In any celebration, there's always joy in the simple moments of eating and drinking together with family and friends. Celebrating Vappu is no different, however, for a full blast, it usually requires some special food and drinks, on top of the usual ones, such as chips, champagne and other sparkling wines.
Sima, the Finnish mead
Sima is the most common drink on Vappu. It is typically sweet with a lower percentage of alcohol, hence making it really refreshing. Some people make it at home, but there are a lot of varieties and brands to choose from available in most shops. It's usually orange color and sometimes comes with raisins. Most people say that homemade Sima is the best, although making it requires a few days before the celebration, usually about 3-7 days, depending on the temperature of the place where to keep it.
In Finland, sima is made from fermenting sugar with water. It becomes bubbly from the yeast fermentation. Lemons and raisins float on top of it. If unfiltered, sima can be a bit cloudy because of the yeast. Since it's usually non-alcoholic, or has a very low alcohol content, it's suitable to children too. Sima is freshly-made and fermented, so it should be consumed right away. If stored for a long time, fermentation continues and the amount of alcohol may go up. People usually like to have sima with munkki, tippaleipä, or rosetti which are all typical Vappu sweets.
Tippaleipä is a type of funnel cake consumed usually only during Vappu. It looks like a bird's nest covered with powdered sugar and tastes like a crispy biscuit. Tippa means drop and leipä means bread. The batter is made from wheat dough, poured into hot oil and deep-fried. Frying needs some skills to achieve its tangled shape and then sprinkled with sugar. One can find tippaleipä in many supermarkets in different varieties or buy it from bakeries. Fazer, a famous Finnish confectionary, uses the same recipe since 1960s and is proud of their long history. Some people prefer homemade since it's best eaten when warm.
Munkki is a type of Finnish donut with a round shape, also fried and then immediately rolled into sugar. Munki means monk and its legend describes its round shape and color to be similar to that of monks and their brown monastic dressing. It's very popular among people of all ages and can be found in cafes and shops with many varieties, some filled with jam or covered by colorful icing. Some people would rather make them at home in the morning of Vappu and then enjoy them during picnic.
Rosetti (struva in Swedish), is another crunchy sweet eaten in Vappu. Also cooked by deep-frying but needs a special shaped iron to create this particular shape. The iron is heated in a very hot oil, immersed in the dough batter, and then dipped again in the hot oil, creating a crispy kind sweet around the metal. When the iron is taken away, the rosetti will be separated from the iron and powdered with sugar or dipped into icing. People usually make them at home the night before Vappu and share with friends the next day.