Taste of Helsinki: a celebration of food

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I lohove food, good food is the best and most promising way to put a perpetual smile on my face, works also well with bribery or apologies. I guess I’m pretty easy when it comes to that. So a festival where the best food of my city is celebrated, is totally for me.

Last year was my premiere at Taste of Helsinki, which brings together the best restaurants of the city and gives you the chance to taste yourself through their most delicious dishes. As a food lover this day is like a culinary paradise for me, as I’d probably not get to try all the restaurants I want to, ever. It works like this: In addition to an entrance fee to the area, you can exchange Euro to “Marka” and get a tapas-sized dish for 4-6€. Getting all the stuff from the menu you want, this might still add up to quite a sum, but this is not the day to hold back – indulge!

Set up on Kansalaistori, the park between Musiikkitalo and Kiasma museum, Taste of Helsinki is located in the very heart of the city. Just like last year, the restaurant booths surrounded the main area of the festival, which lounge spots, wine exhibitors and a couple of local producers and shops. You can also take part in cooking classes hosted by top chefs, or watch a cooking demonstration in the so-called Taste theatre – you can spend hours around there.

Luckily we had tickets for the brunch seating on Sunday – certainly the best day after the rainy and stormy week. As for the menus – last year I would’ve easily had almost everything – this year it was much easier for me to choose. Two  trends where dominant throughout this years’ Taste of Helsinki, being goatmilk stuff and pork belly meat, I am not complaining, although my taste buds seemed somewhat immune to the seemingly distinct taste of the goat milk desserts, pork belly makes me happy every time. Also liquorice had quite a strong presence this year – very Finnish, thankyouverymuch.

Whereas in 2013 Juuri won my heart and taste buds over with its neck of wild boar with false morel pie and sauce of raspberry leaves, my 2014 winner is Farang with the Caramel coconut pork with chili and koriander – although Juuri also did not disappoint with it’s “nose-to-tail” composition (where I’m still not entirely sure what it all was). As for the rest, everything was absolutely delicious, but nothing quite took my pants off as much as so many things did the prior year. Nevertheless, I will start looking forward to the next Taste of Helsinki right away.

All pictures taken by Kristof Minnaert – thank you! 

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