Baltic Herring Week Hits Helsinki’s Markets and Restaurants
By Jules Ugo
Baltic herring enthusiasts will get a special treat in Helsinki restaurants during the Baltic Herring Market week from 3rd–10th October. HelsinkiMenu restaurant chefs have created their own special delicacies using Baltic herrings so as well as the chance to try herring at the market square diners can enjoy this local delicacy in more refined surroundings too! The HelsinkiMenu can be tried at around 20 different restaurants throughout the city. The menus interpret Finnish food traditions in new and exciting ways and offer local and seasonal produce.
The Baltic Herring Fair is the oldest traditional event in Helsinki, having been held annually at the start of October since 1743. Fishermen from all along the south coast of Finland congregate at Market Square to sell their best products, including a wide and exotic variety of marinated Baltic herring. As well as the traditional salted and pickled herring there are increasingly exotic herring marinades: lemon, rowanberry, cayenne pepper, and of course garlic.
The restaurants (Ravintola in Finnish) are being equally creative! During the course of the Baltic Herring Market, HelsinkiMenu diners will be able to enjoy Piipanoja’s cold smoked Baltic herring and Baltic herring roe at Ravintola Nokka with the chef’s compliments, while there’s a Baltic herring surprise at Ravintola Macu. Ravintola Kuu will offer an appetiser of smoked and seasoned Baltic herring served with seasonal vegetables, and Ravintola Grotesk will present Baltic herring in an escabeche marinade.
Marko Helenius, chef at Ravintola Graniittilinna, will present a selection of Baltic herring preparations as an appetiser from which diners can choose Baltic herring seasoned with e.g. horseradish, red wine or truffles. Ravintola Kellarikrouvi & Fabian will be serving a Baltic herring platter, as will Ravintola Lasipalatsi. Sundmans Krog will set a table with seven sorts of Baltic herring and finally Ravintola Zetor will offer a Baltic herring appetizer buffet and fried Baltic herring as a main course.