Today is Runeberg day, a national day in Finland, celebrating national poet Mr Runeberg. He was a prolific writer, and scrawled novels and poems classified today as Finnish cultural history at its best. He banged out the poem ‘Our land’, which was later made into Finland’s national anthem.
That’s the theory, and this is what happens in practice: Finns gorge on Runeberg tortes. Legend says these cylinder-shaped pastries were created first by Runeberg’s wife for Runeberg. They are covered with raspberry jam and sugar, and traditionally flavoured with almond and arrack or rum, apparently.
I never was a huge fan of them until last year, when I became an adult since I decided to unassumingly try one, and, well, YUM! It’s amazing how much you learn to eat when you, er, grow up. In addition to Runeberg tortes, my list includes coffee, sandwiches, cold salmon, smelly cheese, wine, pretzels, Brussel sprouts, mämmi (wait for the Easter entry for that one…)
Today I celebrated Runeberg Day with a pleasant father-daughter cappuccino moment at one of the loveliest cafes.
Happy Runeberg Day!
(And if you happen to be in some unfortunate corner of the world that doesn’t sell them, celebrate today by trying a new food you regard with sceptism – you may be surprised!)