Linkosuo Rye Crisps

The story about Linkosuo Rye Crisps is a story about Rye, how traditional Finnish bread adapted to modern times and the history of the family owned Linkosuo bakery company.

Organic rye in Karjalohja, Finland

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Traditional Rye Sour Bread drying on a pole at Peltolan Organic Farm in Vilppula, Finland.

Rye of course is the healthiest grain used for baking bread. The history of rye in Finland goes back over 2000 years and it was the predominant grain in Finland through the middle ages (replacing barley) until the early 20th century. Still a major part of bread in Finland is rye bread. The archetypes of rye bread is the “reikäleipä” or the round hole sour bread and the round sour rye bread “ruisleipä” with a simple recipe: rye, water, salt. So this is a sour bread with 100% wholemeal rye flour – no wheat and no yeast. The hole bread has the hole because in the old times the bread was hung on poles to dry close to the ceiling of the house. Western Finnish tradition stressed rare baking sessions combined with long-term storage. Of course the dry bread would be too hard to bite but it would be soaked in soups or milk. Nowadays with commercial bakeries baking fresh bread every day this tradition has largely disappeared.

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Linkosuo Rye Crisps in different sizes.

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Linkosuo Rye Chip with traditional organic Finnish "Bread-Cheese" and organic rucola..

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Linkosuo Rye Buttons with cheese, sour cucumber and paprika. All organic.

Linkosuo was the first to adapt the dry rye bread to commercial baking. The first version was just a thinner version of the traditional hole bread. It is not produced anymore because the bite was far too hard – even for Finnish teeth. The breakthrough innovation was to tear the upper part and bottom of the bread apart before drying resulting in a thinner and crispier dry bread known as “Varrasleipä”. Varrasleipä has been hugely popular in Finland for decades.

Finland, as the rest of the Western world, has developed a taste of snacking and this challenge was met by developing the hole of the traditional bread into a “Rye Button”. The Button could easily be used at home or f.ex. at parties as a kind of delicious cocktail snack by just putting butter, cheese, cutleries, vegetables etc on the Rye button.

The most recent modernization of the Rye Crisp was to develop it into a real snack – ready to eat as it is. This was achieved by adding some wheat to the dough to make the Rye Chips bite easier and crumblier and to flavor them. The non-organic range of flavored Rye Chips is already on the market in Finland but also the flavored organic Rye Chips range are in the pipeline. We have already tasted them and they are delicious! But the pure rye version “Aito Ruis” might still be the best. So keep posted and I will let you know as soon as they are available.

You can also already get Finnish Ruis – the fresh bread – in New York. Visit www.nordicbreads.com to see how two Finnish brothers bake real organic Finnish Rye Bread or Ruis Bread in Queens.

For more information about how healthy rye is visit:

The Rye info site of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland 

and

About Rye and Health

 

 

 

 

 

Pure Finnish organic food exhibits at BioFach in Nuremberg

PRESS RELEASE
31 January 2011

Pure and clean organic food from Finland will be presented at the BioFach organic trade fair in Nuremberg, Germany on 16–19 February 2011. Finnish companies have joined forces with companies from other Nordic countries to exhibit their products at a joint pavilion.

Finland is known for its clean natural environment and ecological know-how. The organic products presented at BioFach are examples of the very best organic production and extensive research and development within the Finnish food industry. In Finland, technological know-how and understanding of ecological processes lay an excellent basis for clean organic food production.

”We believe that the pure Finnish natural environment, strong agricultural tradition and high technological know-how form the best possible basis for clean and safe organic food production for international markets”, says the Finnish representative of BioFach, Mr Arto Varanki from Spokesman Events Oy, who is coordinating the Nordic pavilion and Finnish participation.

”The joint Nordic stand of Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway is already a tradition at BioFach, and together the four countries are set to make an impact”, Varanki says.

Organic food production is also one of the top issues concerning the new Finnish national brand. The brand was released after initiation by Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb. Finnish companies joining BioFach have been devoted and energetic advocates of organic products for several years, commencing long before the release of the new national brand. Germany and other countries in Western Europe as well as the Far East are important trade partners for Finnish organic food producers.

“This year Finnish companies are focusing on consumer products more than before. We have several products based on pure Finnish raw-materials and speciality grains like rye, oats and buckwheat. We have free-from products and products with proven health benefits – all based on the rich food traditions and nature of Finland. We are eagerly looking forward to presenting them to the organic trade at BioFach”, says Organic Food Finland export manager Mr Erkki Pöytäniemi. Organic Food Finland is an export group including, amongst others, six of the Finnish BioFach exhibitors.

