Food is Art

Lots of happening in Tampere!

The Food is Art ticket (cost 10€) had a map of Kauppahalli market hall, including the participating restaurants with 6 interesting dishes

Food is Art offered delicious sample menu in Kauppahalli on last Friday and Saturday. (Un)fortunately this event was just for two days – I am sure there will be other similar treats in the future as well!

False morel pie with spruce foam, accompanied by bolete jelly. Restaurant Hella & Huone

The Food is Art society consists of nine high quality restaurants in Tampere. The aim is to promote restaurant culture and encourage people to enjoy the service, high quality ingredients and atmosphere of the restaurants.

Lamb sausage in a dough, parsnip-mustard creme (the taster’s favorite dish)

This event has been organized once before. This time there was no dessert, which was a bit of a disappointment. The menu was too constricted for vegetarians, since only two of the dishes were vegetarian, and one dish included salmon.

58 C eggs, peas and shredded pork
Eggs, peas and pork

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday, even though the food might leave you hungry for more.

Shojin Ryori in Tampere

Last Sunday I had a great opportunity to see what Shojin Ryori, Japanese Buddhist vegetarian diet, is like. An expert on shojin ryori, ms. Mari Fujii had prepared interesting dishes together with her daughter and another Japanese female chef.

Ms. Fujii making sushi

The event was organized by the Japanese embassy in Finland, and it is held also in Helsinki. The introduction to shojin ryori took 2 hours and was free of charge.

Everyone got to roll their own maki sushis

I love the Japanese ingredients and way of culinary thinking. Tastes should be in balance, and presentation is very important part of the meal. I know that most of the Japanese dishes include bonito flakes or dashi stock which is made from fish, and that veganism could be a challenge. It can be quite hard to be sure about the ingredients of a dish if you can’t event read the name! It would be interesting to visit a temple or a shrine where shojin ryori is offered, that way I could at least be sure that the food is vegan.

Some common ingredients in japanese cooking: different sorts of miso paste, mirin seasoning, roasted sesame seeds and kombu kelp
Shojin ryori meal: vegetarian sushi, miso soup with champignons, fried mashed potato cake, fried mushroom, sprouts with spinach and something jiggly

Frying mashed (or shredded) potato was interesting, but reminded me of the filling of the potato karelian pie (which I am not a fan of). I really enjoyed the sprouts and spinach, and the fried mushroom was, well, a fried mushroom (although simmered in teriyaki sauce). The jiggly thing, made from lotus powder, was not to my liking since I have some issues with jello-like texture. The vegetarian maki we made was good, although the simple ingredients (cucumber, carrot, tofu) do not compete with the seafood sushis.

This event was really interesting, and I would be more than glad to attend to more this kind of cultural journeys!

Vegfest 2012: Omnoms with a good conscience

This weekend was the climax for over half year’s work. Since last autumn, I have been responsible for the publicity and marketing of Vegfest, Finland’s biggest vegetarian festival. The weekend was a blast, even though weather-wise Friday was pretty much as bad as one can imagine. On Saturday the sun shined, we had lots of visitors and the atmosphere was terrific!

The greenery area included plants that were treats for the eye as well as the stomach

The programme included speeches, workshops, food tastings and lots more!

Vegan version of the traditional Tampere food – blood sausage
Sweet and savory treats were offered to passers-by – the feedback was very positive
Crowd in the restaurant area

Even though I spent almost whole three days in the festival area in Keskustori, I think I did not really work hard. It was fun to hang around, meet new people, have interesting conversations and, well, eat lots and lots of delicious vegan food! Working in an event that was completely run by volunteers was inspiring – everyone was in a good mood, working full-heartedly for the benefit of all, not for personal gain or financial benefit.

Some of the animal art potrayed in the cafe

I wish I could do something similar in the future as well! Next time Vegfest will be held in 2014, it will be interesting to see if I can participate or visit the event!

Happy pig and happy human

For more Vegfest mood, check out the Vegfest Youtube channel!

Jesus did…what today?

I cannot remember what happened few thousand years ago that made this day so special. This year ascension day is special in Tampere for other than religious reasons.

People queuing for French baguette (à 2€) in the European Food Market

Yesterday there was the opening day of European food market in Tampere, which sells French and Italian delicacies such as baguettes (which caused people to get violent in queues last summer in the French food market in Keskustori).

Baguette fresh from the oven
Foie gras with ducks
Mustard in three languages
Dried fruit get expensive when sold outdoors
Different sorts of fudge

In addition to all these and few other treats, the market sells soap, handicrafts and such. There are also few local restaurants, terraces and entrepreneurs.

Potato chips made en place
Ice hockey screen, ready for the finals

Today there was also an event called Market of Possibilities in Väinö Linna square. These markets are events where NGOs present the public with their activities, distribute information, and offer visitors new experiences. Together with the Market of Possibilities was the Social Forum of Tampere.

Not your typical Finnish sweets

Mother’s day getaway

Mother’s day should be every day, not just once in a year! In a way, it is.

View of Tallinn

This year me, my brother and our mother went to a mini vacation to Tallinn for mother’s day. It was perfect: really relaxing, fun and also productive shopping-wise. We all bought a new garderobe. I now have an outfit to my brother’s graduation party, plus some other things that I really needed.

Happy guy with a jug of shrimps in Clayhills bistro

We found a great restaurant in the old town, called Clayhills bistro. It was so good we went there again the next day!

Booze from the shore, just one of the many options for cheap alcohol.

It is interesting that in just 2 hours you can be in another country – even though the language is quite similar, and most of the tourists are Finns who are just going to get drunk and buy cheap alcohol.

It might be a long time until we get to go anywhere together again, so this trip was even more special.