All posts by admin

My name is Vesa Leinonen, i take photographs of Nature, culture and cuisine, particular interest in regional products, natural resources and the cultural traditions of hunter gatherer in the ancient days. A particular region has a population and history, the natural environment provided resources that enabled populations to grow and enjoy life. Often people don't see the connection between ethnic cuisine and the regional environment, also the modern trends tend to steer people away from Natural landscapes, and away from Nature in general. Which leads to ignorance of the importance of regional products and local food ingredients and their role in cultural history. My education and training in commercial cookery (chef), with lots of kitchen work experience, has given me a fresh appreciation for the food ingredients that have been grown on the local farms.

Natural Nordic berries

Natural Nordic berries

Natural Nordic berries are a great source  of natural nutrition and Phenolic compounds from the natural Nordic ingredients.  The primary one’s are the Nordic berries, herbs, and mushrooms from the Nordic land environment.  There are also vast fish stocks in the freshwater creeks, rivers, ponds, and lakes.

The modern Industrialization of a society with factories and dam building did affect the quality of the fresh waters during the 50’s to 70’s. Since then many problem areas have been cleaned up and the free flow of pollution into natural rivers and lakes stopped for good.
The Gulf of Finland is being mostly affected by the many large cities along its shoreline.  Then there is also the fish stock in the Bothnia Sea, herrings, Baltic herrings, perch, and salmon, which does get fresh water flowing into the Bothnia Sea bay, especially during the spring season, while the winter snow and ice melts from the catchment areas and flows into the Bothnia Sea. Last but not least is the far north Arctic Sea, where the clean Arctic waters are filled with large resources of fish, like Arctic cod and salmon just to name a few, plentiful with large resources of seafood.

Natural Nordic berries and the traditional berry forage culture


The most common Natural Nordic berries that are foraged and harvested by the local peoples do vary some from region to region, and the local environment and also the latitude.  Not all berries grow equally; they can be located at very specific areas especially with the development of modern farming, draining of bogs and swamps.  The cultivation and expansion of the pine forestry, forest harvesting and the modern urban development, with the growth of cities, roads and highways. They have all affected the land areas in many ways where natural berries did grow naturally and undisturbed for many hundreds of years, if not for thousands.

Natural Nordic berries
All Copyrights Reserved.

Natural Nordic berries environment

Wild berries do need a particular natural environment, with the right soil acidity, moisture and the right amount of sunlight. Trees can be a problem to natural berries, trees drink a lot of water during the summer season, therefore draining the top soil of water, and the large grown trees also block the sunlight from reaching the ground cover.  Thirdly the trees can act as a wind break, blocking out the pollinators from getting access to the berry plants. Much of the natural landscape where Natural Nordic berries seem to thrive best are mostly  open with only some trees scattered around about, with a natural water source close by, peat and moss, springs, creeks or rivers, and  wet marsh areas that keep the ground cover and foliage moist during the hot dry summer months.

Sweet nutrition from Natural Nordic Berries.

There 6 popular berries that do grow naturally in the Nordic environment without any intervention from humans. They are Lingonberries, Bilberries, Wild Raspberries, Cloud-berries, Cranberry, and the wild Strawberry.
All these berries can be found at some of the local farmers markets during the mid to late summer season, the berries do not all ripen at the same time, they do vary a lot and the peak season is relatively short for some berries, all berries are not equal as when they ripen and how long the season lasts. As well as the wild berries there are also farmed berries from the Nordic countries as well as the rest of Europe, the most common ones are the big bright red round strawberries and large raspberries.   The wild berries never grow as big as the farmed ones.
The other 4 berries mentioned are not farmed in the Nordic countries, at least not farmed in Finland, the wild berries do not adapt well to artificially manipulated environments. They are very sensitive to the natural growing stages of their growing environment.

Nutrition highlights of the Natural Nordic berries.

Vitamin C. Sea buckthorn berry has a very high vitamin C content, some 165mg per 100 grams, compared to 50mg of an orange, and 65mg in a kiwi fruit, per 100 grams. Cloudberry is also relatively high in vitamin C, at 100mg per 100 grams of fresh fruit weight.  Vitamin C. RDI is 75mg/day.

Vitamin E.  Sea Buckthorn berry is 3 mg/100 grams.  Cloudberry also 3 mg per 100 grams. Bilberry being close to 2mg per 100 grams, and Lingonberry at 1.5 mg per 100 grams.  Vitamin E. RDI is between 8-10mg/day.

