CABBAGE casserole (kaalilaatikko in Finnish) is the kind of food that everyone in Finland has tried, at least once in their lives. Similarly to the other members belonging the “laatikko family” of Finnish specialties – such as liver casserole (maksalaatikko) and carrot casserole (porkkanalaatikko) – it is easy to prepare, the ingredients don’t cost much and is made exclusively from fresh, domestic products of excellent quality. Healthy, filling, and definitely delicious, no wonder it is the favourite of many Finns, young and old alike!
Cabbage casserole typically contains a mixture of beef-pork minced meat – found from most supermarkets as a ready-made meal. Vegetarians can also enjoy it by replacing meat with soya powder. Either way, kaalilaatikko tastes best with a hearty side of lingonberry jam, an extremely successful flavour combination in all its simplicity.
Recipe for cabbage casserole (5-6 portions)
This dish is almost as old as Finland itself, and an essential part of the Finnish core culinary tradition; as such, the recipe for cabbage casserole has been passed on from generation to generation. This is the reason why for many Finns a forkful of cabbage casserole gives rise to a wave of nostalgia, not only because it has been traditionally served at lunch in schools all over the country, but also because it is deeply connected to intimate family moments from one’s childhood: memories of placid family gatherings intertwined with the scent of freshly baked cabbage casserole, usually made by the beloved grandmother.
It is therefore not at all surprising that some Finns declare that, if they happened to have visitors from the other end of the world, the one dish they would prepare for them is cabbage casserole. Undoubtedly a brilliant choice, since cabbage casserole represents Finnish home-made food at its best. You too can impress your friends, both foreign and Finnish, and why not, even your Finnish in-laws as well, by preparing a mouth-watering cabbage casserole according to the following recipe.
ANNA MARIA ALEXANDROU
LEHTIKUVA / MARJA AURIO