Reindeer feed on reindeer moss, a type of lichen growing on the fells in Lapland, and this 100% natural diet makes their meat low in fat and very high in protein and minerals.
Best-known reindeer dish: sautéed
Sautéed reindeer must be the best-known way of enjoying this delicacy. It used to be everyday food in herding and rearing areas, but over the years it has become a widely known and popular traditional dish.
Experts say that you can ensure the best results by choosing a blade, shin, or chuck cut, and then slicing it thinly while still partially frozen. You can also buy ready-cut reindeer meat for this dish.
The meat is traditionally fried on a pan using reindeer surface fat, but butter works well too. Southern vegetable oils have no place in foods based on reindeer meat.
Salt and pepper are sufficient to season reindeer, as they highlight its slightly gamey taste very well. Sautéed reindeer is usually served with buttery mashed potatoes and lingonberry preserve.
Many opportunities for tasting reindeer meat at Helsinki Airport
Restaurant Fly Inn (Gate 27) serves popular reindeer burgers (single EUR 25.50 / double EUR 29.20) with caramelised onions, truffle mayonnaise, and smoked cheese.
Ravintola Seasons' (Gate 14) reindeer burger (EUR 22.90) also comes with caramelised onion, and is accompanied by roasted tomatoes, alder-smoked cheese, and a crème fraiche sauce.
Both are served with country-style chips and ketchup made in-house.
Tapio Café (Gate 24) offers reindeer meatballs (EUR 11.50) in a traditional way, with potato mash and a creamy sauce. And, of course, with whole lingonberries to top it off.
Tapio Café opened in October, and its menu focuses on products by Finnish small-farm producers, ingredients from Finnish forests, and other types of top-quality Finnish raw materials.
Come and enjoy food that is both tasty and healthy!