Mämmi: The traditional Finnish Easter dessert
Before going to Salo on their Easter holidays, my Finnish friends recommended me to do two things this Easter. The first one is that I should try some chocolate easter eggs, Kinder or Fazer Mignon, and the second one is that I must try mämmi, the traditional Finnish Easter dessert, with some cream (kerma).
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What is Mämmi
Mämmi looks like a puddnig, and it is served as a dessert during Easter in Finland. It is made from water, rye flour, powdered malt, dark molasses, salt and orange zest. To serve and eat it, it is mixed with kerma or milk and this is how it looks:
This is what mämmi looks like. Appetizing, right? Source (CC:by)
Finns are eager to let anybody try their dessert these days, and some other friends were urged to give it a try. A friend of mine got some mämmi from friends, and after she tried it she gave it to me and added the words “good luck”. So I gave it a try as well.
The mämmi I was about to eat
Mämmi’s texture is strange and granular. Its looks weren’t particularly attractive (it is not a food that you eat with your eyes as well). The flavor of mämmi isn’t great, but it isn’t terrible either: it tastes like dark bread, something they do like in Finland. Think of a dense dark bread, beaten.
If you’re looking for a recipe to do this kind of traditional Finnish Easter dessert, you can use this one and maybe you can give it your own spin to make it suit your taste better – since the original one may be too Finnish to be enjoyed by everybody.
Would I have mämmi ever again? Good question. I think if someone would offer it to me at a dinner table I wouldn’t refuse it. I think that it is, as other Finnish foods like the salty liquorice salmiakki, an acquired taste.
It won’t be the children’s favorite dessert, but if you like the flavor of dark bread I would definitely recommend you to try it. Update: here’s a video of Chef Gordon Ramsay tasting it and giving his professional opinion.
Have you tasted mämmi? What did you think about its flavor and texture? Granted, the presentation could be much, much better.