Picture: Hannu Laatunen / Visit Finland
Harvest time in Finland comes in August and September.
People catch Baltic herring and flatfish from the sea, hunters shoot wild ducks and elk, and the forest yields its rich crops of edible mushrooms, lingonberries and cranberries.
A bit later, seaside towns bustle with activity as the fishermen bring their catches to market: pickled fish, salted fish, and Baltic herring. The roes of vendace, whitefish and Baltic herring appear on the stalls too.
This red caviar is one of the best in the world.
In December, Finns get together probably more often than during the other winter months.
They share a hot Christmas toddy, glögi, which is a hot spicy blackcurrant beverage in the tradition of glühwein.
In restaurants they serve different kinds of herrings, salmon, ham and casseroles and dried codfish, of course.
This Christmas dish is eaten with a thick milky sauce, melted butter and potatoes, and spiced with pepper.
A typical dessert at Christmas time is the joulutorttu, a star-shaped plum tart, and from kitchens everywhere there is the wonderful aroma of spicy ginger biscuits cooking in hot ovens.