Tag: boats!

Street Food? So 2009. The Hot New Trend In Food Is Now Sailing Your Way…

Street food is big these days.  San Francisco has its Street Food Festival. New York has its street food Vendy Awards and its vendor turf wars. LA has taco and Korean BBQ trucks  so famous they’re getting profiled over here in London.

But I’ve just discovered the most exciting new movement in mobile food, coming to you straight from the South Harbor of Helsinki, Finland: BOAT FOOD.

this is sea food. boat vendors!

The smiling Finnish lady on the boat may not promote her whereabouts on Twitter, but she does a brisk business selling an array of smoked and fried fish off her quaint little craft. Despite a bit of a language barrier, she managed to convey her selection with broken English, pointing, and a bit of guesswork on my part: whole smoked whitefish, perch, and trout; burnished fillets of salmon;  and palm-sized morsels of fried herring.  I purchased a small piece of the herring with a very thin layer of crunchiness and a generous sprinkling of dill sprigs for the solid price of 1 euro.  It was the perfect street food snack: delicious, slightly greasy, very local, and ridiculously cheap.

fried herring from the boat vendor

Oops. Did I say street food snack? I’m still wrestling with the correct terminology for food sold from watercraft.  If we’re going for parallels, I suppose I should refer to the area about which these mobile food vendors hawk their snacks-on-the-go.  Food trucks move around the street. Food boats move around the water. But Water Food just doesn’t sound right. Sea Food? Ocean Food? Harbor or canal or river food? Bodies-of-water food? Although the exact nomenclature may leave something to be desired, I can’t get over the brilliance of this mobile fish snack vendor. Yes, I realize I have a somewhat overzealous love for boats.

But I’m certainly not the only one who likes boats  (T-Pain does too!). Boats make people happy and so does mobile food and more people should put the two together.  And there would be plenty of opportunities to sell…come to think of it, all of my favorite markets are located by bodies of water. The Ferry Building Farmer’s Market in San Francisco is on the Bay. Pike Place in Seattle is on Puget Sound. Here in London, Borough Market is on the Thames and Broadway Market is on Regent’s Canal.  Clearly, it’s time for all these markets to get with the program and adopt the newest market and mobile food innovation of the future.

Anyone else know of any boat food vendors? Or want to donate me a boat to kickstart this new movement?  I am accepting all generous offers and in return you can come snack on my boat.

Bodies-Of-Water-Food, your time in the spotlight has come.

food in finland, part two: a market picnic on the islands of suomenlinna the sea fortress

finnish cheese and smoked reindeer on suomenlinna island

As if the Old Market Hall in Helsinki weren’t amazing enough on its own, it can also boast of a beautiful location just on the water overlooking the South Harbor. Enormous cruise ships loom as tall as skyscrapers and as large as city blocks, dwarfing the little local tugboats and ferry boats that zip through the harbor and around the coast and islands. In the helpful visitor’s centre just by the Market Square I bought a 24 hour travel card that included unlimited travel on the trams, buses, and most excitingly, the ferry to the islands of Suomenlinna. Let’s be quite frank -  I will never, ever, fail to be highly entertained by being on a boat

Of course lots of rye breadwhen setting off on an island adventure, one must always think ahead to provide sustenance for the daring and dangerous trip ahead. Unlike most other stranded islanders foraging for coconuts and dead bugs,  I had the luxury of departing from a ferry stop a mere four minutes walk from the Old Market Hall so I stocked up on Finnish treats for the voyage.

I started with a mini loaf of classic Scandinavian rye bread (100% ruis!)  and bought some strong Finnish cheese that I can’t even begin to pronounce but is spelled viinitarhurin.  Brushed with wine and aged for six months, the cheese reminded me a bit of a comte or gruyere with its smooth slices crumbling into nutty shards.  Add a bit of  deep burgundy colored and intensely flavorful Rudolph the delicious cold-smoked reindeer and it’s a ridiculously adorable little Finnish sandwich of love.

love is bread, cheese, and reindeer meat

Snacks in hand, I boarded the ferry for the 15 minute ride across the harbor to Suomenlinna

the ferry to suomenlinna island Read the full article »