Porcini mushroom pizza on the table.

Finnish pizza culture is very young, as the first pizza places in Finland were opened in the 1970s. All Finns are probably familiar with the pizzas grandma used to make; ketchup instead of San Marzano tomatoes and ground beef instead of air-dried salami. In recent years, however, Finland, too, has seen a pizza-making revolution. This has been brought on by passionate restauranteurs and enthusiastic home pizza chefs who have brought pizza ovens to their backyards. A pizza chef group on Facebook has more than 26,000 members discussing the purposes of different types of flour and the best pizza base recipes.

Due to the long winters, preserves and seasonal products have been characteristic of Finnish cuisine. Today, supermarket shelves are full of food items from all over the world, and being able to find high-quality pizza flour in your local grocery store is the norm.

The pizza that we now eat originated in Naples in the south of Italy in the 18th century. Pizza used to be a cheap option for commoners, until it became one of the world’s most popular dishes in the 20th century. Finnish cuisine and Italian pizza have simplicity and the purity of the ingredients in common. Pure Finnish nature and the concept of Everyman’s Rights, including the right to pick wild berries and mushrooms and fish, ensure that you can pick your pizza toppings in the local forest, if you wish. Penny buns, freshwater fish and game, for example, are excellent and special ingredients to top your pizza. Combined with high-quality cheese and dough, Finnish pizza must have some of the best flavors in the world. Now you can make it at home!

 

Jukka Salminen / @Slicemonger

Jukka “Slicemonger” Salminen is a Tampere-based photographer, musician and pizza maker who has been working on pizza for years. The sociability is also important to Jukka – cooking and eating together is the best thing a person can do.

Jukka developed a porcini mushroom pizza recipe for us, inspired by Finnish food culture. You’ll find the recipe here.