Yksi mies ja kaksi naista istuvat pöydässä. Yksi mies seisoo ja leikkaa pöydällä olevaa kalakukkoa. Mustavalkokuva. Two men and two women sitting at a table. One man is standing and cutting a fish pie (kalakukko). Black and white picture.

Matti Jämsä and others eating kalakukko prepared by Kalle Anttoon, 1954

Picture: Saarinen UA, Press Photo Archive JOKA, Finnish Heritage Agency

The photograph in which four people are cutting kalakukko (a pie filled with fish)…. My husband makes it very well. Kalakukko must be baked in the oven for seven hours. When he told me about it for the first time, I could not believe it! It has two fillings: fish and meat. It would seem like how is that possible? He said let me make it, so we can taste… Fresh vendace and good strips of greasy, thin pork meat. They are arranged in layers and then kalakukko is baked in the oven. What a taste! You can also cut a piece of cold kalakukko and heat it with salty Finnish butter…. Yum! Hot fresh coffee to go with it. Food of the gods… When I told my family what kalakukko is, they wondered, “How can you do that, put both meat and fish?”. Kalakukko is a whole meal. Cut a piece, eat and you get everything you need. The lard melts and the fish absorbs it, and there are no bones in the fish… And the rye! All that absorbs steam and fat. It really is something! Amazing food. I also like lanttukukko (a pie filled with swede). It is often sold for the New Year or for Christmas. There are so many kinds of Finnish dishes, and I like them all. I have to examine why. The food seems so simple, but everything is very fulfilling. Let’s take the creamy fish soup. I love it! And vendace with mashed potatoes, I like them too! I also love whitefish and smoked whitefish. Salmon, fried and also otherwise… And my husband also makes Karelian pies! A lot. He still remembers his grandmothers old recipe. The pies are dipped in hot milk with melted butter. They need to be moistened because they usually get dry in the oven. It is a technique of its own. And we do so with joy! Now that I have only few people for whom to make food, I go and buy from the store. They are sold there ready-made. Breakfast will not be possible without them. Three pies, and butter or egg butter on top… So good you are afraid of gaining weight. Then you try to limit it later, but how… Christmas ham and the swede casserole, liver casserole and all the others. So many delicious dishes. So… Thank you for listening.

Nina