Meat and Potatoes
Many meals come with some sort of potatoes (sometimes two!): mashed, boiled, fried or baked, sometimes with some other root vegetables thrown in for variety.
Meat is common too, usually pork, beef or reindeer.
Reindeer is a major diet staple in Finland. Very little of the reindeer meat is exported, it’s nearly all eaten domestically, in a variety of creative ways and is a staple in Finnish food.
Finland is known for its many lakes and rivers, which means that fresh fish are a popular Finnish food staple here, even in the winter time when ice-fishing is a popular past time. Whitefish, herring, salmon and or course arctic char are popular.
Most Finish bread is dark rye bread – dry and sour. You can find rye bread at nearly every meal and rye crisps are a popular snack.
Rye bread developed popularity because it is easy to store and takes a long time to go bad.
Lapland is known for its vast variety of berries, which by law belong to anyone who wants them. Raspberries, cranberries, strawberries, bilberries (similar to blueberries), lingonberries, cloudberries, crowberries and more.
Berries are eaten on their own, with yogurt or porridge in the morning, in pies, as jam, with cream, as part of desserts, and even in soup.
Like all of those far northern European countries, Finland distills vodka- sometimes in flavors like raspberry and cloudberry and it is definitely a staple Finnish food (or liquid).
In addition to vodka, there are a number of local liquors. Many are salty licorice flavored like Salmiakkikossu or minty flavored like Mintu.
Chocolate is a major Finnish food. The market is dominated by Karl Fazer, which produces 65 million kilos of chocolate a year in a huge range of flavors (strawberry yogurt, honey, cloudberry etc.). They use real milk instead of milk powder like most brands.