The first new potatoes that arrive in the stores are harvested every year in Houtskär and Nagu. The first new potatoes of the season usually arrive just in time for the graduation parties in early summer. In the archipelago, potatoes are often grown on a smaller scale, and relatives and village residents gather to plant and harvest the potatoes. Many of the archipelago’s young people have worked in the potato fields. A typical dish in the archipelago is a piece of good fish, archipelago bread and new potatoes.
Archipelago bread is found throughout Finland, but its origin is, as the name suggests, in the archipelago. The best recipes are well-kept secrets passed down from generation to generation.
The archipelago’s meat production consists mainly of lamb and beef. The animals are allowed to graze freely on the islands in the biosphere reserve from June to October. This gives the meat more flavour and character, and the meat is called Meadow meat. As a result of the production of Meadow meat, nature’s diversity is also benefited in semi-natural habitats, such as meadows and pastures, which were formed through agricultural practices of the olden days. They are rich in species, but there is a risk that they will become overgrown because they are no longer used for the same purpose.
Fish traditionally have a special position in the archipelago. Small-scale fishing still supplies fish to many dinner tables, even though there are only a few professional fishermen. Sprat is a real archipelago speciality that is only fished for a short time during the autumn. Many inhabitants of the archipelago wait with great eagerness to taste the pickled delicacy.
Farm shops are common in the archipelago, you can usually find these along the village roads. You can buy local food that is sure to be good from the farm shops and the local farmers’ markets—do pay them a visit!
Can you balance like this?
Did you know? Almost every property has its own apple trees in the archipelago, but there are also large commercial apple orchards. Finland’s largest organic apple farm is in Attu in Pargas.
Finland’s Food Craftsmanship Association is available for food artisans and anyone interested in food craftsmanship. Small-scale food craftsmanship creates unique products with taste, quality and identity that the industry cannot produce. Certified artisan food products are also produced in the biosphere reserve.