "mammi", I have had some quite OK home-made stuff in Lapland, once upon a time and generally it's edible, but let's say it's not quite a up there with French or Italian desserts!

  4. I'm discovering that mämmi makes a much better breakfast than it does a dessert. Readers of Finnish from Afar, I apologize if that statement was in any way cringe-inducing.

    As for delicious desserts, I find that most anything from Fazer is pretty wonderful.

    Hyvää pääsiäistä ja hyvää paskaa. ;)

  5. Your error makes sense to me. I grew up knowing of Paschal Lamb, and here in the US, almost the only brand of Easter egg dyeing kits back then was Paas. Plus, I studied French. When I was an exchange student in Finland, I asked my host sister why the boys were always talking about Easter. o.O
    It's great after all of these years to learn I'm not the only one who tripped over this.
    I greatly enjoy your writing, which I just discovered yesterday.