Do you plan to go on holidays to beautiful Finland? But you have no idea how it looks like in Finland concerning the vegan offers?
I always feel somehow connected to Finland. I think that’s primarly caused by some friends of mine from Finland. I had some penfriends from that beautiful country when I was younger (yes, I indeed was writing letters by hand, not with the keyboard of my computer ;)). I stopped writing letters because a lack of time (and somehow also lack of motivation I guess), but I still have friends there which turned out to become not only penfriends.
Since I have been living vegan I haven’t been to Finland anymore. But I’d like to change that someday, so it’s awesome that Sarah Eleni can tell us a bit about living vegan in Finland! She did an internship in the capital Helsinki and gained some experience regarding veganism in Finland. Thank you a lot for sharing that with us Sarah :)
Far away from asceticsm – Vegan in Finland
I only want to live in peace, plant potatoes and dream!
– Mumins 1: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip –
Concerning drinks there are a lot of smoothies and juices available in Helsinki – some of them are even not from concentrated juice. You can find them in supermarkets to affordable prices. A package of juice costs normally around 2 € per liter. However a liter multivitamine juice by the brand “Rauch” costs almost 4 €. In general I liked the products by “Rainbow” as they were comparatively cheap and could keep on with the prices from Vienna/Austria. Rainbow offers several multivitamine juices, plant-based milk, nut and fruit mixes as well as corn, beans and chickpeas in cans. Who prefers to buy freshly squeezed smoothies has to pay a little bit more in comparison to Austria: There prices vary between 2 – 3 € which is still affordable, especially if you compare it to coconut water which is relatively expensive (4 €).
Plant-based milk is provided by different brands and you can find it in different price ranges. You should expect to pay around 3 € per liter for oat milk, rice milk and soy milk. For products from the brand Alpro you pay around one euro more. My favourite milk is – not only because of the awesome design – oat milk with cocoa by Oatly. The price (2,79 € per liter) is definitely fair considering the taste! There are also vitamines added, so that you don’t need to have such a guilty conscience.
There were also plenty of vegan yoghurts from the Swedish brand Oatly. Even the typical finnish yoghurt in a package of 1 liter was relatively cheaply available. Besides Alpro Soja you could also find Yosa in different supermarkets. They offer a yoghurt with wild berries as well as two “fitness yoghurts”: Pineapple-orange and coffee sweetened with stevia. There consistence was more like a pudding, but even because of that or just because of that the coffee yoghurt was my favourite.
In terms of vegetables and fruits I ate almost daily bananas. They’re with 1,49 € per kilo one of the few – very few – edibles which are cheaper than in Vienna. Every day I took two or three with me to the kindergarden. My friend Victoria was happy about the avocados: She bought a package of seven for only around 4 €, so they were also cheaper than in Vienna. Pomelos cost around 1,99 per kilo, but I would keep my hands off from the tomatoes: With more than 5 € per kilo they’re quite expensive, if you don’t have that much money.
There are also a lot of affordable vegan cereal products: Besides mueslis and pulp you’ll find a variety of vegan bread. Especially the brown bread is famous in Finland. Who prefers sweet marmelades instead of savory alternatives can find tahina and hummus.
Moreover you can find a variety of deep-frozen vegetables and falafel for adequate prices. Regarding nut mixtures you’ll find similar prices than in Vienna. Only plant-based soy supplements are not that wide-spreaded. You can’t find so much more than soy granulate, but that wasn’t disturbing as there were many other vegan products to try. For example in the S-Market you can find a huge salad buffet with quinoa, chickpeas, marinated soy beans, mangos, avocados, falafel and more delicious stuff – but for a price of 14,90 € per kilo. So keep that in mind as there is a lot of space in the boxes, so it’s easy to end up with a lot of delicious food.
Talking about sweets you can find vegan ice cream (0,5 – 1 l) which you can’t in Vienna. The sorts range from vanilla and chocolate to strawberry. There is also the brand “Pepparkakor” offfering vegan biscuit alternatives. So I was quite excited when I found Moomin-biscuits by Fazer. You can not only find Moomin, Moominpappa and Moominmamma, but also Snork Maiden, little My and Snufkin.
Conclusion: I had the possibility to get to know Finland and its vegan food for three weeks and Helsinki was quite a rich source which can definitely compete with Vienna. It is also possible to shop consciously without paying horrible sums. So I can say that it’s just a myth that Finland is such an expensive country. Who doesn’t buy a bottle of water for 4 € in the hotel lobby instead of going to the next supermarket, will soon realise that there are far other dangers: You can find nice souvenirs everywhere :)
For those who like to eat out I can recommend café Engel which is opposite of the cathedral. They offer salad with goatmilk cheese (I asked them to leave that out), nuts, vegetables and fresh fruits for 13,70 €. But there is a really warm atmosphere and it tastes just delicious!