DSC01413I recently got a chance to journey once again to another new place in the world and experience all that it had to offer (much of it closed or too rainy to enjoy, thank you very much).  Well, on the down side, Finland was cold, rainy and wet for the majority of the time that I was there.  Even though I watched the weather forecasts for weeks beforehand, I was still caught off-guard by just how cold it was, and was totally unprepared (note to self:  even though you want to try to squeeze your luggage into the carry-on space, it will not be to your benefit to cut out your winter jacket on the off-chance that *Finland* will be reliably warm in September).

Despite all of the issues that I had while I was there, I did discover a few positive things about the experience (visiting my good friend aside, since I knew that that would a great experience).  Mainly, the Finnish, even though they apparently have a food reputation on par with England (i.e. bad, bland, tasteless food), know their food.  And I mean *know* their food.  I fortunately got a hotel with a small fitted kitchen, so that I wasn’t stuck eating out all the time and for that I am extremely thankful.  Because of that, I got to shop at the local supermarkets and discover the foods that the Finns really eat.  Everything from reindeer sausage (delicious) to moose meat cold cuts (even more delicious) to the amazing, cinnamon roll.

Let me just say right now that I have eaten my fair share of cinnamon rolls.  I make them a lot, and not the Cinnabon kind, either.  The real, genuine, amazing, homemade version.  But these were on a whole other level.  Coming back home, I looked it up and realized that the Finns and Swedes apparently were the originators of the cinnamon roll, so it makes sense that they know what they are doing.  So much so, that even the versions that were in packages at the supermarket were far superior to what you normally find even in high-end bakeries here in the US.  The ones that I got to try at Fazer (see photo below) were sublime.

And they come in an amazing amount of varieties, too.  I counted no less than 15 kinds that I could readily distinguish as being unique, but beyond that, there were subtle variations on those that were everywhere.  Some with a sweet glaze, some with toffee filling, and others with huge chunks of confectioners’ sugar balls on top.  All them delectable and soft, puffy and full of cinnamon flavor.   You can eat them by peeling away the sometimes gooey, sometimes challah-ish layers, or you can cut into them with a fork like the locals do.  either way, the light, fluffy bread breaks away to a sensory perception on par with what I imagine a practiced wine taster experiences when they taste revered vintages from France and Italy.  There is nothing childish or Cinnabon-like about these treats.  They are eaten at all times of night and day, from breakfast to dessert, and are often accompanied by the liquid gold that is Finnish coffee.  No matter you eat them, or what variety you have, I promise you that you will be at a loss for words in describing their perfection.

I may have been cold and wet, and I may have gotten a cold while there, but I will be darned if I didn’t enjoy every single morsel of cinnamon rolls that I ate….every single day….every single chance that I got!