Finland is a remarkable European nation and has a rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. A visit to this place for me has been rewarding in every way imaginable. However, even in the midst of all the Northern lights and exquisite natural beauty on display I could not help but take notice of two unique items you would find there. One among them is the famous cup made in Finland. The other is a kind of a bread or cake known as the Rye bread.
The cup is an amazing specimen of Finland’s craft and culture. Devised by the locals, the cup is made from the barks of the Birch tree. This is known as the Kuksa cup. It is not breakable like the usual cups and is thus a great idea to use for beverages. The Lyap group of people in Finland usually indulges in the making of such cups. They are hardy and strong and easily withstand a lot of damage without a scratch on them. There are however replicas that are made and sold in the markets. These replicas are made of ceramics and can be handy items to decorate your house. In fact as a gift from the capital city of Finland, Helsinki, this can be a great gift item for your near ones back home. This is an ideal cup for those willing to delve into a hot or cold beverage. The usage is very convenient and it is in fact a lot of added advantage to use these cups.
The Rye bread too is a delicacy of this land. These breads last for a fairly long time and the best part is thus that you can get some of this bread and not worry about them going bad in course of the journey. The cultivation of Rye in these parts of the world is as old as 2000 years. The German Rye bread is oilier than this and this is thus the better pick. As far as the Swedish rye bread is concerned it is spicier than this and thus once again this emerges as the better option.
Finland has been a rewarding experience and made me more evolved a traveler but pardon me for being materialistic in just this one instance and not getting over these two fine items from Finland. You too must use them or buy it for gift purposes if and when you visit the beautiful country of Finland.
A visit to South Africa can be rewarding in more ways than one.
On one hand, you have some of the most beautiful sceneries around you to leave you in a trance. On the other, this part of the world is known for some of the best cuisines whose taste appeals to a majority of the tourists. On my visit to this South African city I had the chance to experience one of their most popular, but easy to make street food; the Bunny Chow. This is regarded as one of the native food items of Cape town and is also extremely popular among the inhabitants of this region.
The dish can be modified in many ways as per your liking. It is a filling and tasty snack and is yet not unhealthy by any means. To put across the simplest description of this dish I have to say it is more of a combination of bread and curry. The best of both worlds come together and create a dish that is unique and is also sure to entertain your taste buds. If you go by the history of South Africa, you would notice the imprints of an Indian community from ancient times. This dish is a creation of that Indian community and a synthesis of the Western and Indian flavors. While it started with the Indian community it soon spread among the entire nation of South Africa and became widely popular. You would find it in any Indian restaurant in South Africa and this could be just the thing you are looking for after a stroll along the beautiful beaches of Cape Town on a lazy afternoon.
To make this dish you have to first make a hole by scraping out some bread from a big loaf of bread. It should be big enough to hold the curry that would be gently poured inside. Fry some onions in a pan first and then add some ginger, garlic, cardamom, chopped chilly, minced meat, carrots and tomatoes. You can easily substitute some of these with vegetables of your choice or even make the snack vegetarian if you so want. The insides of the bread loaf can be laced with some lemon juice to add the tangy flavor to the dish. Then the prepared curry is to be gently put inside. The dish is now ready and can be garnished with some coriander.
If you happen to visit this part of the world, never miss out on this amazing food item.