Food Traditions

The Forest Finns lived in harmony with nature, and they utilized all the resources found in nature.

As long as the Forest Finns had their slash and burn fields, rye was the main grain in their diet, but they also quickly started growing barley and oats.

A type of turnip was also sown in the ashes with the rye. "Kaskinauris" Ash or sweat turnip. This was a good source of vitamin C and meant that the Forest finns were less affected by scurvy than others.

Forest berries also played an important role, especially lingonberries, in addition to other plants that could be used as food.

The forest fins often settled near water and fish were an important food source.

Food that had to be kept frost-free was placed in pits in the ground, often lined with birch shaves. Stone pits were also built.


The most famous Forest finn dish is Motti (Finnish; Mutti). In the beginning this was made from rye, but now Skrädmjöl (roasted oat flour) is used. Before, the dish was a food for the poor, but now it is primarily made at festive gatherings.

Motti is made by boiling water and salt, when the water boils, flour is added over the water. The flour should cover the surface of the water, and the water will boil up like small "volcanoes". You use the ladle to carefully sweep flour over the "volcanoes".

The trick is to stir the porridge as little as possible, preferably just pound it, so that the flour turns into small lumps. If you stir too early, the motti will get raw. If you stir too late, the motti will be small, mealy and dry.

In old times it was said that "a lazy woman cooks good motti", or that you should be able to go out to the food house and cut the pork while it is cooking.

Motti is served with fried pork, pork fat and lingonberries. In some places they used the water from cooking fish to make the Motti and then it was eaten with the fish and sometimes it was made on sour milk.

1 cup of water
1 teaspoon of salt
2 cups Skrädmjöl


Hillo is a berry straight from the Finnskogen. It consists of lingonberries and Skrädmjöl. The berry is crushed with a spoon before it is mixed with the skrädmjöl in little by little. If you don't have lingonberries, blueberries can be used, for example.

Some people serve Hillo with custard or whipped cream.

600 g Skrädmjöl
75 g cranberries
Possibly sugar if needed

Is a kind of stew that consists of lightly salted pork, potatoes, onions, milk and pepper. 

Served with lingonberries and flat bread. The pork is fried in cubes, onions and diced potatoes are added. Then milk is poured over and this is allowed to boil into a stew.

Resk / rieska
Is an old word for unleavened bread. The bread is reminiscent of a thick pancake originally made from flour and water, mixed into a thick batter, often with added salt, herbs, berries or turnips. Today often mixed with potatoes.

A whole grain oat flour. Before the oats are milled, they are roasted over high heat, so the husk is removed. Skrädmjöl is made at some mills in Sweden and can be bought in selected specialist shops.

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