Monday, 4 August 2014

International Markets in Finland

Pizza with rucola - delicious too.
I spend most of the Friday at International Market with my brother. It was a wonderful day with lots of  food experiences and the atmosphere at the market area was great. I am much looking forward the next year.

They were lots of things to buy and see. Sausages from several different countries, bakery products from Greece, Italy and France, pizzas, biscuits, woodwork, toys, dishes and lots of another things!

Here are some photos of the area. We went there first thing in the  morning so it was not totally crowded yet. It was nicer like that. Later during the day there started to be much more people and going around the area was not that easy anymore but still all right. It was much fun to visit there.

I especially loved the Italian pizza. They made several different types pizza. My favorite was pizza Margherita and it was simply awesome! The crust was heavenly, the tomato sauce was the best tomato sauce I have ever tasted! Simple ingredients made such  awesome result!


There was also Finnish small vendace called Neulamuikku (Needle vendace). Most people  like them a lot. You can buy them in most outdoor market places and usually they are pretty popular thing to eat. I am not a huge fan of them even though I do like most of the fishes I have eaten. But they are a nice experience though and they do smell sort of nice when being cooked.

Asante Koru
One of the most interesting was Asante Koru's (Asante jewellery) booth. They sold jewellery made by women in Kenya. Asante Koru buys the jewellery the women make and that way the women and their families will have better income and they are able to school their children. I always like things that are fairly made and paid. 

There were quite a few sausages and cheeses in the market area. At least France, Germany and Spain had they sausages and I think that Holland had too. There were so many that is was hard to keep track of them all. 

Spanish Chorizo
Sausages from France
I think these were from Holland

Italian cheese
Cheeses were quite popular too. especially Italian cheese booths were quite crowded and in times you needed to line up to get the sample for tasting. Holland did not have that much people in front of their booth. 

I love Mediterranean food! Actually my family eats much of that and mostly Cretan. Once a week, usually on Fridays we have Meze table. Our children love that and when I was sick for a long time about a year ago, that is what they missed from our everyday life. Meze table was and still is the one that we all wait all week. So if we are not cooking Finnish food, we most likely are cooking Cretan or Greek food. But I like to test new recipes from all over the world so new recipes are always welcome.  At the market I especially enjoyed the colorful Mediterranean table which had lots of olives, onions, loukumi, baklava and much much more.

Wooden toys were really pretty and most of the wooden toys were such that inspired the imagination and developed problem solving skills. That's always great. And wood is always nicer than plastic - too bad that they can't make Legos out of wood! :D

Italian biscuits were also great. I bought a couple of different kids of them and they were really sweet. Tasty but really sweet - one biscuit at a time was enough. The children seemed to love them a lot and they asked if I could buy them next year too. The biscuits were like a work of art!

The same place sold also Italian chocolates but those I had to skip this year. Couldn't really buy all the things I saw. Sadly.

The Italian booths were wonderful. Those reminded me of my trip to Italy about 20 years ago. I visited Verona and Venice while staying in one of the small village by the Lake Garda. It was beautiful place with lots of kind, helpful people and good food. I also loved the historical sights like medieval castles and such. I wish I could see all those places again and those I missed since week just wasn't enough to see all that I would have wanted to see.

Travelling is wonderful but it does cost awfully much if you have to pack the whole family with you. So since I can't go to see the world I am being happy when the world comes to see me! International markets is the very best thing for that. :)

I very much enjoyed the busker. Inca music is beautiful and so are the instruments which are used for playing it. It was pure pleasure to observe the skillful playing. I am glad that this music can be heard in other times too when visiting the cities - especially during the summer time.

Candy Fruits. I think I could have eaten them all! They looked so wonderfully colorful and tasted fresh. There were chocolate covered apples and grapes too. And all of them looked lovely. One stomach was simply not enough while going around the market area and seeing all that inviting food which waited to be tasted.

What I was happy about was that I found Åland's Black Bread which  is simply delicious bread. One of the very best. Now I got it again. Of course I could also make it myself at some point... a thought that should be made into reality. Someday I guess.

The ciders were an interesting find. They are made in a small island, in Kökar which is in the middle of the Sea of Åland. There used to be a convent. Now the ciders are prepared there by using the traditional methods of the Franciscan Friars. All ingredients are from the nature. Sadly I couldn't try this one this year but next year I sure will! I just hope they have this then too!

There were a couple of Greek booths too. One sold bread, halva and small pies. The other one sold food to be eaten on the market place. We ate there and we chose Chicken Gyros. That was quite nice. I also have a weakness for Greek feta spinach pies. They are so lovely!

In one point I found this small little selling table with Finnish handcraft from Lappland. The things on the table reminded me a lot of the time I spent in Rovaniemi where my grandparents lived.

The whole market area was full of wasps this year. They flew here and there. Ate all the sweet things like dried fruits, jams, baklavas...But for some reason they did not touch on the things that were sold on the The British Fudge Company. I am not sure but maybe the wasps favored  more natural products. Looks that fudges were soaked in food colorings - but they sure did look pretty though!

I have always loved native american jewellery. This time, however, I bought nothing from the booth even though I did want to. The necklaces looked really beautiful but I was about to blow up my budget already.

Next thing I ran into was Prezels. There  were many different kinds but I prefer the salty one. It's nice to taste the dough and not hide it under all the cheese or ham. But cheese can be good on it too so does the pumpkin seeds and such. Variety is great so that everyone can choose the one they like the most.

Watching for the baker at work was nice too. Maybe I managed to learn a few trick for the time when I try to make Pretzels on my own! 

Different sorts of Strudels seemed quite popular too. I have once made a strudel before. It had apples and raisins inside and since I am not such a big fan of raisins which are used like that I did not care much of it. The apple part was delicious though! The booth at the market carried lots of different sorts of strudels - even blueberry-quark strudel which seemed rather interesting but my stomach was starting to be quite full already so I decided that after tasting pizzas, gyros, sausages and heaven knows what else, I couldn't really eat a thing!

After all the delicious bakery products it was nice to see fresh berries and veggies. It is still  blueberry season. But soon it will change into a mushroom season and lingonberry season.

All in all the day at the International Market was absolutely marvelous and I can't wait for the next year. I think I will see some of these booths before that, since I know that a few of them like to visit at the Helsinki Christmas Markets and I think the whole family will  head there once the time comes. Christmas markets are wonderful!

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