Natural Nordic berries and Essential fatty acid content

Content of Essential fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids and Omega-3 fatty acids.
Sea buckthorn berry is at 240mg (omega-6) per 100 grams of fresh berry weight. Omega-3 content level is at 330mg/100 grams.
Cranberry, Lingonberry and Bilberry all have the same omega-6 level at 125mg/100 grams.

Source:  National Institute for Health and Welfare. 2013.

Phenolic compounds in the Natural Nordic berries.

Nordic berries do have polyphenols in the skin of the berries, similar to the dark red wine grapes skins, that contain the polyphenols. What is a polyphenol, here is a definition.

“A polyphenol antioxidant is a type of antioxidant containing a polyphenolic substructure. Numbering over 4,000 distinct species, many of these compounds have antioxidant activity in vitro but are unlikely to have antioxidant roles in vivo.  Rather, they may affect cell-to-cell signalling, receptor sensitivity, inflammatory enzyme activity or gene regulation”. – Wikipedia.

Polyphenols are not classified as a nutrient, but extensive research has been done, and the conclusion is that the polyphenols, similar as the vast research done over many years on human health and Carotenoids has yielded results that prove that the Carotenoids do positively affect the quality of life.

They protect the many millions of molecular cell structures of the body from the attacks of free radicals. Free radicals break down good molecular structures, by their dynamic chemical reactions.

“A free radical is any atom or molecule that has a single unpaired electron in an outer shell. While a few free radicals such as melanin are not chemically reactive, most biologically-relevant free radicals are highly reactive. For most biological structures, free radical damage is closely associated with oxidative damage. Antioxidants are reducing agents, and limit oxidative damage to biological structures by passivating them from free radicals. – Wikipedia.

Natural Nordic berries with the natural Polyphenols and carotenoids have yielded results that prove that they do positively affect the quality of life. Take a minute or two view the picture galleries of the natural Nordic berries today.

Thank you for visiting Nordic Cuisine focus website, and reading this article on Natural Nordic Berries.  If you would like to purchase a berry photo or perhaps a product, a T-shirt, a mouse pad, or a poster for the wall, then you have two galleries to choose from:

Europe  Natural Nordic berries Gallery.

Have a great day and enjoy the summer season berry pictures from the Nordic region.  Cheers!

Happy New Year 2015

Happy New Year 2015

Happy New Year 2015, we wish you a wonderful new year filled with abundance, joy, and treasured moments.

May the year 2015 be your best year yet!

The world may be cracking up in many places, and it often seems like many places are falling apart.  There are many areas with aggressive violence going out of control.  But life does not ned to be like that, in fact it is not really living a life in the best sense of the term if there is festering violence going on, it is more like a viral disease that is contagious and out of control. Peace is a much better option to look forward to in the future.

Thank you for your keen effort in roaming the world wide waters of the internet waters and landing on this one tiny net of a website.

Grateful for the visitors and for everyone’s enthusiasm in 2015, and really look forward to creating new fresh content in the new year coming up soon.

Cheers to the New Year!

Wishing you a Happy Holiday season for everyone.

Also visit this web site for Great  Holiday ♠ Ideas and plans

Happy New Year 2015
Alol Copyrights Reserved.

Easter Sunday 2014

Easter Sunday 2014

Easter Sunday 2014 is a blue bird Sunday,  lots of sunshine and bright blue skies.  The white snow cover on the ground has long gone this year and the many migration birds have been arrived to the Nordic region since the month of March, about 4 weeks ago.

The top temperature this Easter Sunday 2014 was over +20’C  today, the warmest day for this year here in Finland.  Pussy willows have sprouted and the new sprouts have sprung out and new growth already and taking the opportunity to grow in the warm spring season sunshine.

Easter Sunday 2014 is a day of rest and a day for the Christian world to remember the Easter Sunday resurrection of their Savior Jesus Christ.

New Year 2014

New Year 2014

New Year 2014 with a loud Happy new Year Cher!  This New Year 2014 has many new opportunities for whatever one sets the mind to do, and to experience in life.
To start of this year I will add some links to products that you may be interested in:

  • Picture Art.
  • Personal decision making skills.
  • Wisdom to know what is morally right, what it is and how to attain it into everyday life.

