Finnish culinary culture, 1800s menus and the gingerbread battle.
IN HELSINKI, there is a place that leaves all those interested in Finnish culinary culture, hotels, restaurants and cafés astonished. The Hotel and Restaurant Museum, located in Ruoholahti, presents the history of hotels, restaurants and tourism in Finland through a series of exhibitions and a unique collection.
"It is the only museum in the country, which concentrates on Finnish culinary culture", says museum educator Merja Nummi. "Among other incredible items, the collection features more than 90,000 menus, with the oldest ones dating back to the 1860s."
At the Hotel and Restaurant Museum, the history of Finnish restaurants and cafés lives through this unique display of menus. For a long time, even in Finland, menus were printed in French. It wasn't until the 1920s that menus started to be written in Finnish more often.
At Your Service and Taste of 80s
In addition to the menu collection, the museum features a series of exhibitions. The permanent exhibition At Your Service tells about the Finnish food and drink culture and also takes visitors back in time into the world of restaurant and hotel staff.
Hotel and Restaurant
"Here, you have the opportunity to see a hotel room and kitchen from the 1950s and a 1970 English-styled bar," adds Nummi. "With At Your Service, you will get a peek at a speakeasy, a liquor store from the 1930s and you also get the chance to sing karaoke and dance to the old classics!"
This exhibition takes museum-goers behind the scenes of hotels, kitchens, restaurants and bars and provides information on Finland's favorite meals. Here visitors can learn about these delights' first appearances on Finnish dining tables and dive into the world of spices and herbs.
HANNE GRANLUND / HOTEL AND RESTAURANT MUSEUM
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