Updated: Nov 18, 2020

Food & Culture by Foreigners in Finland
Photo by Simply Finnoy Mom

Mämmi is a traditional Easter food in Finland; it is a dark-brown porridge-like dish with a thick but smooth consistency. Mämmi is made of water, rye flour, powdered malted rye, salt, and dried powdered Seville orange peel. Mämmi has an exceptional taste; some people like it, and some can't stand the taste. However, it is worth trying such an unusual, unique, and distinctive flavor which is hard to find elsewhere. You might like the taste and become a real fan, and continue to buy it all around the year, because one can buy it from the freezer even out of the Easter period. 

History of Mämmi

According to the book of 100 Sosiaalista Innovaatiota Suomesta:

Mämmi is an ancient dish which has been eaten in the southwestern region of Finland, since the 13th century.

Daniel Juslenius, professor of theology at the Academy of Turku, described in 1700, a slightly sweet porridge used by the Finns in the oven, which has a black-ish color, and eaten at Easter.

History researcher H.G. Porthan was the first to pay attention to this popular dish, and where it was used. According to him, Häme and partly South and Southwest Finland were the regions where Mämmi strongly favored, but in Karelia, Savo, and Ostrobothnia, mämmi was unknown. According to Porthan, mämmi was eaten cold with wooden sticks (päre-tikku).

Mämmi gradually became known throughout the country, mainly through counseling organizations, cookbooks, and chefs, newspaper cookbooks, but only in the South Karelia and Lapland after the 1930s.

However, the folk-style (non-industrial) way of cooking mämmi, has hardly changed over the years. In 1751, P. Gadd, professor of chemistry at the Academy of Turku, publish