The Finnish exhibitors welcome visitors and journalists to their stands (joint stand 1/1-510, Pramia stand 5/5-122 and Viiniverla stand 4A/4A-420c).

For further information, please contact:
Mr Arto Varanki, Spokesman Events Oy, +358 40 544 5598, arto.varanki@spokesman.

Finnish Exhibitors at BioFach 2011:

Bioferme Ltd, Tuula von Zweygbergk, +358 500 505 600, www.bioferme.fi
organic probiotic oat based snacks

Finnish Cheese Company, Esa Luomanperä, +358 400 426 187, www.silva.fi
Silva organic process cheese, ILO organic hummus and freshly peeled organic garlic cloves

Helsinki Mills Ltd, Lhassan El Farkoussi, +358 50 462 4432, www.helsinkimills.fi
organic flour and flakes

Keskisen Mylly Ky, Markku Vitikainen, +358 3 471 6532, www.keskisenmylly.fi
organic buckwheat pasta and other buckwheat products

Linkosuo Bakery Ltd, Leena Järvenpää, +358 20 770 2400, www.linkosuo.fi
small crispy rye snacks and Varrasleipä crispy bread

Nordic Koivu Oy, Susanna Maaranen, + 358 40 523 7348, www.nordickoivu.com
Nordic birch sap

Pramia Oy, Minja Kivinen, +358 40 594 7770, www.pramia.fi
organic alcoholic beverages
stand 5/5-122

Senson Oy, Pasi Heikkilä, +358 500 352 868, www.senson.fi
organic malt extracts

Viiniverla Oy, Juha Kuronen, +358 40 530 9224, www.viiniverla.fi
organic berry wines
stand 4A/4A-420c

Virgino, Perttu Korolainen, + 358 400 770 654, www.virgino.fi
organic cold pressed rape seed oil

 

 

My Opening Speech at the Nordic Joint Stand area at BioFach 2010


Hyvät kuulijat…

The Danish opening speaker Evald Vestergaard spoke Danish and Mona Hedenskog spoke Swedish so I of course started my speech in Finnish. I could see the Finnish listeners laughing and the others also laughing in confusion. Well, I did switch to English after the first few sentences…
Ladies and Gentlemen
Back in 1997 the Nordic countries was region of the year at BioFach. After that we have drifted apart even though there has been discussions about a Nordic joint stand almost every year. Not until 2009 did Finland and Sweden join forces with a joint stand area in Hall 3. Now in 2010 all four Nordic countries are together under “Nordic Organics”. I think there are many good reasons to do so. We have a common culture, values and history… Some might add language to the list but as we noticed in the beginning of my speech, there might be some problems there. Finnish is a totally different language. But some theories say that 2000 years ago the population in all Nordic countries spoke Finnish, before the germanic languages came from the south – so actually there was a common language.
To continue the list: the pure nature and harsh climate are an important part of the Nordic climate. Of course in more northern parts of Norden – like Finland – this is more true than in the more southernly parts. Farming systems are similar and the food culture. And the high percentage of organic farming in all Nordic countries not to mention the well developed organic market especially in Denmark and Sweden. Looking from other parts of the world Nordic countries have a strong positive image that we should use to our advantage.
The Nordic stand area also gives us opportunities to know each other better, strengthen the Nordic network and to do more business together.
The Nordic Restaurant and Tapas bar is this years great achievement and we expect a lot of it. We are very pleased with the cooperation with the Danish Food Council and the funding from the Nordic Council. Especially pleased I am about the funding we received from the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, which was arranged with astonishing flexibility and speed and enabled us to have also Finland’s ambassador chef Kim Palhus here with us presenting New Nordic Food (Ny Nordick Mat) with a Finnish kick.
Have a great Nordic BioFach 2010!

