A few days before Easter it was everywhere… in all the shops, in all the cafeterias, in all the adverts. We couldn’t ignore it – and soon decided to buy some for our Easter lunch.
Mämmi is a traditional Finnish Easter pudding in – in fact it seems to be the traditional Easter dish here. It’s main ingredient is rye, which through a long and slow cooking process gives it a distinctive sweet & bitter flavour combination (although apparently mämmi purists are upset by newer methods that use malt syrup for flavouring instead of using the traditional fermentation process – see here for more details). It has a thick and gritty consistency, and is served cold, often with vanilla sauce, cream or ice cream. Brigitte and I rather liked it, but both agree that it needs a lot of custard (or something similar) to offset its bitterness. If you are in Finland around Easter, I would say that you should definitely give it a try.
Wikipedia has an interesting note about mämmi: “Mämmi was traditionally stored in small bowls made of birch bark… Finnish packaging still prints birch bark-like texture on the carton boxes.” It’s true – and amazing how traditions like the use of birch bark bowls are incorporated into modern culture.