Friday, 10 April 2009

Old Easter Traditions and Nice Flowers

Twice a week I take the train to the next town, do my sewing related shopping in private, without darling Mr. Kotkarankki, (who, after all, is only a male,) have some Caffe Latte or a nice cup of tea (the niceness guaranteed now that I have this sweet tea wallet from Dawn, my Time for Tea Swap partner), and meet with him later to do the grocery shopping. This is the place where we shop, and my latte table is just behind the corner on the right, where I can see the florist's arrangements. I took these pictures recently, they are for Easter.

I really liked the feather wreaths. Mr. K might want to use some of this for his fishing flies.

Yellow is the real colour for Easter, isn't it?

There was also a big bunny hiding behind a pillar.

The old Easter tradition I wanted to tell you about is this special Easter dessert called mämmi. It is a originally from South-Western Finland, hundreds of years old traditional food of the Lent. The ingredients are water, rye flour, rye malt and salt, nowadays also syrup, bitter orange and orange peel marmalade. The water is first heated, the flour and malt mixed in and left to gain sweetness. Then the porridge-like mixture is baked in the oven for a long time. The result is dark brown and a little sticky. It is served cold, with sugar and cream as a dessert. Originally it was a clever way to meet the strict regulations of Lent food (no sugar) and still have a sweet taste from the malt.

You can see the little stripes on the box; originally mämmi was baked in the oven in boxes made of birchbark. Traditions change over the years, and now mämmi is made in bakeries, bought from the shop, and available refrigerated from New Year until Midsummer. Most people buy a box or two at Easter and serve it as a delicious dessert on Easter Sunday. Modern Finns have also protected the name and origin of our specialty in the EU, just like Feta cheese and Parmesan have been protected. Nobody can start cooking rye porridge in Spain or France and call it mämmi!


  1. Very interesting. I love hearing about tradition of other cultures and countries. Easter colors are definitely happy colors.

  2. Happy Easter my dear friend. Thanks for sharing your traditions with us, it is so much fun to learn of others customs. Hugs, Marie

  3. Oh yes, Mr K could make some very colorful flies with those feathers - but I'm not sure how much the trout like pink - LOl! Sounds like you two do what Mr. Squash and I do - we grocery shop together as entertainment!! Thanks for another look into Finnish tradition, Ulla -- very interesting!

  4. you are so funny Ulla.. finding the Easter Bunny hiding behiond the pillar. ☺
    I would love to come and sit there and have latte with you.. at least once a week!
    Your Easter dessert is so interesting. I wonder what it tastes like. I don't think I've ever had rye malt before. Rye bread of course. It is wonderful with corn beef and kraut!

  5. That is so interesting Ulla, Mammi looks a little like malt loaf sort of sticky that we cut like bread and add butter. I wonder if it too started as a lent food? Very delicious at a time when food types would've been scarce as well as forbidden.

    Love the wreaths- I think the dotty feathers come from a guinea fowl?

    Thank you for the Easter postcard. I think I would like her- she has a coffee pot. :-)

    What a lovely place to sit and have coffee or tea.

  6. Päivää,
    We have to order mämmi if we want it here in Toronto. I bought it once several years ago because I hadn't had any since I was a child but because I am the only one that eats it, there is too much for just me.

  7. I've never heard of mammi before. That's so interesting! I just love learning about different cultural traditions. Thanks so much for sharing! x

  8. Thanks for the trip, I loved it..
    Sweet story about the mammi, I have not tasted it.. Well I still have not been to Finland, sorry to say so!!

  9. Nice pictures! It would be nice to see the different shops and have a latte macchiato with you! And I would also like to try a bit of mämmi!


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