New Year 2014, now is a good idea to take stock of the year gone by, and make a list of pro’s and Con’s.
Then tick off the positive pro’s that you are proud of, and also cross out the negative Con’s that you don’t want to repeat in the new coming year.
That is one part of good decision making. Evaluating the decision made in the past, and correcting the errors of the past.  Watch this video.
Here is a website on decision making.

Nordic Art Images video. 

Nordic Prints available from this link.

I hope New Year 2014 is a good one for you.



Herring (Clupea harengus).

Herring fish have been caught around the world for many thousands of years.  The most abundant species belong to the genus Clupea, there are about 200 species of various herring.  They are found in the shallow, temperate waters of the North Pacific, also North Atlantic oceans, the Baltic Sea, and the west coast of South America.

Copy @ All Rights reserved 2012. Vesa Leinonen.

In the Scandinavian and the Nordic region the Baltic Herrings were a very important food source along with the Herring and the sprats (Sprattus sprattus). Herring’s were salted in wooden drums for the coming winter, an oily fish similar to anchovies and sardines that could also be pickled, smoked and cooked as a casserole with potatoes, bacon and onions.  Oily fish are a good source of vitamin A, D and the Omega 3. Oily fish and forage fish also can contain contaminants like mercury and dioxin.

Pickled herring also known as Bismarck herrings, it has been a delicacy in Europe for centuries.

The pickling of Baltic herrings is prepared usually in 3 stages: 1. Cleaning and gutting. 2. Soaked in salted pickle over night, drained and finally the third stage placing the herring filets into the final pickle that was briefly brought to boil containing vinegar with spices, onions, peppers and flavor giving vegetables.

The traditional preserving and cooking method of herring used basic ingredients at the time, salt for smoking with various wood types, e.g. apple tree or aspen.

For pickling the ingredients used were; white vinegar, onions, dill, peppers, spice, salt and maybe at better days red wine or sherry.  As the food culture grew and experimented with ingredients from other cultures then spices, herbs and vegetables from other cultures got acceptance and became more widely used.  The following recipe uses fennel, ginger and kafir lime for a broader flavor range. Enjoy.

Pickled spicy herring Recipe: Ginger, lime and fennel.
Baltic herring.   1kg.
Red onion.       400g.
Fennel.            1.
Dill.                 1 bunch.
Ginger.            25 gram.
Dill seeds.        1 tbsp.
Lime peel.        1 lime.
Kafir leaves.     4.
Schezuan pepper. 1 tbsp.

Stock A.
White wine vinegar.    200ml.
Water.                      100ml.
Salt.            1 tbsp.

Stock B.
White wine vinegar.     100ml.
Water.                        500ml.
Sugar.                        150g.
Salt.             4 tbsp.
Lime juice.    4 limes.


1. Clean the Baltic herrings from both ends.
2. Combine the ingredients for the first marinade, place the fish filets in a glass jar, pour the first marinade into the gloss jar over the fish, close and allow to marinade in the refrigerator for 6-12 hours, until the color of the fish has changed to white color.
3. Prepare the vegetables by cutting into fine slices or dice and the other flavor adding ingredients and the second marinade.
4. Drain the first marinade off the fish filets well in a strainer.
5. Add some flavor adding ingredients to the jar, followed by a layer of fish fillets, and keep alternating the fish filets with the flavor ingredients until the jar is full.
6. pour the second marinade into the jar over the fish.
7. Refrigerate for a couple of days, every now and then turn the jar upside down and shake to mix the vinegar with the flavor adding ingredients and to distribute the marinade well over the fish fillets.

Serve with crisp rye bread, butter, cheese and a suitable beverage.

Recipe source. SILLI & SILAKKA. Leif Mannerstrom. Atena.

Happy Spring season and many prosperous Farmers markets and fish market herring endeavors in the near future.

Nordic Art prints.

Here are many Nordic art prints available online.

These Nordic Art images are based in Europe, they can be ordered on line. View the image, and choose the frame you like. Pay the cost of the print, frame and the freight, then the framed picture will be sent to you asap.

Nordic art prints
Copy @ All RIghts Reserved 2012. Vesa Leinonen

Arctic blue.  This Nordic Art image is a snow fence on top of a tundra mountain. The snow fence has a layer of snow ice over it, and the surrounding environment is lit up with the arctic mid winter hue.

Transparent ice.  Picture image of a transparent slab of ice, with drifting white clouds and a blue sly in the background.

