Finland Celebrates Local Cuisine at Herring Fairs


Finland shows off the best of its Baltic herring at the centuries-old Baltic Herring fairs, when fishermen from along the coast of the country assemble at the centers of cities and towns to sell the finest of their catch. The largest and most well-known of these fairs has been held in Helsinki since 1743, making it the oldest traditional event in the capital.

The multi-day fair is an enormous smorgasbord of fresh, salted, pickled, and marinated varieties of Baltic herring. You can eat them on the go, with a piece of dark bread typical to the archipelago, or enjoy a full meal in one of the restaurants which trade in a bewildering array of dishes.

The selection of products has expanded in the last few years and other fish, such as smoked white fish and lampern can be found in many of the stalls. Juices and jams made of native sea-buckthorn, the bright orange yet acidic berry whose vitamin C content is over 10 times greater than oranges, are also very popular.

Vaasa Baltic Herring and White Fish Fair: September 4–5

Pori Baltic Herring Fair: September 4–6

Rauma Baltic Herring Fair: September 19–20

Helsinki Baltic Herring Fair: October 4–10

Turku Baltic Herring Fair: October 22–25