Huivipäinen nainen laittaa karjalanpiirakoita puulämmitteiseen leivinuuniin puisella leivinlapiolla. Mustavalkokuva. A woman wearing a scarf makes Carelian pies in an wood heated oven. Black and white picture.

A woman making Karelian pies in Saari

Picture: Poutvaara Matti, Historical Picture Collection, Finnish Heritage Agency

I grew up in Vyborg. I remember how sometimes special family recipes were collected on TV. We only had one special recipe at home, Karelian pies (Rus. kalitka). No one we new in the nearby area made them, and we thought it was our own dish. That is, until my mother travelled to Finland for the first time and saw that our family’s specialty was sold in every store. Before that, my parents worked in a company that had employees from Finland, and one time a Finnish woman came to our home for a visit. We served Karelian pies to her as a specialty of our family. Later my mother said, “What did she think of us? We served her as a specialty something that is sold in every street corner over there! ”