Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Little TV, A Little Food

Albert speaks Finnish
Finnish television shows are very multicultural. There are shows in Finnish from Finland, shows from America, the UK, Australia, Germany, Spain, Sweden and more. But everything,  that isn't spoken in Finnish, is subtitled in Finnish. The only exception are children's shows which are either in native Finnish or dubbed. It's very helpful for a non-native Finn to turn on shows like Gimoren Tytöt (Gilmore Girls) or yes, even Pieni Talo Preerialla (Little House on the Prairie) and be able to follow the vocabulary and grammar while reading along.

There are also shows filmed in America shown here that I have never even heard of back in the states, like ,America's Worst Driver, where terrible drivers have to complete obstacle courses and the worst ones get their own cars destroyed. And of course there are lots of cooking shows here too like MasterChef Suomi (Masterchef Finland) and Top Chef Suomi (Top Chef Finland). And who can forget Muodin Huipulle (literal translation something like Fashion to the Top), the Finnish version of Project Runway, with bonus wanna-be Tim Gunn. Too bad he's not.

We get American Idol here too, though I have no idea how many weeks behind it is shown here, or maybe none at all. Of course, it is subtitled too. And there is even...Idols. The Finnish version of American Idol, which has been running for many years. They sing songs in Finnish and in English. One of the early favorites of the judges and viewers was one Lassi (pronounced like the famous television collie) but he ended up not making the semi-finals. Listen to Lassi sing in English and Finnish here.

And what is the perfect way to settle down and watch some Finnish television? With some Finnish food like blueberry soup and strawberry viili. The Finns love blueberries and they also like to put everything they can into these cartons, like yogurt. Just pour it into a mug or glass and drink away. There are even fruity blueberry pieces in it. I had this for the first time on the flight with FinnAir on my first trip to Finland and it is just as good each time I have it. Now viili.... that's quite another story. There is no way to describe how viili tastes or even what it is. It's like some Finnish farmers were making yogurt and left something sitting too long or threw in some random ingredient and there was an explosion in the factory and boom! viili was born. A dairy product that looks deceptively like yogurt but sits on the spoon like Jell-o and can almost even be chewed in the mouth. It is the strangest thing. Even Anthony Bourdain would be confused.

In other news, the snow is melting and the temperatures are in the teens and twenties (Fahrenheit). That means it's still pakkasta, below zero in Celcius but the Finns are happy and saying it feels like spring. I think they're nuts.

tyttö - girl
pieni - little
talo - house
preeria - prairie
Suomi - Finland (what the Finns call their own country)
keitto - soup
astetta pakkasta - degrees below zero

T. Kati

1 comment:

  1. Blueberries and Nellie Olsen, oh my!

    Say, Can you mail us some Viili Culture back to the US? We've been making home made Kefir and want to know if it tastes better or worse. My vote is it would have to taste better than Kefir. Viili has a reputation for being sweeter than Kefir.

    How does one nominate someone to be featured on America's Worst Driver? Feeling Emboldened that it will only air in Finland ; We may have some candidates!