Handmade goat’s cheese, deep-fried seaweed, air-dried meat, sausages, blueberry beer, grape jelly. New ideas are bubbling in pots and pans as local gastronomers enthusiastically head toward the future armed with traditional Åland foods and culinary skills.
 

smakbyn_michael_bjorklund_2013Smakbyn

We cannot talk about gastronomic Åland without talking about its grand old man – Michael ‘Micke’ Björklund. Already at the turn of the millennium, his chef’s knife pointed to Åland as a culinary region in its own class. At that time, he won the titles of the Chef of the Year both in Finland and Sweden, and excelled in Bocuse d‘Or, the world championships in culinary art. Since 2012, Micke has been slowly but surely building his own culinary world, Smakbyn, situated next to Kastelholm Castle, about 20 minutes by car from Mariehamn. Smakbyn features a restaurant, café, farm shop, distillery, wine cellar, and also conference facilities for festive occasions. It is a must for any food enthusiast visiting Åland!

Stallhagen Puben baren 63X9785Stallhagen

Stallhagen is a small-scale beer producer with high craftsmanship. Brewmaster Matte Ekholm is a creative developer who carefully allows the beer to take all the time it needs to mature, and likes to flavour beers by blending in local ingredients, such as honey and blueberry. Brewery Stallhagen had the honour of recreating one of the world’s oldest beers, 170- year-old beer, which was found in a wreck in the Åland Islands in 2010. Stallhagen Historic Beer is now available in two versions, namely 1842, which is a unique collector’s rarity sold in hand blown bottles and specially crafted wooden boxes, and 1843, which is based on slightly different micro-organism and is brewed in larger volumes.

Pub Stallhagen at the brewery with the same name is famous for its substantial portions of delicious foods made from locally produced ingredients. The fresh and tasty menu of the day follows the season’s best harvest from the local farms, and the staff tells you gladly the name of the farmer whose carrot you just ate! Here you can join a beer tasting with different titbits to go with.

The world´s best (Åland) dairy

Ålandsmejeriet continues the tradition of turning quality Åland milk into quality Åland dairy products. Their cheese varieties are ranked highly in Finnish cheese championships, not to mention their butter that is churned in the traditional style and is praised by the media and cooks. Recently, in the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper, the Swedish butter expert Johan
Hedberg rated the Ålandssmöret butter the second best and called it “well balanced with a distinct taste of butter”.

johannas-hembakta-brödkorgÅland breakfast

Yoghurt, bread, butter, charcuterie, cheese, porridge and egg – and a variety of each. It’s easy to put together a truly substantial breakfast using only local products. Hotel Arkipelag recently introduced a breakfast that is fully comprised of products from the Åland Islands.

Prize winners

Foods from Åland have been successful in different competitions. Two medals have been brought home from the Nordic Championships in Artisan Food arranged by Eldrimner, the Swedish National Centre for Artisan Food. Jonas Backman of Restaurant SeaPoint won silver in 2014 with his air-dried green-pepper salami, and Marskogens Lamm won the gold medal with their beer sausage in 2013.

Elnas Skafferi

The delicacy store at Maxinge shopping centre offers seson’s best local foods. Also takeaway of heartly home-cooked lunches, picnic baskets and food souvenirs to take back home.

Mattas vineyard

An exciting small-scale vineyard project in Åland. The brothers Fredrik and Niclas Slotte cultivate Solaris and Rondo grapes and make a grape jelly that is the perfect companion to intense and savoury cheeses. The
grapes are harvested in October, and anyone who desires a jar of the exclusive jelly has no time to waste.

Amalias Lemonade Factory

Amalia‘s lemonade factory is a journey back in time to your grandmother’s youth when it was all about good taste, not detailed lists of ingredients. Here, you can take part in a tasting or presentation, or buy their products to take home.

 
 

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