To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Finnish independence, I write 4 articles about typical Finnish food for the benefit of my English-speaking readers. This article is about food that Finns and others might enjoy in autumn.
When you have harvested your carrots, potatoes, onions, pumpkins and other stuff from your land right before the night frosts, you need to utilize it all. Vegetable pies, pasta, hearty soups and risottos are quite popular in autumn. Fruits and berries might be added to the stews and sauces as well. For example, when lingonberries are ready to be picked in forests, you might wish to mash them and have them as a tasty side along with your reindeer stew or your meatballs. Mashed potatoes are a must with those delicacies as well. When the air turns chillier you wish your meals to be heartier and the light vegetables meals from summer might be replaced with roast beef and gratins. Later in autumn hunting crews have the permission to hunt elk, deer and even bear, and the meat is distributed evenly among the hunting party members.
The forests tempt you to explore berries and mushrooms for your winter storage in the fridge. Lingonberries, cranberries, rowanberries, gooseberries, sea buckthorn, red and black currants replace the blueberry pie extravaganza from the late summer. They are mashed or cooked into jam or jellies to be enjoyed later with pancakes or ice cream. Cherries, plums and pears are cooked and pressed to jam, but the apple harvest is usually so big that you need quick conservation for the crop. Many take their apples to special breweries that make apple juice for the happy apple tree owners.
In autumn there is a Baltic herring festival in both Helsinki and Turku, whereby you can complete your fish storage for the forthcoming winter. Baltic herrings are conserved in vinegar with different spices and enjoyed cold with cooked potatoes or with a sauce. Summer chanterelles give way for porcinis, black chanterelles and funnel chanterelles, all excellent mushrooms for cooking. And absolutely free if you go to the forest to collect them yourself!