Joulupöytä (translated "Yule table") is the name of the traditional assortment of foods served at Christmas in Finland, similar to the Swedish smörgåsbord. It contains many different dishes, most of them typical for the season. The main dish is usually a large Christmas ham, which is eaten with mustard or bread along with the other dishes. Fish is also served (often lutefisk and gravlax), and with the ham there are also so-called laatikkos, casseroles with liver and raisins or potatoes or rice and carrots. The traditional Christmas beverage is either alcoholic or non-alcoholic mulled wine (glögi in Finnish).
The traditional dishes of joulupöytä include:
- Christmas ham with mustard
- Karelian stew (not served everywhere in Finland)
- Lipeäkala with melted butter and white sauce
- Raw, salt-cured salmon and lavaret, often served with chopped red onion and sour cream
- Pickled herring in various forms (tomato, mustard, matjes or onion sauces)
- Potato casserole (sweetened or not, depending on preference)
- Carrot casserole
- Liver casserole
- Rutabaga casserole
- Boiled potatoes
- Rosolli (salad from boiled beetroots, carrots, potatoes, apples and pickled cucumber. It's sometimes served with herring.)
- Mushroom salad
- Various sauces
Beverages most often served are:
The usual desserts are:
Usually the rice porridge is served from a large, common kettle and an almond has been hidden in it. The one who gets the almond gets his or her Christmas presents first or gets a wish. Sometimes rice porridge is served as breakfast.
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