|A slightly more modern version of the Finnish joulupöytä.,|
Joulupöytä (translated "Yule table") is the name of the traditional food board 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 contain:
Christmas ham with mustard
Lutefisk and white sauce
Freshly salted salmon, (Gravlax), whitefish and pikeperch
Potato casserole (sweetened or not, depending on preference)
Rosolli (salad from boiled beetroots, carrots, potatoes, apples and pickled cucumber. If served with herring, it becomes sillisalaatti)
Pickled herring in various forms (tomato, mustard, matjes or onion sauces)
Beverages most often served are:
Vodka as appetizer
Glogg or mulled wine (after dinner, not during)
Beer, usually special Christmas brands. Most Finnish breweries have seasonal beers for Christmas.
Wine is untraditional, but it has grown in popularity nowadays
The usual desserts are:
Prune jam pastries
Mixed fruit soup
Rice pudding or rice porridge with cinnamon, sugar and cold milk or with raisin or mixed fruit soup
Ice cream with jam
Confectioneries and other sweets, especially chocolate
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.