For those of you unfamiliar with the Finnish language, I’m excited to welcome you to our latest Featured Flavour – Tervetuola Scandinavia (a bit of a multi-lingual “Welcome to Scandinavia”). I’ve just been lucky enough to return from a 4 week jaunt in Finland and Sweden, so it is with great delight that all of us here at iatebrisbane are looking forward to exploring the carb-loaded, cream-laden, fish-filled glory that is Scandinavian food.
BUT! Before I go any further, I’d like to announce our FIRST EVER! competition here at iatebrisbane! (Yes, we’re giddy as you are!)
We will be teaming up with a host of Australian food businesses over the next few months to bring you some great stuff. First up, we have a massive swag of cider from Punt Road Wines to give away! So if you want to get your mitts on a MIXED DOZEN of Punt Road’s Napoleone & Co. Pear and Apple Ciders, read on, dear friends, read on!
First of all – why the competition? Well, we’re super keen to get all of you Brisbane food-(and drinks-)lovers sharing your opinions and making iatebrisbane a melting pot of Brisbane food-themed discussion. But how to do it? Why, with bribery, of course! With this in mind, we sent out our feelers to the various Australian food businesses that we love, to see if they would be interested in helping us in this scheme – and lucky for us (and you!) Simon and the team at Punt Road Wines said yes!
(At this point, I do need to make one thing clear – iatebrisbane is still an independent blog, and we’re not selling out; we don’t get anything from this except a bunch of comments on our blog!)
So why Punt Road? Well first up – those of you familiar with them will know that they are actually a Victorian winery based in the Yarra Valley. I have been enjoying their wines ever since I first stumbled upon them at the Brisbane Food & Wine Show a few years back. Their 2005 Cab Sav was so rich and full-bodied and I instantly fell in love with Punt Road. A little while back, Punt Road extended their range to include ciders, produced from the orchards they grow on their estate. Sadly, Punt Road lost a portion of their vineyards and orchards in the Black Friday Bushfires in 2009 (along with many other Victorian wineries), but have bounced back spectacularly. You can check out their full range (including their juicy Cab Savs!) at www.puntroadwines.com.au .
Win a Mixed Case of Punt Road Ciders
Here’s what you get:
- 12 x Napoleone & Co. Apple Ciders, and
- 12 x Napoleone & Co. Pear Ciders
Cor blimey that’s a lot of cider! Check them out at Punt Road’s websites under “Our Wines”.
How to win:
- Unfortunately, this competition is open to Brisbane residents only!
- You can comment on any post on iatebrisbane.com between now and 31 July 2010
- Please include your email in the box provided in your comment (it will be hidden on the site, but visible to us) to be considered for the competition.
- Please include your Brisbane suburb name in the body of the comment.
- Comment as many times as you like! Just make sure you include your suburb name and email each time!
Check out the fine print at the bottom of this page, if you’re into that kind of thing!
So that’s it! Good luck! Go win yourself some cider! We’re really looking forward to hearing from many new Brisbane voices over the coming weeks.
Now, onto Scandinavia!
To get you in the mood for 2 months of Scandinavian sensations, let me start by telling you what I experienced during my time in Finland and Sweden: Beautiful design. Reindeer. Fish. Oh so much fish. Freezing winter. Beautiful springtime. Ice fishing. A shipwreck that is older than Australia (it sunk in 1628)! A restaurant that is older than our country (Den Gyldene Freden – ‘The Golden Peace‘ for history buffs – established in 1722 on current premises!). A LOT of rye breads. Plenty of local beer. Warm, friendly, and oh-so-beautiful people. Wow, what a place. I can recommend it to anyone.
I stayed with many host families, met so many inspiring people, was inspired by Finnish (and Swedish) Rotary, and was given so many incredible personal and vocational opportunities. I must take this chance to extend an enormous thanks to the Rotary Foundation and Rotary Districts 9600 in Australia and 1400 in Finland who sponsored my trip through Finland. I was given the opportunity through Rotary’s Group Study Exchange program, which is a fantastic program and I can highly recommend you contact your local Rotary club (wherever you are in the world) and find out more about being involved.
One of the most exciting things about my trip, however, was that (vocation goals aside) I went over there with two goals: 1) To try as much Finnish (and Swedish) food as possible; and 2) To try as much Finnish beer as possible.
I am happy to report that I succeeded on both counts – and I would like to thank all my Finnish mamas and pappas for being so enthusiastic about helping me achieve these goals. Most of all, I’m really looking forward to sharing my Finnish cooking skills with you all over the coming weeks! To whet your appetite, here’s a list of my top 5 meals I enjoyed whilst I was in Scandinavia:
- Arctic Charr in Hollandaise with Frisée, Dill, Roe and Browned Butter (in the top photo below) at Den Gyldene Freden
- Lohikeitto, or, Salmon Soup with Potatoes, Cream and Dill cooked with my host mother in Oulu, Arja (recipe coming soon!)
- Barbequed Chilli Marinated Whole Salmon, enjoyed with Savu, a Finnish smoked beer
- Home-made Korvapusti / Pulla, or, cinnamon and cardamom buns cooked with my host mother in Raahe, Helena (recipe coming soon!)
- Brunberg’s Mansikka Suklaa Kyss, or Strawberry Marshmallow-filled Chocolate Kisses – controversial AND delicious!
Well, that’s enough of a rant for now. Keep your eyes peeled for a world of Scandinavian flavours coming your way in the next couple of months. We’re looking forward to your comments! For now, I’ll leave you with a collection of photos from my adventures to inspire you.
(Scandinavia, from the top: “Summery” sky over Ivalo, Finland; Stockholm’s Skeppsholmen, and omnipresent tulips; a “Norwegian” fisherman and his dog, in Oulu, Finland; Enjoying Arctic Charr at Den Gyldene Freden, and Vaniljä Mohito, in Stockholm; Reindeer in Ivalo, Finland; EATING reindeer with lignonberries, and Sami (reindeer milk) cheese-making hoops in Ivalo, Finland; Cakes at Kauppahalli in Oulu, Finland; Enjoying whole baked fish with rye bread at Lohilaakso in Kalajoki, Finland; A snowy morning in Ivalo, Finland.)
Note that the Win A Case of Punt Road Cider competition is a test of skill – the most interesting comment as deemed by the team at iatebrisbane.com between 16 June 2010 and 31 July 2010 will win the prize. Please note that delivery is not included. We will contact you at the completion of the competition to arrange collection. The competition is not open to people under the age of 18. Only entries that include a Brisbane suburb name and an email address will be included for consideration the competition. If the winner cannot ne contacted within 10 days of the selection, we will select a new winner. You can enter as many times as you like, as long as you include your suburb name and email address! Good luck!