Because of Finland's dependence on nature some dishes are seasonal as well as regional. These are based on seafood, vegetables and wild animals. Winter with its cold weather is a perfect time for thick soups made from vegetables such as turnips and rutabagas. Fish is often incorporated into the soup as well. A favorite soup lohikeitto (LOH-i-KAY-toh), is made from salmon prepared with potatoes, dill and milk.Mati (MATT-ee) , another popular winter dish is roe (fish eggs) taken from freshwater fish. Known as Finnish caviar and is delicious when served with sour cream.
The smorgasbord or Finnish buffet is called poronkaristys. Open-faced sandwiches on rye bread are often eaten for breakfast and snacks. Pastries are plentiful and bread is a staple in Finnish homes. A sweetbread called pulla comes in many forms, flavored with cardamon. Makkara (sausage) is roasted over a fire or sauna heater. Porridge with mike and butter is a traditional breakfast but today most Finns prefer cereal, yogurt or rye bread with cheese and sausage. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day it includes salad, bread, a main course of fish, chicken or meat with sauce and a side dish of boiled rice, potatoes or pasta.