There are fantastic raw products in Åland, and plenty of locally sourced products. You can find various different producers within a short distance. In a single day you can go around and easily gather together the ingredients for one or more excellent meals.
Åland shops also have a locally produced range. Many restaurants and cafeterias use mostly local raw products. Food and drink tastings take place.
The favourable climate means that you can enjoy a meal that is entirely Åland-produced from tasty and nutritious raw products. Essentially, only coffee, tea and pepper come from further away.
When do Ålanders eat?
Ålanders eat breakfast between 7 and 8 am, lunch between 11 am and 12 noon, and dinner between 5 and 6 pm. Afternoon coffee between 2 and 3 pm is important. The day is rounded off with, say, a sandwich for supper. Many people drink milk with their meals.
Typical products and dishes
Here are some breakfast recommendations and suggestions of typical Åland products and dishes.
Fresh bread from organic bakeries and classic “Hemvete” and black bread, that take several days to bake in the traditional way.
Prizewinning cheeses, authentic butter and eggs from free-range hens. Locally produced cold cooked meats like smoked ham, pepper salami and lamb sausage. Gravad lax or cold-smoked salmon and pickled herring.
Locally produced vegetables such as tomatoes, lettuce and herbs. Pickled cucumber, jams and marmalades made from sun-ripened berries and fruits.
Root vegetables and potatoes both for food and crisps, which are manufactured in factories in Saltvik Haraldsby. Asparagus and fennel are also exported. Onions, both yellow and red, are grown on a large scale.
Lamb, beef, pork and fresh fish such as perch and pike are obvious Åland raw products. Game is also typical Åland fare.
The roe deer population is such that you can buy the whole animal, and the deer population is starting to recover. There are plenty of elks, which are often hunted in the archipelago, as are seabirds. The seal has a historical connection.
The signature dish
The signature dish Åland pancake with stewed prunes and cream, or fresh berry jam and whipped cream, can be served as breakfast, snack or dinner. Or why not enjoy a delicious cream doughnut with your coffee?
Smoothie made from the local dairy’s yogurt flavoured with rosehip/sea buckthorn, kale/apple or blueberry/lingonberry and sweetened with Åland honey.
Muesli or porridge made from organic cereals such as rye flakes, oat flakes or semolina.
Ålanders’ street food includes locally produced frankfurters and bread, steamed and served with pickled Boston cucumber and sweet Åland mustard at a summer party or from a hot dog stand. You can buy fresh “Ledholmare” Baltic herring burgers from market stalls.
In Sund, where the Russian culture was very much in evidence at the time of the Battle of Bomarsund, people still bake “Sundspirog” or Russian minced meat pasties.
Milk, apple juice or a sparkling cider make a good drink. Or just a glass of tap water. Stallhagens beer, schnapps and liqueurs from the Smakbyn distillery go well with dinner. French champagne stored on the Åland sea-bed if you want to really celebrate.