Eating well in Fiskars
Food lovers have plenty of reasons to come to Fiskars village all year round. The strong culinary tradition continues even today. New features are constantly added.
There are two high-quality restaurants in Fiskars Village, operating all year. Fiskars Wärdshus has provided travelers with food and lodging since 1836. The restaurant is famous for its locally oriented food and a wine list to please a connoisseur. On the opposite shore of the river, by the rush of the rapids, is the ambitious Kuparipaja restaurant. Local fish, game and vegetables are staple ingredients in the Kuparipaja kitchen.
In the spring, the village welcomes lush broad-leaved trees and wild greens. During the summer, the village is visited by more than 100 000 tourists, all fed with efficiency and skill. In the fall, the local food offering is at its best, with wild mushrooms ready to be picked and hunters from near and far roaming the woods.
Christmas time is the second peak season in Fiskars, alongside summer. Tourists come here to enjoy seasonal delicacies and do their Christmas shopping. In 2011, the culinary tradition of Fiskars was reinforced with the addition of the Academy of Gastronomy, by the chef Markus Aremo, housed in the Assembly Hall. Operations include cooking classes for small groups.
The year 2011 also saw the opening of a local grocery store specializing in organic food in the heart of the village. Run by a cooperative, the store is open all year round.
The whole of West Uusimaa abounds in local food, culinary phenomena, food production and various activities. Promotion of the food culture is one of the key tourism strategies in the city of Raseborg. The Culinary Team of Finland is also at home in Raseborg, seeking influences from Fiskars as well.
Good food has always been part of life in Fiskars
In the old days, the village was a world of its own – and practically self-sufficient. Until the late 19th century, the village was walled and fenced. Had someone closed the gate, the community would have survived for a long time. In these parts, the lakes, the rivers, the sea and the woods have always been generous. Even today, there are plenty of fish, and the forests abound in berries, mushroom and game. The fields are fruitful. Old villagers can still remember the days when the grain from the village fields was ground in the village mill, which still stands by the rapids. In the morning, people collected fatty milk from the cowshed. About a hundred years ago, there were no less than 300 cattle: the fields needed a lot of manure. Milk was also sent from Fiskars to Helsinki children's hospital.
Some 50 years ago, all soil that could be put to use was farmed. There were twice as many residents in the village as today’s 600 or so. The workers dwelled in the red-painted cottages and workers’ tenements. The officials’ houses were painted yellow. Every household had a carefully tended plot of land. Chicken scrabbled and pigs oinked in the backyards. The hillsides were full of apple gardens, even hothouses for the well-to-do.
As was customary in Western Finland, bread was not baked at home. There were several bakehouses in the villages, and an individual slab of dough could be 100 liters. Meat and fish – mostly herring - was sold at the market. The village even had its own gingerbread baker.
The residents of the red cottages took a great deal of trouble in getting and conserving food. It was not an easy job, as the normal working day before 1917 was 14 hours. In the yellow houses, the lady of the house would have a maid, and tables were nicely laid even for simple daily meals.
In the Manor House, where the factory owners lived, everyday meals were modest, as was usual for the upper class. Frugality, however, was not on the menu when it came to festive dinners. Cooks were ordered from fine Helsinki hotels.
Elsewhere in Finland, the employee benefits offered by employers had usually been discarded by the 1920s. But in Fiskars, only a generation ago, in the 1950s, employees received part of their wages in flour and firewood.