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News, 10/28/2009

Finland – a land of mushrooms

Did you know that Finland is a land of plentiful mushrooms? And better yet, anyone can pick these small treasures in our forests thanks to the so called “every man’s right.” In recent years, mushrooms have also started to arouse interest as export products.

True export potential

Over five hundred species of edible mushrooms exist in the forests of Finland, totaling almost 4.5 billion pounds each year! Only 10-25 million pounds of those are actually picked and only 2-4 million pounds are used commercially.

However, huge export potential exists in our green forests. As the Finnish environment is exceptionally clean, our mushrooms are pure and of very high quality. Mushrooms are tasty sources of vitamins and other nutrients and go wonderfully with both meat and fish, or as a standalone vegetarian dish.

In recent years, interest in mushrooms as export products has been growing. In addition, the number of people who pick fungi professionally is on the rise.

ChantarellesSome of the most popular commercially used mushrooms are porcinis, false morels and chanterelles. Many of our porcinis are exported to Italy, and the Italians, known for their passion for good food, have been using high quality Finnish porcinis in many of their top restaurants. Other varieties good for export are matsutake and truffle.

The Japanese are quite interested in the valuable matsutake mushrooms that were first imported from Finland in 2007. This aromatic pine mushroom is a highly appreciated treat among the Japanese, but they must import 95 percent of their intake, thus providing great export potential for the Finns.

In the future, truffles might also become an important export product for us. It has been shown that these gastronomic delicacies can be cultivated successfully under the challenging Finnish weather conditions. There is a “truffle farm” in the eastern town of Juva, where each step of the process of cultivating truffles is scientifically tested and improved.

A trip into Finnish forests is every man’s right

Based on the so called “everyman’s right,” anyone can pick wild mushrooms in the Finnish forests, as long as you don’t go into private yards. This is rather unique internationally. So, how about a trip into Finnish nature, after which you can fry up some fresh chanterelles? If you find a really good place to pick mushrooms and can’t eat all those goodies by yourself, you can earn some extra money by selling those mushrooms tax-free. Now there’s a thought!


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Updated 10/28/2009

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