On our drive back from Seinäjoki to Tampere, the three of us decide to try out some fresh cheeses. Well aware that we can get more for our money, we purchase a good supply at the Juustoportti rest-stop with their discounted prices.
Located also at the cheese factory is an inviting cafe/restaurant with an open fireplace. If you are driving from Tampere to Seinäjoki, stop to shop for exquisite local products and watch how Finnish cheese is made.
As a prelude to buying locally made cheese at this Finnish cheese attraction, we decide to first browse around a bit at the Pentik shop.
"Gotta have that reindeer for Christmas, honey!" While on the theme of Finnish reindeer, here is a pillow by Pentik. A perfect gift idea from Finland.
Walls with shelves full of Finnish Pentik designs, bowls, plates, napkins, glassware, lamps display everything you need for your kitchen.
“2-Laatua”. A veeeery important Finnish phrase to remember while shopping in Finland, if you buy something that is 2 laatua and for some reason you want to return it – sorry! No go.
Nicely designed ceramics
Aura is pointing to the legendary popular money-change or coin purses that Marimekko is well known for. If you’re looking for classy Finnish designer hand-bags by Marimekko, here's where you'll find one.
Something is smelling cheezy! Aura knows how to spot a deal and save money. She points to the cheeses that are produced at mini cheese factory – this Finnish cheese attraction. Yep honey, take a picture... 2.95 euro for one of those puck-sized cheeses – you save over a euro per puck!
A money-saving tip: If you see half-empty displays like the above, it does not necessarily mean they are low on stock for that product. Most likely, the popular item was stocked the same day, and people bought them fast enough within the day, meaning that the shelver did not have enough time to re-stock. Hence it is a high-volume product, which is in demand, so the quality is probably good, and the price is even better.
This canned braised reindeer has a picture of a reindeer with antlers. Ready to learn a new Finnish word? Poro is reindeer. You see, Finnish is easy to learn! A popular berry in Finland is cloudberry – lakka. Cloudberry jam tastes especially good on top of hot porridge.
Tip: Here is what to eat those cloudberries with!
Leipäjuusto, Finnish squeaky cheese. It squeaks in the mouth when you chew it! This product is also sold at Juustoportti. This cheese is very mild, almost bland. Serve it with coffee and pineapples or put a couple of pieces in a mug and pour on the coffee. You can also put a chunk of it on bread with dill pickles and ham on top.
Are you curious about cheese making in Finland? You can see it here at the Finnish cheese attraction! Here is a picture of the cheese factory production floor at Juustoportti.
Try their pizza. Even when Tomi takes a glance at this picture now that it’s way in the past, he says: "I want that pizza!" It is thin-crusted and appears to be stone-baked. They use a type of fondue-styled cheese by Valio on the pizza. To Aura's delight, gluten-free pizza is also available.
A selection of cheeses from Juustoportti include:
We ate our selection of cheeses with red and green grapes, while nibbling on some 100% rye bread.