|Best breakfast ever: Talkkuna with viili and black, strong coffee|
Talkkuna flour is made from whole oats, barley and dried pea. It tastes pretty much like toasted rye bread and mixed with low-fat viili (soured milky product – a little like yogurt) tastes just delicious.
My daughter who spent a year in Finland recently tells me I’m pretty unique in still eating this old-fashioned stuff but I think it is the best breakfast fare ever.
When I was growing up in Tampere my mother would mash the flour into freshly picked lingonberries and sprinkle it with a little sugar to make pöperö. We’d all eat it straight from the bowl, fighting over who’d get the most spoonfuls.
When the Englishman saw me mix my first breakfast bowlful of viili with Talkkuna on our honeymoon in Finland, he made jokes about the consumption of such foodstuffs being enough cause for an annulment of the marriage vows.
He says it tastes like wall-paper paste.
But I wouldn’t be swayed by the opinion of an Englishman. Didn’t think the English had a leg to stand on when it came to culinary matters. They ate spotted dick and couldn’t produce a decent cup of coffee anywhere in those days.
So when we first moved to the UK, I phoned the Laihian Mallas factory to see if they could send me regular supplies of Talkkuna. (For some reason I couldn’t find the flour at Tesco’s – go figure?) A kind man in marketing told me I could have industrial quantities, but even my passion for the stuff couldn’t cope with 1,000 bags of Talkkuna in one go. Besides, I couldn’t get viili anywhere, although I was willing to make my own. All you needed was the culture from one pot…
As you can see I’m a true Talkkuna girl – any others out there?