Hard Core Finnish Easter Dessert


It looks like chocolate fudge cake. It tastes like compact sour-dough rye bread and molasses. It is basically compact sour-dough rye bread and molasses. You have it at Easter, cold, with cream and sugar. It is a Finnish thing. It is very strange.

It is memma. You will grow to like it.


  1. #1 Wife
    March 21, 2009

    Var har du fatt tag pa detta?

  2. #2 Janne
    March 21, 2009

    Ohh, memma! Fick det jämt hos min mormor (som var finsk) när vi var på besök. Inget man tar till sig direkt som vuxen kanske.

  3. #3 Janne
    March 21, 2009

    ps. om du gillar memma så dricker du väl sima också? Fantastiskt gott, och man kan laga det hemma.

  4. #4 Bob O'H
    March 21, 2009

    Memma? Mitä se on?

    It’s called ‘mämmi’ in less civilized parts of the world.

  5. #5 Mikael
    March 21, 2009

    Mämmi rules!

  6. #6 llewelly
    March 21, 2009

    It is basically compact sour-dough rye bread and molasses. You have it at Easter, cold, with cream and sugar. It is a Finnish thing. It is very strange.

    Hm. I’ve made something vaguely similar a few times. Looks like I had it with thicker cream, however. And I had no idea it was anything like a Finnish Easter food.

  7. #7 Nomen Nescio
    March 21, 2009

    it’s been too many years since i got to have that.

    the wikipedia page has a couple recipes. hmm, i wonder if i could get hold of rye malt anywhere nearby…

  8. #8 Martin R
    March 21, 2009

    Baby, I bought it at Hemköp on my way to Skepparstigen.

    Janne, I haven’t heard of sima before. Judging from recipes it should be pretty vile. But, I guess, “try everything once except incest and country dancing”…

    Llew, you made memma and didn’t know what it was? What exactly were you trying to make?!

    N.N., maybe a beer hobbyist mail-order site can help?

  9. #9 Andreas
    March 21, 2009

    Did see Gordon Ramsay taste this on one of his shows. He found it absolutely disgusting 😀

  10. #10 rsm
    March 21, 2009

    I don’t see why this would be even close to unappealing. Molasses are a bit of an acquired taste, but sourdough ryebread just sounds yummy.

    Then again I like natto and enjoy buttermilk as an alternative to normal milk. Then again I might be a bit off the radar of normal in these things.

  11. #11 Nomen Nescio
    March 21, 2009

    sima (mjöd) done right is yummy. it can be screwed up, of course, as any brewing process, but it’s relatively foolproof and the result most worthwhile. it’s a May Day thing where i grew up.

    memma is a bit of an acquired taste, but as compared to stuff like natto, i refuse to believe it would be anywhere nearly as hard to acquire.

  12. #12 Martin R
    March 22, 2009

    Sima seems similar to gotlandsdricka, whose quality varies dramatically from maker to maker.

  13. #13 Henrik
    March 22, 2009

    Yes, sima/mjöd quality varies a lot from maker to maker, plus it goes bad relatively quickly. The varieties you can buy in shops usually taste little like the homebrew stuff.

  14. #14 Masks of Eris
    March 22, 2009

    A Finn to a foreigner: “It is traditional. It is not what you think it is. This is not some evil prank we pull on gullible out-of-towners. No sirree. Heh heh. Now I will watch you when you eat it. Pon appetititi.”

  15. #15 Nomen Nescio
    March 22, 2009

    certainly it is not any evil prank Finns pull on foreigners.

    those all involve saunas.

  16. #16 Niklas R
    March 23, 2009

    Future wife’s mother is from Finland, so we naturally eat memmi at easter. I actually became quite fond of it from the start. The key is not to anticipate a yummy sweet dessert when you’re about to try it.

  17. #17 Pär
    March 23, 2009

    Memma is pretty tasty. It’s also the highest-density substance in the known universe, so you’re usually full after just a bite. Gotlandsdricku should be banned, btw.

  18. #18 DianaGainer
    March 23, 2009

    My granny made sweet cornbread and crumbled it into milk for over 100 years. As far as I know, she’s still doing it (age 104). Back when she was young and sugar wasn’t available, they sometimes sweetened things with honey, molasses, or even sorghum. If she’d had a different type of bread such as sourdough rye, I imagine she’d have eaten memma but called it something else. She was born in Indian Territory, which became Oklahoma, by the way.

  19. #19 Martin R
    March 23, 2009

    In one of Edith Nesbit’s children’s fantasy books, a group of sibs make a wish for the best meal in the world, and receive a bowl of bread boiled in milk. This, explains Nesbit, is not the tastiest of meals, but certainly the best.

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.