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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Stories of Dark Matter: Mämmi and I

Mämmi is a Finnish Easter porridge made of rye flour and – malt. We Finns eat mämmi during a short period of each year: around Easter time. At old times eating mämmi was a habit because of Lent. Nowadays hardly anyone in Finland fasts before the Easter feasts.
When I was little (in the eighties) my mum would always buy mämmi from a shop. She never prepared it at home, ever. I knew mämmi had something to do with malt and grains, but until the recent times I had no idea what those malts actually are and how they are made? 

Also, as many other people, I didn`t like mämmi: It looks unpleasant, it has a strong taste and it was usually offered with milk, which I`m not fond of either. The sugar added on top did not help in coping with the mämmi eating situations.

Meeting with the dark matter (Photo: N. Ala-Fossi)

Anyway, so I grew up, flew from the nest and spent many years without mämmi. If I was at my parents in Easter I could easily refuse any mämmi offers. Once when I was living abroad in Budapest my mother was visiting us during the mämmi season. The guests brought us small cups of mämmi from Finland. We tasted it a bit with my Hungarian boyfriend and put it into the fridge where it stayed for the next months untouched and was finally thrown away to trash. I was still not able to appreciate that stuff and neither was he pleased to meet with the Finnish culinary specialty.

But what happened then? Last year I experienced the first time in my life when I was able to enjoy eating mämmi. Did I get old? Is enjoying mämmi something like starting to love tango music when you turn middle aged? (Middle aged Finns love tango.) Well, I don`t know. I guess I had to grow up mentally to get rid of my old preconceptions to really try what mämmi tastes like. And now I like it!

(Or wait… maybe it has something to do with the vanilla sauce I ate mämmi with..?)

 P.s. Do you have a story with Mämmi? Send us a short, max. 1 page text and we´ll publish it! (anonymity granted)


  1. Great story! and the pic is wonderful! Dark matter - that cracks me up!

    1. Thank you! You are the first commenter on our blog! Let's open the champagne! :)