Natural delicacies from Finland
TEXT: MARIA PIRKKALAINEN | PHOTOS © RIITAN HERKKU
The family-owned manufacturer Riitan Herkku has innovated and brought tasty delicacies to Finnish dinner tables for over three decades now. Scan Magazine spoke to the company’s managing director, Marina Sabel, about what makes their growing line of berry juices and soups so unique.
Proudly inspired by traditional, natural Finnish ingredients and the company’s own roots, Riitan Herkku, in English ‘Riitta’s delicacy’, has always had its headquarters in the picturesque Mustasaari, near the Baltic Sea. “My parents started the company over 30 years ago. Riitta is my mother’s name – my father always says he must be the delicacy then!” Sabel laughs.
Having started with the manufacturing of traditional Finnish ‘leipäjuusto’, squeaky cheese, the company has recently extended its wide portfolio to include berry juices and, excitingly, berry soups, a cold delicacy that is popular in Finland as a snack or as part of a healthy breakfast.
Only the highest-quality berries
Berry products are close to the forward-thinking company’s heart, something that is highly understandable if you know that Finland is home to the world’s largest organic-certified forest berry areas. Also, as in mid-summer there is an abundance of natural light, since the sun does not set at all in the northern Arctic Circle region and only for a few hours in the south, these Finnish berries are even healthier, as they have higher levels of a beneficial antioxidant, anthocyanin.
The berries that Riitan Herkku uses are special in themselves. For example, instead of using cultivated blueberries, which you can easily find in nearly any shop, Riitan Herkku uses handpicked Arctic bilberries. “Imagine – these berries grow ecologically in wild forests, with no carbon or water footprint,” Sabel explains. “An Arctic bilberry also offers five times more anthocyanins than a high-bush blueberry.”
Riitan Herkku’s high-quality berry soups and juices are made from 100 per cent pure berries and without concentrate. “You can really taste the difference,” Sabel asserts.
Next time you visit Finland, try some bilberry soup with oat porridge or on its own – both quintessential Finnish snacks that you cannot go wrong with.