Organic Finnish food served at BioFach 17.–20.2.2010

Press Release 12.2.2010
Organic Finnish food served at BioFach 17.–20.2.2010
BioFach in Nuremberg, Germany, is the world’s leading exhibition for organic products. Finnish companies have joined forces with other Nordic countries to exhibit their products at a joint pavilion. The “Nordic Organics” area will also include an organic kitchen and restaurant hosted by the Finnish Ambassador Chef Kim Palhus.
“We will serve the best examples of Finnish organic food in the Nordic restaurant”, says Mr Kim Palhus, Ambassador Chef of Finland and the Chef of the Hanasaari Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre. “Everything will be prepared with pure Nordic ingredients. Despite the cold winter season, our Finnish kitchen boasts clean and savoury ingredients like root vegetables as well as grain and berry products and many other organic products of the Finnish BioFach-exhibitors. I’m happy to help promote the New Nordic Kitchen as well as the export and marketing efforts of Finnish organic food producers.”
Finnish organic food is among the best of the world
“All the Finnish companies joining the Nordic pavilion at BioFach are devoted and energetic advocates of organic products focussing on the development of their products and their activities. They are small and middle-sized companies who formed an export group”, says the CEO and Export Director of Organic Food Finland, Mr Erkki Pöytäniemi.
Organic Food Finland is an export group managing the overseas selling of organic goods from nine participating companies. Their trade volume to Nordic countries, Western Europe and the Far East amounts to nearly four million Euros.
The yearly export of Finnish organic goods totals some 14 million Euros. Grain is the most important product. About 6.5 per cent of the Finnish field area is currently certified as organic with the proportion being on the rise. Finland is among the three biggest producers of organic oats in Europe. The yield of organic oats and wheat is higher than needed for national consumption. The Finnish export of organic oats is among the highest in the world with prices being very competitive. Organic oats is exported increasingly in the form of flakes.
Come and see the unforgettable Nordic pavilion
For the first time at Biofach the Nordic expertise in organic production is presented on this scale. “The Nordic cooperation started last year with Finland and Sweden having a common stand. After long negotiations we also got Denmark and Norway to join us. Denmark is one of the most important organic producers in Europe and together all the four countries are set to make an impact”, says the Finnish representative of BioFach, Mr Arto Varanki from Spokesman Events Oy, who coordinates the Nordic pavilion and the Finnish participation.
“The Nordic pavilion is an excellent approach for Finnish companies to present themselves to international markets and to network with visitors and other exhibitors. For BioFach visitors the Nordic pavilion is a unique concept well worth visiting, particularly with its magnificent kitchen and restaurant offering top quality organic goods”, Varanki points out.
BioFach is now in its 2ist year. Last year it brought together 2,733 exhibitors and 46,771 trade visitors from 119 countries.
The Finnish exhibitors welcome journalists to their stands (joint stand 1-410 and Viiniverla stand 4A-415) as well as to the Nordic kitchen and restaurant (stand 1-604).
For further information please contact:
Mr Erkki Pöytäniemi, Organic Food Finland, +358 50 550 5225, erkki@organic-finland.com
Mr Arto Varanki, Spokesman Events Oy, +358 40 544 5598, arto.varanki@spokesman.fi
Kim Palhus, Hanasaari, +358 40 484 8123, kim.palhus@hanaholmen.fi
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The Finnish Exhibitors at BioFach 2010:
E. Boström Ltd, Annika Boström, +358 40 5462888, www.bostrom.fi
– organic muffins
Greenfinn’s Ltd, Kari Saari, +358 6 861 2540, www.greenfinns.com
– organic 100 % juices from Nordic berries
Helsinki Mills Ltd, Ulla Heiskanen, + 358 9 2716 9225, www.helsinginmylly.fi
– organic flour and flakes
Keskisen Mylly Ltd, Markku Vitikainen, +358 3 471 6532, www.keskisenmylly.fi
– organic buckwheat pasta and other buckwheat products
Kiantama Ltd, Annikki Kyllönen, +358 201 442 251, www.kiantama.fi
– organic Nordic berries
Napapiiri Organics, Marja Nuora, +358 50 586 2697, www.napapiiri-organics.com
– organic jams
Nordic Koivu Ltd, Susanna Maaranen, + 358 40 523 7348, www.nordickoivu.com
– organic Nordic birch sap for consumers and industry
Viiniverla Ltd, Juha Kuronen, +358 40 530 9224, www.viiniverla.fi
– organic berry wines
– stand nr 415 is situated in hall 4A
Virgino Ltd, Perttu Korolainen, +358 750 0300 100, www.virgino.fi
– organic cold pressed rape seed oil

BIOFACH again!

