Karjalanpiirakka, korvapuusti, Lulu

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

LULU SURPRISED US DURING OUR morning coffee at Mesón Salvador Thursday, and that made the entire day better. Lulu is enough to accomplish that, but she even brought us pastries — really pasties, as my British friends would tell you; and they don’t confuse them with the things strippers wear to cover their nipples (also it’s pronounced like past and not like paste).

The names of the pasties appear in the title of this post, which should tell you they’re not Spanish but specialties of Finland, easily found in Fuengirola with its large Finnish community.

We asked Lulu how she’s able to text with her friends and family in Finnish. She had no clue what we were talking about. Then we looked at a screened filled with Finnish text and she understood — but still it’s not a problem for her. You should have seen how quickly she typed these two words for me. Some Finnish words are so long that the speaker needs to take a breath between syllables.

Karjalanpiirakka are traditional pasties from the Finnish region of Karelia, popular throughout Finland and nearby areas of Estonia and northern Russia (where they’re called Karelian pirogs). They’re most commonly made these days with a thin rye crust and rice filling (or mashed potato, or rice and carrot). Butter (which can be mixed with a chopped boiled egg) is a common spread.

If the karjalanpiirakka isn’t made within a specific geographic region, it can’t legally be called karjalanpiirakka, because it has Traditional Specialty Guaranteed (TSG) status in Europe — like champagne, gorgonzola, parmigiano-reggiano, camembert, cognac, and more. So, I suppose what is made in Fuengirola is called, legally, riisipiirakka (rice filling) or perunapiirakka (potato filling) and not karjalanpiirakka. (And, yes, I enjoyed repeating karjalanpiirakka multiple times.) Whatever they’re called, we enjoyed them with the goulash San Geraldo made for dinner (the goulash that didn’t end up on the floor — see yesterday’s post).

The next delicacy we got to enjoy (or actually the first because we had them after lunch Thursday) are called korvapuusti. Easier to say and easier to describe: Finnish cinnamon rolls. Soooooo good and not cloyingly sweet (I’m not a fan of American cinnamon rolls).

Now I know what to ask for when I go into one of our local Finnish bakeries. If only I could wrap my lips around karjalanpiirakka easily enough to say it without embarrassing myself.


LULU NOS SORPRENDIÓ DURANTE NUESTRO café matutino en Mesón Salvador el jueves, y eso hizo que todo el día fuera mejor. Lulu es suficiente para lograrlo, pero incluso nos trajo pasteles.

Los nombres de los pasteles aparecen en el título de este post, que debería decirte que no son españolas sino especialidades de Finlandia, que se encuentran fácilmente en Fuengirola con su gran comunidad finlandesa.

Le preguntamos a Lulu cómo demonios es capaz de enviar mensajes de texto a sus amigos y familiares en finlandés. No tenía idea de qué estábamos hablando. Luego miramos una pantalla llena de texto en finlandés y ella lo entendió, pero aún así no es un problema para ella. Deberías haber visto lo rápido que me escribió estas dos palabras. Algunas palabras en finlandés son tan largas que el hablante necesita respirar entre sílabas.

Las karjalanpiirakka son pasteles tradicionales de la región finlandesa de Karelia y son populares en toda Finlandia y las áreas cercanas de Estonia y el norte de Rusia (donde se llaman pirogs de Karelia). En la actualidad, se hacen con mayor frecuencia con una fina corteza de centeno y relleno de arroz (o puré de papa o arroz y zanahoria). La mantequilla (que se puede mezclar con un huevo cocido picado) es una pasta común para untar.

Si el karjalanpiirakka no se elabora dentro de una región geográfica específica, no se puede llamar legalmente karjalanpiirakka, porque tiene el estado de especialidad tradicional garantizada (ETG) en Europa, como champán, gorgonzola, parmigiano-reggiano, camembert, coñac y más. Entonces, supongo que lo que se hace en Fuengirola se llama, legalmente, riisipiirakka (relleno de arroz) o perunapiirakka (relleno de patatas) y no karjalanpiirakka. (Y sí, disfruté repitiendo karjalanpiirakka muchas veces). Como se llamen, los disfrutamos con el gulash que hizo San Geraldo para la cena (el gulash que no acabó en el suelo – ver la entrada de ayer).

El siguiente manjar que pudimos disfrutar (o en realidad el primero porque los comimos después del almuerzo del jueves) se llama korvapuusti. Más fácil de decir y más fácil de describir: Rollos de canela finlandeses. Tan bueno y no empalagosamente dulce (no soy fanático de los rollos de canela estadounidenses).

Ahora sé qué pedir cuando entro en una de nuestras panaderías finlandesas locales. Si tan solo pudiera envolver mis labios alrededor de karjalanpiirakka con la suficiente facilidad para decirlo sin avergonzarme. (Bueno, en realidad, no puedo decir “avergonzarme” con la suficiente facilidad.)

Lulu, who is always aglow. We’re so happy she’s back in town.

Lulu, que siempre está radiante. Estamos tan felices de que haya vuelto a la ciudad.



Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

24 thoughts on “Karjalanpiirakka, korvapuusti, Lulu”

  1. Was that a murmuration going on in that sunset photo?

    As for Lulu–what good news for you all that she is back in town and bearing yummy gifts. Your friends do have marvelous (and tasty) ways of showing their friendship.

    1. Mary:
      It wasn’t a murmuration; just clouds. Fascinating sky. Lulu spoils us. She’s only here in total about half the year. We spend the other half missing her.

    1. David:
      Lots of pointing and smiling will be done… except they can’t see my smile through my mask, which really frustrates me.

    1. Mistress Maddie:
      Anne Marie saved me the trouble. Although I’d guess 20 is grossly understated.

    1. anne marie:
      They were delicious. The first cinnamon rolls I really enjoyed. Do you have a Finnish bakery nearby?

  2. You are a lucky fellow to have such wonderful friends bringing gifts of edible treats. On second thought, perhaps luck has not as much to do with it as you being the sort of friend who rates getting treated!

  3. What a sunset! Those pastries look really good. I never would have thought of the challenge of texting in Finnish — but now that you mention it, it DOES seem like it would make for achy fingers!

    1. Steve:
      Lulu says it never even occurred to her it was more work. The words just fly off her fingers… and no abbreviations either. Then again, maybe all Finns have strong fingers.

    1. Jim:
      Smile is hidden behind the mask, which has been really frustrating me lately. I don’t even usually care much for cinnamon buns. This was perfection.

  4. I don’t care what you call it, but cinnamon roll/bun, YUMMY! I want one. Cinnamon is good for me 🙂

    1. Deedles:
      Yes, as we’ve discussed, cinnamon is good for us. Lulu only brings health gifts.

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