Whoa, Nellie!

I am not what one would call an adventuresome eater. At least not in the strictest sense of the word. I don’t like vegetables (they either have a very bitter taste to me, or are just yucky), fruits are ‘meh’. I tend to be, well, a meats and potatoes kinda gal. And yes, unfortunately, it shows. Working on that.

Anyway, yesterday was a sort of chilly and wet day, but I didn’t want to look back on this weekend and say that I stayed inside in my jammies, so I poked Wellu until he agreed to go out with me to the City Center. See how ‘my’ ideas become ‘our’ ideas?

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Inside the Forums of the city center

We did some minor errands, and along the way, I learned why folks say that Stockmann’s so expensive. Ever since our trip to Tallinn earlier, we have been hankering for some more wild boar. To be fair, ever since chowing down on it in Germany last year, it tops the list of ‘my favorite meat product’. And well it should. More on this later. Just keep in mind that the wild boar we bought in Tallinn was around 20€/kg.

Stockmann’s is this hoity-toity store here in Helsinki (and I assume elsewhere), that is something like four levels of anything you could imagine wanting. Sort of like Walmart, if it were designed by Neiman-Marcus.

We go down to the grocery store, which is at the basement level, and it’s pretty crowded for an expensive grocery store, but then again, if you want something out of the ordinary, this is where  you go. We did find the wild boar, at the bargain-basement (see what I did there? 🙂 ) price of around 90€ per kg! My appetite for the beast can wait a little longer, I think.

But that wasn’t the most expensive animal I saw for sale there. Aside from the wild boar, there was goose, moose, horse, reindeer, deer, duck and probably others, although I wasn’t actually looking for anything in particular, and those are just the ones I saw, off the top of my head.

expensivemeat

(why is this picture sideways??)

Check out the prices on these two items! The hanhi is goose, and is a whopping 116,50€/kg!! By comparison, the wild boar (villisika) is a mere 89,90€/kg. Needless to say, these two items are not going on my dinner plate anytime soon.

However, there was one meat item that I have not had the pleasure of trying, and it was there in the fresh meat case. Before I go in to the big reveal, let me say that we had stopped off at Hakaniemi and did a quick tour of the market they have in there. Mom, you would have just peed in joy at the sight of the mushrooms piled high, still dirty from having been hand-picked. And the vegetables galore.

Hakaniemi market interior

Hakaniemi market interior

It was the meat, bread and cheese counters that held my attention, of course. If I were Dr. Frankenstein, I could have put together a whole pig from the parts that I saw there. Legs, snouts, ears, innards and more. I had to keep asking Wellu, “What’s that? What’s that?” so he could translate for me.

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One of many meat counters at the Hakaniemi marketplace.

Not sure that you can make out the writing on the card, but it is hevosen, which translates to horse. Yup, good ol’ Nellie, right there, in steak form. And it looks quite delicious, too. And comparable to the wild boar in price. So I was thinking about it. Seriously.

Now, back to Stockmann’s. So it goes without saying, Stockmann’s had this delicacy sliced and ready to purchase in smaller quantities, just right for ‘tasting’. We ordered up a few slices for that purpose, purchased a few more items, and then headed back home.

For dinner, I decided to go with a small plating of my findings, which included the hevosen, some ‘stripey jack’ cheese, and buttered bread. The horse was smoked, had a bit of a strong, but good taste, not unlike the wild boar, to be honest. I’m all about going to the market later in the week and picking up a couple of small steaks and trying it in that form.

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Doesn’t this look delish? I might actually see if I can find it in the smoked form at the market and purchase some more for sandwiches. Expensive-as-hell sandwiches, to be certain, but yummy!

In other news, yesterday, the 8th, was my eldest daughter’s birthday. It was hard to be halfway across the world during this time, but we still had Facebook, so I could write on her wall, so to speak. I left her a Finnish birthday greeting with this picture:

moominbirthday

To bad it doesn’t say it in Finnish, but I wished her a hyvää sytymäpäivää, anyway. 🙂

My middlest daughter wrote me to say that she is in line for three promotions in a row, and each comes with a small raise and an increase in hours. She still can’t get up to full-time hours (corporate policy), but she will get close to 30 hours each week, which is good. I’m so proud of her for sticking with this job and doing such a good job at it, too!

