Joulupöytä

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
*Turkey
*Boiled potatoes
*Lutefisk and white sauce
*Freshly salted salmon, (Gravlax), whitefish and pikeperch
*Potato casserole (sweetened or not, depending on preference)
*Carrot casserole
*Liver casserole
*Rutabaga casserole
*Rosolli (salad from boiled beetroots, carrots, potatoes and pickled cucumber. If served with herring, it becomes sillisalaatti)
*Mixed fruit soup or prune soup
*Rice pudding or rice porridge with cinnamon, sugar and cold milk or with mixed fruit soup
*Glogg or mulled wine
*Pickled herring in various forms (tomato, mustard, matjes or onion sauces)
*Mustard
*Various sauces
*Christmas beer
*Prune jam pastries
*Gingerbread

Beverages most often served are:

*Vodka as appetizer
*Mulled wine
*Beer, usually special Christmas brands. Most Finnish breweries have seasonal beers for Christmas.
*Milk
*Wine is uncommon, but not rare

The usual desserts are:

*Plum soup
*Rice porridge
*Ice cream with jelly
*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.

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