Credits: Saimaa European Region of Gastronomy Management Project, Harri Säynevirta

Taste Saimaa with all your senses

Taste Saimaa is about the best flavours, experiences and joys that Finnish Lakeland can offer. They stem from Eastern Finland's beautiful wilderness, peace and quiet, warm hospitality and the purest food in the world.

You can experience Saimaa with all your senses:

See the wild beauty.
Hear the captivating silence.
Smell the fresh air.
Taste the purest food in the world.
Touch the grounding soil and cleansing waters.
Connect with the mysteries of Saimaa.

The forests of Eastern Finland are full of incredible, wild flavours.

The purest food in the world

The food culture of Eastern Finland is a wild and unique experience in all seasons. It is rooted in the pure forests and lakes of the region. The long, white nights of the north create the perfect conditions for pure, aromatic ingredients, such as wild vegetables, berries and mushrooms. The fish from the clear lakes are treasures of the Saimaa cuisine, the flavours of which are most authentic when simply prepared. Saimaa offers pure, rich ingredients for both domestic kitchens and top restaurants. 

Simplicity turns into abundance when we give the high-quality, pure ingredients and flavours the respect they deserve. Nothing more is needed. Think about the Finnish wild bilberries. Their aromas are in a completely different category than other blueberries.

– Mr. Timo Linnamäki, Chef and Restaurateur of the Michelin star awarded restaurant Finnjävel Salonki in Helsinki

Credits: Visit Karelia / Harri Tarvainen

Memorable culinary and art experiences that awaken your senses

In Saimaa, local food and cultural traditions go hand in hand. In the year of celebration 2024, arts, culture and food form a tasty union that you can enjoy in different parts of Eastern Finland. The top professionals working in art, culture and gastronomy serve the best parts of Saimaa to all visitors. 

Delicious food makes wonders, it awakens our senses. Combined with unique art experiences it nourishes our souls too. I welcome visitors to enjoy the wonderful hospitality, symphony of flavours and all the riches that we have to offer. 

– Ms. Anni Korhonen, Hostess of Puukarin Pysäkki Inn, cook, musician, organic farmer and blood letter

New potatoes of the season, spring onions with butter and wild herb salad

800 g new potatoes 
200 g of spring onions
200 g of butter
Sea salt

Recipe by Chef Ilkka Arvola

New potatoes
Wash the potatoes and boil them in salted water until they are fork-tender. Pour off the water and let the potatoes rest under the lid for about 5 minutes. Serve with spring onion butter and wild herb salad.

Spring onions with butter
Chop the white parts of the spring onions and simmer them in butter on a low heat for 15 minutes. Add the chopped stems and simmer more for 5 minutes. Season with salt.

Wild herb salad
Prepare a salad of young wild vegetable shoots. Pick, for example, wild goutweed, stonecrop, dandelion and lady’s mantle. Rinse with cold water and dry gently. Mix with olive oil in a bowl and serve.