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Karelian hospitality

Let the Karelian hospitality charm you!

Karjalanpiirakat

“Come in and get warm, we’re in no hurry, come and talk. Welcome. Come on in. I’ve made some pies, have some, have some. Have some more, have some more.”

Hearing these Karelian dialect words, the visitor has already had his first taste of Karelian hospitality, which brings him to the full tables. The guest is warmly welcomed and treated like a member of the family.

One important characteristic of Karelian hospitality is the important role played by the food and coffee culture. Karelian food culture includes the appreciation and use of natural ingredients such as mushrooms, berries, fish and meat in cooking. These treasures are traditionally cooked in the oven or fried in the form of a mouth-watering dish. These flavours leave an everlasting taste memory for the connoisseur. And let’s not forget the pastries – savoury and sweet – that fill coffee tables. Buns, cakes, Karelian pies and cakes, not forgetting rye bread, are an important part of the culinary culture, keeping the guest satisfied and the stomach full for a long time.

Karelian hospitality includes lively conversation. Karelians and their descendants are loud talkers and there are stories to tell on every subject. Soon enough even the guest will realise that he has told his whole story without realising it. The chatter may also lead the guest to the sauna, where any troubles are drowned in the steam of the stove and the guest returns to the outside world with a lighter soul.

The tradition of Karelian hospitality spread with the Karelian evacuees throughout the country, but it is especially alive and well in North Karelia. Traditions and customs have changed over time, but they still run strong in the identity of Karelian descendants and in the way they treat people warmly.

Once you get in touch with Karelian hospitality, you never know where the journey will lead. Wherever it takes you, you will never forget the experience. The cheerful, talkative and generous Karelians will stay in your heart forever.

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