Slow Food Västnyland celebrated its ninth annual local food festival in Fiskars Village on October 6 & 7, 2018.
Just one hour west of Helsinki, Fiskars is home to a unique and diverse community where art, design, and local handicrafts meet local history, nature, and food. Fiskars Village was named one of the best Finnish travel destinations in 2016 and won the 2017 European Commission’s Culture Eden Prize for sustainable tourism in Finland.
Approximately 8,000 visitors attended Slow Food Västnyland 2018. 65 purveyors from the Uusimaa and Varsinais-Suomi regions participated, selling good, clean, and fair food. Among them were farmers, fishermen, meat producers, bakers, and various other food artisans, as well as a dozen restaurants and cafés that had pop-ups offering their delicacies to visitors. It was an impressive and high-quality selection of culinary fare.
Special guests Margarita Frembergs and Baiba Palasa from Slow Food Riga were invited to sell their seasonal berry products. They served a wonderful traditional Latvian dinner for some VIP guests in the house rented for international guests. There is a reason that we call it a convivium!
Situated in the municipality of Raseborg, along the banks of the picturesque Fiskars River, the artsy and cozy village is an ideal setting for the festival. Originally founded as an iron works, Fiskars Bruk, in 1649, there are several beautiful old buildings that Slow Food Västnyland was able to use including Copper Smithy, the red-brick clock tower, and the Old Granary. The modern indoor demo kitchen was popular with many chefs cooking everything from handmade tofu by Menchel Pullinen to an elegant perch dish by Samuel Mikander from the Culinary team of Finland.
A sales area and petting zoo were set up outside of the Copper Smithy and there were non-stop programs and panels held inside the Lukaali Conference Centre. The organizers found it challenging, however, to get people to come in and sit down for seminars and speeches. In retrospect they concluded that the programs should have been streamed.
The Children’s Festival in The Copper Smithy was very popular with some 350 children participating. There was a separate free food-themed program for children all ages. The new Kuura Cidery and Shop arranged their own Real Cider festival within the festival and invited other small batch cider producers to attend. Real cider, with no added sugar, is an up and coming product in Finland, fast gaining popularity.
This year there were food and drink tastings, inspired by Terra Madre Nordic in Copenhagen last April. Guests were able to sample cheeses, potato varieties, coffee, beer, cider and sourdough bread.
Among the distinguished guests at the festival were many chefs, food activists, and scholars, including Johan Andersson, Johan K. Dal, Ari Ruoho, Eliisa Kuusela, Menchel Alico Pullinen, Ludovico Roccatello, Minna Junttila, Julien Huebert, Christos Granqvist, Kati Pulli, Ann Storsjö, Raija Rehnberg, Samuel Mikander, Thomas Snellman, Anders Norrback, Anni-Mari Syväniemi, Ville Vuorelma and others.
Johan K. Dal from Slow Food Copenhagen spoke about global food systems to an audience that included 40 students all the way from Jyväskylä, a four-hour journey from Fiskars Village. Together with Ludovico Roccatello, he discussed Slow Food’s international presence. They opened the festival by cutting the ribbon together with a delegation from Slow Food St Petersburg and SFVN chair Diana Lindholm, equipped (of course!) with a pair of the famous Fiskars scissors.
Slow Food Västnyland is a small convivium of only 22 members. Without the many volunteers who turned out, the festival would not have been possible. Especially appreciated were the 12 agricultural students from the Novia College of Applied Arts.
You can find the program from this year’s event here
The 10th Slow Food Västnyland festival will be Oct 5-6, 2019.
Organizer: Slow Food Västnyland in cooperation with Fiskars Village.
For more information:
Executive Director: Mikael Kokkonen +358 45 612 2503 [email protected]
Chairperson: Diana Lindholm +358 50 077 6156 [email protected]
Media and International Guests: Bitte Westerlund +358 40 524 7743 [email protected]
Program: Natalia Teikola +358 50 325 1804 [email protected]