these are the posts tagged ‘helsinki’:

finnish kitchen cupboards

a drying rack over the sink, hidden from view in a cupboard… is a pretty genius idea, if you ask me!

wash the dishes and put them up there to dry – no need for the ugly rack that seems to take up half of the counter space! in my informal survey of finnish kitchens (a grand total of 3), all of them had this neat little feature. i heard that they’re common in other countries as well, but so far, i’ve only seen them in finland.

our hosts used it mostly as a storage place though, since they had a dish washer…

salmiakki ice-cream

we’re in moomin-land for some days, so the next posts will feature a lot of finnish things! it’s not our first time in the country, but we were eager for an excuse to come back, review some of the things we loved the first time round and explore some more.

when i started looking for interesting things to do on this second trip, something popped up consistently… salmiakki ice-cream! :) salmiakki (salty liquorice with a side of ammonium chloride) is an acquired taste if there ever was one. for a candy, it tastes very “uncandy-like”… i don’t particularly like it, and yet, once i open a package, i can’t seem to stop myself from reaching for another piece every once in a while. so the premise of salmiakki ice-cream was intriguing…

today, we saw an ice-cream stand in the market, and naturally we had to give the salmiakki a go. the color was fantastic! the ice-cream itself tasted sweeter than the actual candy to me, which was a pleasant surprise. i quite liked it, though the portion was rather big and by the end of it i was a bit sick… perfect example of “sensory-specific satiety”, my science of gastronomy teacher would say!

bonus: this video of japanese people tasting salmiakki for the first time is quite funny! have you ever tried it? :)


yesterday, we were getting ready to leave the country by the end of the week. we finally got the car registration and i was all lists, coffee with friends and last minute errands. but now that our dormant healthcare system decided to wake up, and schedule the surgery my (pratically) mom-in-law needs (and has been waiting for the last 5 months), i guess we’re looking at another month or so on this sunny country.

like a bucket of cold water in the head, it feels sudden, yet… refreshing. we’ve been running around like headless chicken for the past month, and i hope that for whatever time her recovery takes, we’ll be able to tie some loose ends and slow down. that brings us to the topic of helsinki/finland, which i have been postponing for the past month. so let’s catch up.
he likes peanuts!

you know how the favorite parts of a trip often don’t come in your guidebook?

this one was a bit unexpected: squirrels! when nathalie & mikko proposed that we take a walk on seurasaari island to see the squirrels, i jumped at the idea! we barely get to see them around here (nevermind shanghai)… so, armed with a supply of peanuts and cameras, we wandered the island looking for squirrels.

they weren’t too shy, and once you found one, many more seemed to magically appear in the horizon, and before you know it they were coming at us from all sides, crawling up our legs to get that one delicious peanut! they took them all, of course, and we came back home with happy smiles and an endless supply of shaky photos… (they’re so fast!)

if you’re going to helsinki, don’t miss it! :)
up up!come here, little one!

yarnbombing, from the streets of helsinki

yarnbombing, 2

Yarn bombing or yarnbombing is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted cloth rather than paint or chalk.
While other forms of graffiti may be expressive, decorative, territorial, socio-political commentary, advertising or vandalism, yarn bombing is almost exclusively about beautification and creativity.

from wikipedia
yarnbombing, 3
yarnbombing, 1
yarnbombing, 4

lots more examples at

vadelma munkki

you know what makes or breaks the impression i have of a country? the food! it may be silly, but if a country has tasty, uncomplicated food, i’m sure i’ll like it. china had a ginourmous array of cheap, exotic, fresh fruit available. singapore had the fluffier stuffed “pancakes” i ever tasted aaaaaand ice-cream sandwiches.

and then came finland and i was totally unprepared for the berries explosion! strawberries, cloudberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries… they had them all in their open air markets, box after box of juicy colorful berries. they had them in an array of mouthwatering desserts too, like the one that inspired this post: vadelma munkki. we had just arrived from a trip to suomenlinna and were starving, so these strange looking treats in the harbour market were a delicious surprise.
vadelmamunkki with coffee

sugary and fluffy and light, with sweet raspberry jam peeking from the inside…

rasberry cakes at the market

…nobody could resist them! :D
rasberry cakes at the market