Natural Nordic Forest.   This Nordic Art print is a summer picture that i took while foraging for berries and mushroom in 2011. There are Bilberries and Lingonberries and cep mushrooms (Boletus edulis).

Red Rose. A Berry season picture with a red rose.

Biodiversity. This image is a macro picture with a tree stump covered with moss, and different types of mushrooms growing on it.

There are many Nordic Art prints available from the four season, the natural environment of the Nordic region goes through extreme seasonal changes.

Nordic Art prints from many seasons; Autumn, winter, spring and summer.

To view a You Tube Video of the some of the images available, click on the link below


The natural environment is made up of many dynamic living systems and fauna and flora, the Nordic Art prints has captured the many seasonal changes of the environment. Nordic Art prints support the respect and care that natural environments deserve. Do your share for the Nordic environment by sharing the life size pictures that can be seen from the natural Nordic environment.

Order Nordic Art prints at the convenience of ordering online today. Bring Nature indoors home with you, as a reminder of Natures intrinsic beauty.



Saariselka Lapland

Saariselka is located at the far north-east of Finland, a busy hub of activities for visiting guests of Lapland.

Well suited for families, tour groups and romantic couples on their honeymoon, there is something to do for everyone at Saariselka. Most common activities during the winter season for the visiting guests are Nordic trail skiing, Snowmobile safaris, Alpine skiing, husky sleigh dogs, snowboarding, snow shoe safaris, health spa, honeymoons, sauna, rest and relaxation, dine & wine, shopping, cafes, socializing and beer in a pub.

Saariselka town hub. All Rights Reserved. 2012. Nordic Cuisine

Saariselka town has modern tourism infrastructure in place, with tour companies, hotels, motels, igloo village, restaurants, cafes, coach service, taxi service, grocery store, information center, clothing, souvenirs, health spa, gyms, jeweler and more. It is serviced by regular coaches from the two main airports with traffic from abroad, the airports are located at Ivalo and Rovaniemi.

There is also a very long toboggan hill at Saariselka, with a walking distance (10-15min), the length of the toboggan hill is approx 2km.  Toboggans are available for hire at a reasonable hour rate, or it may be included in tour group activities.  Ski lifts are also within walking distance (15-20 min), there is also a ski bus that runs every hour to the base and the summit of Kaunispää Tundra.

Kaunispää (pretty head) tundra summit.

At the summit of Kaunispää there is a cafe/restaurant and a souvenir shop, with everything from; post cards, key tags, coffee mugs, woolen socks, jewellery to warm clothing. Customer service is always friendly at Kaunispää summit.

Saariselka hub is a dynamic tourist activity town, that has a consistent international clientele touring the area mostly during the winter season; November-April.

Panorama Summit Cafe/Restaurant.

saariselka kaunispaa
Kaunispää Tundra summit. All Rights Reserved 2012.

—->  Music video pictures of Saariselka.

—->  Music You Tube Video on the Importance of Balanced Nutrition.

Santa Hotel.



Nordic cuisine at Saariselka

Saariselka is a fine destination to sample the Nordic cuisine represented at the many Saariselka restaurants.

Saariselka at Lapland is located at 68° 25′ 15″ N, 27° 25′ 1.8″ E. It is at the far North East part of Finland.

The name Saariselka translated means “Island ridge”.

Iit is a description of the impression of the view from the tundra summit looking down to the lower areas when there is a mist covering the lower areas and only the high points of the ridge are visible above the mist, and therefore giving the impression that the mist is water and the higher points of the ridge are islands surrounded by water.

Island ridge of the Saariselka

The raw ingredients of the Nordic cuisine of Lapland are mostly traditional ingredients of the far north of Finland.

The proximity to the north cap has shaped the environment and the inhabitants to adapt to the extreme cold of the Nordic winters, and their unique cycles of summer growth and the winter dormant season.  Summer season is lush with new growth, mushrooms and many types of berries. The mammals eat berries and mushrooms as the nature provides them to be consumed for fattening of their bodies for the long scarce winter season. Fine highly prized ingredients from the many water ways like; white fish, arctic char, salmon, perch and pike. The salmon from the Barents sea spawn in the river system of the Lapland. During the autumn spawning season the salmon don’t feed, they are very territorial and therefore take the fishermen lure to protect their spawning territory only, but not to feed.

Many of the traditional food items have culturally evolved into the Nordic Cuisine, from the early pioneers of Lapland/Finland over many hundreds/thousands of years.

