Finland is a country where water is ubiquitous. Finland is located in the embrace of the Baltic Sea with over a 1000 km of coastline. In addition to this, our landscape is embellished with thousands and thousands of lakes. No wonder why our waters with all their gifts have always played such an essential role in the Finnish culture. A good example of these gifts of water is fish.
Fish and fishing have an important part in the traditions, livelihood and lifestyle of the local communities. Fish is on our plates throughout the seasons. Fishing and fish farming provide livelihood for many – and technological development ensures that it is done in a sustainable way. Fishing is also a popular hobby for Finns, appealing to our core need to be close to nature and to live off the land.
Finnish fish is exceptionally pure, high-quality and sustainably produced. And as with fish in general, it has pretty amazing health benefits. And believe it or not, a good way to enjoy the benefits of Finnish fish are the incredibly versatile and delicious canned fish!
Sustainable fish from the pure Finnish waters
Fishing is one of the oldest livelihoods in Finland, around for as long as there has been settlement in our lands – which is for about 10 000 years. Today the fishing industry still has an important role especially in the peripheries of the country, providing employment and services.
The most important area for domestic commercial fishing is the Baltic Sea. 90 % of the catch from the Baltic sea is Baltic herring, used both as foodfish as well as fish feed. Fish caught from the lakelands of Finland covers only a few percent of the fish in commercial use. The most popular lakeland species include pike perch, whitefish, European perch and vendace.
Fishing is a popular hobby for the whole family – here is the icier version of the activity.
In addition to commercial fishing, fish is also farmed in Finland. The portion of farmed fish from all consumed fish is continuously increasing. This is a global trend, arising as a response to overfishing and the need to develop more sustainable food production methods. Rainbow trout is by far the most important species for fish farming in Finland.
The ecological impact of fish farming has significantly decreased in the last few decades in Finland. This is due to technological development in the feeding methods as well as the increased expertise of the fish farmers. The fish are farmed in pure waters and fed with carefully researched feed. The use of domestic fish feed such as herring, fish oil, wheat and horse beans also decreases the nutrient input causing eutrophication of the Baltic Sea. Fish farmers follow the wellbeing of the fish during the whole farming process to ensure ethical treatment of the fish.
Fish is excellent food for the heart and the mind
Fish has many essential health benefits which is why it really pays off to include it in your diet one way or another. It is recommended to eat different kinds of fish at least twice a week – or to get the diverse health benefits from fish oil supplements.
Research has shown that the regular eating of fish is connected to better heart health, cognitive function and a lower risk of memory diseases. This is largely due to the fact that fish contains plenty of essential omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Omega-3 fatty acids are also essential for brain health. Omega-3 fatty acids, especially EPA and DHA, protect the brain from the natural damage caused by aging. The body cannot produce omega-3 fatty acids itself so they need to be regularly acquired from nutrition.
Fish is also a good source of vitamin D. The fat-soluble vitamin D is important for bone health as well as metabolism and the function of the nervous system and muscles. Regardless of their fat content, nearly all fishes contain plenty of vitamin D.
Fish also contains vitamin B12 and minerals such as selenium, iodine, potassium and phosphorus. Fish is also a good source of protein.
Fish is more than just a healthy meal for Finns
Fish has always had an essential role on our plates in everyday life as well as during various festivities throughout the seasons. Midsummer celebrated in June is the highlight of summer for many, celebrated with good food in good company under the Midnight Sun. Herring and new potatoes as well as smoked or grilled salmon are a must in the Finnish Midsummer menu. 🤌
Grilling fish either in a campfire or a smoker is another popular and delicious way to enjoy fish in the summer. Smoked whitefish, blazed salmon, grilled trout or vendace cooked in tin foil in the campfire are not just dishes, they provide a whole experience on their own, from cooking them on a light summer evening and enjoying them outside with new potatoes and fresh vegetables.
Fish has an essential part during another main holiday of the year in Finland, Christmas. A very common fish dish enjoyed at Christmastime is cured salmon (or gravlax). Gravlax is ‘cooked’ by making a dry marinade with salt, sugar and dill and curing the fish in the marinade for a couple of days. Gravlax is often enjoyed on top of bread as an appetizer. Various herring delicacies are also a traditional part of the Christmas feast.
Fried vendace is a delicious Eastern Finnish fast food.
Other popular fish dishes enjoyed around the year include perch filets fried in butter and seasoned with dill, oven-baked salmon and different kinds of fish soups made from salmon, European perch, pike perch or burbot.
Different areas of the country also have their own fish specialties. In Savonia, located in Eastern Finland, a fish pasty called kalakukko is very popular. Another classic from the lakelands are pan-fried or smoked vendace, a Finnish-style fast food and a classic dish served at fish markets around the country. Vendace is so soft that it can be eaten fully, including the head, bones and tail.
Why Finnish canned fish is an excellent way to enjoy fish
Convenient, sustainable and healthy – these are only a few reasons why you should also take the delicious Finnish canned fish as a part of your everyday life.
Finnish canned fish is:
- pure and safe to enjoy: the fish used in the preservatives come from pure Finnish waters and contain very little environmental toxins
- sustainably and locally produced: the fish come from Finnish fishermen
- an ethical alternative for the overfished tuna
- incredibly versatile to use
- easy to enjoy anytime and anywhere as they are pre-cooked and preserve well
- healthy and nutritious: fish contains plenty of good omega fatty acids and vitamin D
- delicious in taste!
Canned Finnish fish are delicious and versatile to use.
Tips for using canned fish:
There are many ways to use canned fish delicacies. They can be used as part of everyday meals as well as more festive dishes.
Here’s a few suggestions on how to use canned fish products:
- in fish pasta
- salad filling (try in tabbouleh salad!)
- pizza topping
- taco filling
- serve it as tapas (on top of bread)
- in fish wok
- in sushi
- basis for fish soup
- in a salty pie
- hiking snack
- served as Nordic tapas
- on top of bread
- enjoy it as such!
Try and find your favorite way to enjoy the healthy and delicious fish!
Finnish fish delicacies from Arctic Pure
You can find a good selection of high-qualitycanned fish delicacies made from sustainable Finnish fish from Arctic Pure. Get to know these interesting brands:
- Järki Särki: Järki Särki makes canned fish delicacies from wild roach caught in the Finnish waters. Roach is quite laborious and time-consuming to prepare due to the big amount of bones it contains which is why it has traditionally been underused as food fish. However, the Järki Särki roach products have been pre-cooked so that they can be used as such without any hassle! The Järki Särki products are seasoned with simple organic ingredients which compliment the delicious taste of roach. Enjoy as such or use for example in pasta, salad or pizza!
- Riipisen: Riipisen is a legendary Finnish brand known not only for their game delicacies but also for their smoked and canned vendace. You can choose from vendace in traditional oil sauce, tasty tomato sauce or chanterelle sauce for the ultimate Nordic taste experience.
- Pielisen kala: Pielisen kala has been making popular canned fish from Finnish fish for over 20 years. You can find salmon, vendace, roach, herring, carp bream and perch in the selection of Pielisen kala. We particularly recommend trying their smoked fishes – the unique flavor of the smoked fish is due to their self-designed smoker run with authentic alder smoke!
Pssst! Don’t mind the bones in fish preservatives 😉
Many canned fish products, such as vendace and roach, also contain the bones of the fish. The bones are softened during the cooking process which is why you won’t even notice them while eating. In fact, fish bones are an excellent source of collagen and minerals such as calcium and phosphorus.