Happy Sunday to everyone! It has been incredible couple of weeks here in Finland. It has been warmer than in Southern Europe! This weekend I did a little sandwich feast for my family. I prepared 6 different rye bread sandwiches with different fillings, some more traditional than others. Our jury was unanimous and our favourite scored full marks across the board. Hopefully this will give you some inspiration, even if you don’t have access to rye bread.
Let’s start with the bread itself. For those who don’t know, rye bread is made from rye flour and is super high in fiber. Rye bread is much healthier option than your standard white loaf and it has a depth of flavour. When paired with the right toppings, the results are divine. There are plenty of rye bread to choose from and every Finn has their own go to bread which they have been eaten for decades. I chose two of my favourites: Reissumies Tosi Tumma from Oululainen and Ruispalat from Vaasan. When you get a chance try these out.
So let’s start. Here are all the ingredients:
1st Place: Avocado, Cottage Cheese and Egg
Obviously this is quite far from the traditional bread fillings, but this was our winner by a country mile! You have to try this out. I have made variations of this before but never with cottage cheese until my mum recommended adding it to the mix. It was heavenly. Now, the cottage cheese is a lot milder and less bitter than the ones in England for example but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work with that too. Be creative and use what ever you have available. I have previously used poached egg instead of a regular boiled egg, and that takes it to another level. The best thing about rye bread sandwiches, or sandwiches in general is that there is no right or wrong.
I started with buttering the bread. If you are on a diet you can skip this step, there is plenty of fat in the avocado itself. Next I used a fork to make a rough paste of the avocado and mixed the cottage cheese to the paste and added a tiny pinch of herbal salt. Then I placed a piece of lettuce on the buttered bread and poured the avocado mix on top. Next I sliced a boiled egg and there we have it!
Shared 2nd Place: Salmon, Egg and Dill
Shared second places went to two more traditional sandwich alternatives. Salmon goes so well with rye bread and I used Smoked Atlantic Salmon for extra flavour. Fish in Finland is exceptional so made sure you try it and trust me there are plenty of opportunities to do so.
This is very very simply to put together. Given that your fish is already prepared. I just placed some fish that I had forked out from the filet on a piece of lettuce and used and egg slicer to slice my egg and added a little dill on top. In Finland fish is almost synonymous to dill. You hardly see one without the other, so it would have been a crime not to join these two together. This is one of my all time favourite rye bread sandwiches.
Shared 2nd Place: Cheese and Red Pepper
It doesn’t get any simpler than this. Just a slice of cheese and red pepper. Classic combo regularly sold as a snack all over the country. Flavours are far from being exotic or trendy, but when something works, it just works. You can’t go wrong with cheese and red pepper but there might be more out there.
4th Place: Cream Cheese and Cucumber
This was a bit of an experiment. I wanted to know how well British flavours go with rye bread and I’m pleased to tell you, it’s not bad at all. It was quite enjoyable. I used a garlic cream cheese as I thought the flavour of the bread would otherwise be overpowering and I think it was the right choice. You should really try it, unless you are British. Haha.
Shared 5th Place: Ham and Gherkin
This was somewhat a disappointment, not sure why. Gherkins are everywhere in Finland. That obviously goes back to the time when pickling was one of the only ways to preserve food for the long winter. They are hard to find in a supermarket for an untrained eye, as they are stored in massive barrels by the fruit and veg isle. My husband would rather eat his own arm that a gherkin, but I do like them. So here we have it with a nice slice of ham.
Shared 5th Place: Liver Pate
Next we have our good old friend Liver Pate. Good contender but maybe lacked a bit of depth in the flavour department to top the list, but nevertheless worth a try. Liver pate in Finland is sold in a weird sausage shaped plastic tube. You’d never guess without knowing what it is. Now scroll up to the first picture and you see it just below the salmon. Weird, isn’t it? I wonder how many people have picked it up thinking it’s Mortadella or something. Liver pate in Finland is silky smooth and very delicate in flavour. I absolutely love it, but it just didn’t really work for me this time.
I think that is enough talk about rye bread sandwiches. What do you guys think? Have you tried any of these? I’d love to know what other people but on their bread, rye or not. What about gherkins and liver pate? Yay or nay?
I really enjoyed making these rye bread sandwiches and I’m sure my family would agree. Not sure anyone has ever asked them to rank their lunch before, but there is always a first. A video on our sandwich making session will be on YouTube later on, and if you haven’t already seen our video on Vappu, then head to our channel. A blog post on Vappu can be found here. Also make sure to follow us on Instagram and you won’t miss a beat, plus you get to see more of our daily life in Finland.
Have a great week everyone!