Like any other region of the world when the pioneers ventured to the new territories they found naturally growing food ingredients in that new environment and also game animals and game birds. Most regions of the world have their unique environment, growing seasons and natural flavors, and the early pioneers utilized that which the nature provided. Combining Nordic game meat with natural tart berries of Lapland for example is an interesting combination of the regional Nordic ingredients and flavors, combination of wild game flavors and the red tart lingon berries of Lapland.

Visitors to Saariselka will quickly become familiar with the environment of this Arctic holiday destination town, there are many quality accommodation Hotels with services in the hub of the town and also units available for guests. It is a town with recreational skiing and Safari Activity programs available, guests visit Saariselka for  the active Arctic holiday experience, and to be actively involved and interacting with the natural environment. Mother nature does not give hang overs, but diversions do, deviation from good sensible plans reap their rewards, there are no rewards for stupidity, only tax.

You Tube Video images from Saariselka.

Enjoy your holiday and the experience of Nature at Saariselka.

Nordic cuisine

Nordic cuisine, ingredients and flavors are in many ways a projection of the Nordic seasons, culture and tradition, environment and land.

The Lapland region of Finland and the Nordic cuisine has a strong tradition of using reindeer meat for peoples protein needs as well as the local fish from rivers, lakes and ponds.  There are also many game meats in the Nordic cuisine, the most common one is moose, that becomes available during the autumn hunting season.  Game birds like wood Grouse, willow Grouse, black Grouse and Hazel Grouse and Pheasants.

Brown bear meat is also available in the far north Finland as part of the Nordic cuisine experience for the tourist interested in trying out novel meat dishes in Lapland.  Tourists all over the world like to try out novel food dishes, whether it is Crocodile or Emu dishes in Australia, or monkey meat dishes in the jungle of Amazon.

Nordic cuisine Starting plate from the Lapland region.

Nordic cuisine
Lapland tasting plate. Copy @ All Rights Reserved. 2010.


Nordic cuisine Tenderloin steak with smoked reindeer, redcurrant jelly and green beans.

Nordic cuisine
Reindeer meat. Copy @ All Rights Reserved 2012.


Nordic cuisine style Red meat, pan jus and roast vegetables.

Nordic cuisine
Tenderloin meat and roast vegetables. Copy @ All Rights Reserved. 2010.

The Nordic cuisine items shown above were taken at the Sallan Tuvat, Kiela Restaurant kitchen at Salla Finland, (East Finland) where i was working in 2010.

Nordic cuisine. 


Nordic summer flowers

Summer flowers are now blooming in all of the prime colors.

There are red, blue and yellow summer flowers, they are called Primary colors because all other colors derive from them, except black and white, which are not true “colors”.

Every week new types of summer flowers appear along foot paths and road sides, there are flowers on flower plants, and there are flowers on berry plants.  Bilberries and Lingonberry plants have flowered, they are showing the small pips of the berries already.

Wild strawberry plants also seem to be more abundant than the previous years, it looks like a promising start to a good berry season.  All that can very quickly change if there is subzero night temperature, it could diminish the early berries during the early summer season, it would not be the first time it has happened.

Abundant Prime colors during the summer season can also be translated food and Nutrition later on the season.

The prime colors of the summer flowers, as well as the symmetrical shapes and the perfume scent of the flowers attract insects, bees and birds to do their thing in the seasonal pollinating process of plants and flowers.  The advertised message of “food available” in the plants for the insects, bees and the birds, makes the process complete and possible for plants to produce fruit and multiply.

Summer flowers and fruits are really interesting, they share many things in common, they have similar bright colors, they use colors to attract consumers, and they also have similar plant seeds.  The color of the flowers may be different to the color of the fruit, e.g. the Bilberry flower is a light pink color, as the fruit is a dark blue color.

summer flowers

Nutrition is most abundant during summer and autumn season in the Nordic region.

Prime Colors and Prime Health. 

As mentioned earlier summer flowers and fruits have many things in common, the above link has an alphabetical list of fruits and some related facts about each one.

prime colors
Prime Colors. Copy @ All Rights Reserved 2012.

Summer flowers, prime colors and Nutrition should be on your mind this summer, if you are in the Nordic region.

If you happen to be living elsewhere in the world and it may be a a winter season currently, even then you can have prime colors as a reminder of good healthy Nutrition on your mind, and there are pictures available of summer flowers.  For more information on Nutrition follow links.