Kaksi naista kokin vaatteissa valmistaa joutsenenmuotoisia leivoksia. Värikuva. Two women wearing chef uniforms are making swan-shaped paistries. Colour picture.

Finland 100, preparation of the servings for the celebration at the President’s Castle, 2017

Picture: Tirilä Soile, Historical Picture Collection, Finnish Heritage Agency

My story is about pastries I love. These swan pastries are in the photo. They are, of course, festive food… related to party meetings (laughs). I was not a communist, but I was a pioneer. And we, the bright-voiced children, were gathered to greet the Communists during the party meetings. Usually we would practice for a long time everything we could say about the homeland and about ourselves. Accompanied by drumming, under flags we walked nicely… But why pastries? During the party meetings, when guests, participants, and delegates were in the hall, tables were set up to sell food items. Not ordinary food, but delicacies that we didn’t have in the ordinary life. Like caviar sandwiches and special pastries… My parents gave me money, and I would bring those treats home. And since I’m very fond of sweets, I bought swans. I remember their taste… Of course, they cannot be called traditional food. They were festive food. Although at party meetings they sure were traditional food (laughs). They tasted similar to éclair pastries, but they were filled with buttercream. They were very beautiful and very big. Nowadays I haven’t seen them anywhere. They are pastries from childhood. I even remember their price, they would cost 22 kopecks. And they were so good. My sister Olja says they still have someone at the church making those beautiful cakes to have with tea.

Svetlana