Again one organic year has passed and BioFach is approaching fast. For anybody working in international organic business a year is not the calendar year, it is counted from BioFach to BioFach on week 7 in February. So I presume many of you reading this blog are also heading to BioFach and I hope to meet you there!

This year Organic Food Finland is back in Hall 1 (stand 410) and the Nordic cooperation has been expanded. You will find us under the “Nordic Organics” banner together with Denmark and Sweden. The Nordic countries do have some things in common so cooperation is natural. Organic Food Finland will be in one block and 10 companies are exhibiting – or actually everyone in the group. Feel free to contact myself or Lhassan for arranging a meeting there (email: info@organic-finland.com). Or you can just pop in to see what is new from Organic Finland.

An exciting part of the Nordic cooperation is the Nordic Kitchen and Restaurant we will have on the Nordic Organics stand area. The restaurant will focus on showcasing the New Nordic Cuisine (Ny Nordisk Mat) and of course the products of the Nordic exhibitors. At lunch time there will be lunch served so this is an excellent place in the middle of a busy day when you get hungry. Apart from the staff chefs who are preparing delicious Nordic food, Finland’s Ambassador Chef Kim Palhus will be present and showcase New Nordic Cuisine “version Finland” – of course using raw-materials from our exhibitors as much as possible. So be sure to be there on Wednesday or Thursday for a treat!

BioFach next week: Organic North

Well everyone in the organic movement / industry knows BioFach. But I believe there must be a lot pf people who visit BioFach who don’t really know the history. I made a presentation to the group of Finnish companies exhibiting at BioFach this year some weeks back. I wanted to give them some background information: when and where was BF started. It was surprisingly difficult to find that information anywhere. You don’t find it at www.biofach.de. It took quite a lot of effort on google to find anything but finally I did find an article from the German EVE magazine – actually the number published for this BioFach. It hadn’t reached me in print yet. BioFach becomes 20 years this year! It started in 1990 in Mannheim. It moved to Wiesbaden, to Frankfurt and in 1999 to Nürnberg. In 2001 Nürnberg Messe acquired BioFach.

I visited BioFach for the first time in 1995 in Frankfurt. We were the first from Finland to exhibit in 1996.I organized the Finnish pavillion in 1997 when the Nordic countries where the Region of the Year. Since 1996 I have exhibited almost every year. Since 2004 I have exhibited with Organic Food Finland, the export group for organic products from Finland. This year there will be 7 companies from OFF and 4 others companies exhibiting from Finland – the biggest number since 1997.

This is also the first year since 1997 that we are back to some kind of Nordic cooperation – if only between Finland and Sweden. Denmark – where the organic export business is by far bigger – is Country of Year with a huge 1000 m2 stand area in Hall 1. Finland and Sweden – under the “Organic North” banner will have 300 m2 together in Hall 3. Good start and I hope we will benefit from each other.

As you can see “Organic North” has been designed as one block in two parts. We hope to benefit from each others pre-marketing and communication and we are arranging the Friday Night Party together. Welcome! The Swedes have made a lot of noise about Janne Schaffer – the former ABBA guitarist – who will play live on Friday Night. ABBA is obviously important! Snack will be provided from both sides and as the Finnish speciality of 2009 we are providing the drinks: organic sparkling wines from ViiniVerla, the only organic berry winery in Finland. Come and have a taste! I think ViiniVerla will need to find only 1-2 customers in Europe and the business is pretty much done. And you’ll be surprised by the taste and quality. They do have liqueurs and spirits as well!

The other first time ever is the fact that the Finnish Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Mrs Anttila will visit BioFach. Until now we have done BioFach pretty much alone – or let’s say business driven – without the kind of political support f.ex the Danish and Swedish organic industry is getting. No speeches and press conferences etc with lots of people in black suits. I’m not sure how much it helps the business anyway but I certainly do believe that it will have a profound impact on the understanding of the organic industry on the side of the Finnish Minister. Only once a higher-ranking official from the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture has visited BioFach – and that was in 1997! I think they don’t have a clue of how big the business is. And why have they never come? I am afraid the main reason might be pretty “funny”. Week 8 is the winter holiday week in South Finland. You go with your family to Lapland, to the Alps or whatever but you don’t go to an exhibition in the middle of Germany. Guess who hasn’t had a proper winter holiday with his kids since 1995?

Well – see you all at BioFach next week and let’s hope the economic downturn isn’t affecting the number of visitors too badly. See you!