My youngest daughter, who was freaking out about her first semester in college wrote to say that she had changed her major and was feeling a lot less stressed out now. She’s going to go from pre-Pharm to Kinesiology with a concentration in Fitness Studies. She has an eye towards pediatric physical therapy, so she still is in line to help kids, which was her main goal. I’m relieved that she feels relief.

Today is Sunday, Father’s Day here in Finland (Hyvää isänpäivää to all the dads out there!). Plans are to not feel guilty about spending today in jammies (since I did achieve some errands yesterday!), study my Finnish flashcards and prep for my game this afternoon. Lazy, hazy Sunday!

I also want to welcome all my new followers (I always feel like a cult leader when I say that 🙂 ), and I really appreciate your coming to visit my little corner of the world. Some of you come with blogs of your own, and I have enjoyed reading about your own experiences where you are. I really appreciate the time some of you have taken to comment on various blog entries, especially with helpful tips for me. Thank you again for your support!

Moi moi!

7 thoughts on “Whoa, Nellie!

      • The word “horse” is actually “hevonen” in Finnish. “Hevosen” stands for “of a horse”, so in this context “heavosen ulkofile” translates (directly if not very grammatically correctly) to “sirloin of a horse”.

        Speaking of horse meat, it’s a pretty common ingredient in traditional Finnish meetvursti (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metworst), a variation of salami. So if you’ve had a meetvursti sandwich, you’ve had some horse meat.

        Horse meat is pretty close to cow meat, but a little less fatty and usually more tender. I find it puzzling how horse meat is such a taboo in many parts of the world, even though every other farm animal is commonplace in the dinner table.

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      • I’m still learning my way around the Finnish grammar! I have a feeling it will be a long road!

        Now that I’ve tasted it, I’m pretty puzzled about it as well, other than the fact that we tend to humanize our animals so much, especially in the States. If it’s ‘pretty’ or ‘cute’, we don’t want to think about eating it. Also, I think most of the recent uproar hasn’t been as much about what kind of meat we were buying, but the fact that it was labeled as something else. That I’d get pretty upset about, too. Although, admittedly, few people in the US wanted to eat horse meat, even if it was labeled as such. In the SE Louisiana area, we have an animal called a nutria, this rodent that was brought in from China (I think) for fur and meat about seventy-plus years ago. Needless to say, neither caught on, and now it’s just known for tearing up the seawalls and causing flooding issues. :/ Supposedly, it tastes like…chicken.

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  1. OMG! Being a born American, and probably a vegetarian-fruit eating carnivore, I can’t imagine eating horse. I’ll stick to the wild boar and lamb – that’s as adventurous as I can get!

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  2. Here is a collection of horse recipes (provided by The Finnish trotting and breeding association). Recipes are in Finnish, but I assume you have in-house translation services. 😉

    One can’t go wrong with roast bee… horse, “hevosenpaisti”, page 6. The only problem with horse meat is its random availability (and price). With luck, you can buy “roast bits” with €5/kg. (Been there, done that, got the “Freezer Full Of Horse” T-shirt.)

    http://www.hippos.fi/files/1375/Reseptivihko.pdf

    http://www.hippos.fi/in_english
    http://www.hippos.fi/hippos/muut/in_english/the_finnhorse

    On an unrelated note, the Finnish Society for Welfare of Animals (SEY) was founded in 1901, and its initial animal welfare agenda was promoting the use of horse meat. Back then, horses were not eaten. Instead, old, weakened work horses were sold (and resold) from one owner to another and were forced to work as long as they could stand. So, SEY’s inspectors began to tour market animal fairs, buying “hopeless cases” for slaughter. Meanwhile, back in the city, SEY was present at every opening of an envelope with a horse meat-tasting stand.

    Source (in Finnish): http://www.sey.fi/mik%C3%A4-sey/seyn-historia/millaista-elainsuojelu-oli-100-vuotta-sitten

    Item last: reindeer (yummy!)
    http://www.pororeseptit.fi/in-english/

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    • That is some interesting stuff! I went to get steaks today, but apparently they usually only have the meat on the weekends, so I’ll have to check back then. I might do a whole post on the horsemeat, just to educate the masses. 🙂
      Thank you!

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