The Kainuu food has always been simple, yet very varied, full of energy and taste, the ingredients coming from the waters, forests, fields and cattle.
Game, especially birds, was a significant addition to the food. Of the berries, lingonberry, blueberry and cloudberry were the most popular. For a long time, mushrooms weren’t collected and preserved at all, but were perceived as “delicacies for the cows”. Only the eating habits spreading from Karelia brought mushrooms to the food tables in Kainuu. When talking about the food the forest gave, we must not forget the bark bread, which on many autumns was the only ingredient in the Kainuu bread.
Milk, butter, meat and blood were obtained from the herd. Of those, the meat was of the greatest importance, traditionally prepared in a slow smoking process.
Of the products from the fields, barley and turnips were the most most used and appreciated, and the rye was almost of equal value, as well. The position of the potato was later established, as well as the position of the carrot and the swede.
Thickened soups may be mentioned as a specialty of Kainuu. There were made of meat, fish, berries, etc.