5.28.10 Finnishing School
I love discovering new things. Isn't that one of the great joys of life? I know it's a bit of a cliché, but retaining a childlike openness really does keep you young at heart. II never want to turn into one of those cranky old people afraid to try anything new, no matter how many painful setbacks my life hands me. You probably think I'm buttering you up to eat something like monkey brains, right? Worry not. I just want to introduce you to Finnish ryes. My Finnish friend Maija, a very talented writer, does a little side business in these lovely pasties (not a typo, the plural of pasty!). They are based on a traditional recipe from Karelia, a region in Eastern Finland and Western Russia, using flour made mostly from whole grain rye (plus a tiny amount of wheat). Rye flour has a low glycemic index and a high amount of dietary fiber and protein, so these make for a healthy, nourishing snack. Maija and her baking partner have come up with a selection of flavors that pay tribute to tradition but also appeal to the rather more rarified tastes of New Yorkers. This includes the most basic rice-filled version, as well as beet-feta, spinach-garlic and sweet potato-caramelized onion-rosemary. The ryes can be eaten at room temp or pop them in the oven (even better). I enjoyed mine with a fried egg on top. Look for them at the Park Slope Greenmarket (5th Avenue) on Sundays through the fall.