The Sauna Cookbook
The Sauna Cookbook offers a great variety of recipes for entertaining sauna guests at the summer sauna as well as the home sauna. The Sauna Cookbook also presents snippets of information on sauna culture — both old and modern.
Modern hospitality increasingly involves a relaxing and refreshing visit to the sauna and enjoying good food and drink. Today sauna entertaining combines the modern with the traditional. This cookbook offers over a hundred recipes and suggestions for great sauna evenings or afternoons — from sauna beverages and “saunamakkara” to light salads and full dinners.
The Sauna Cookbook is richly illustrated in full beautiful color.
Hard cover only.
180 + xii pages.
This is what is stated on the back cover:
The Sauna Cookbook: Food for Body and Soul, stylishly illustrated in full color, is a tribute to Scandinavian cooking and the Finnish sauna tradition. Rooted in ancient sauna rituals, the more than 130 carefully chosen recipes balance traditional and modern culinary culture.
Tuula Kaitila and Edey Saarinen, drawing on both their Finnish and North American cooking experience, provide clear, easy-to-follow instructions, and offer informative and helpful cooks’ comments.
Modern hospitality increasingly combines a relaxing and refreshing visit to the sauna with good food and drink. The recipes in The Sauna Cookbook offer suggestions for delightful sauna afternoons and evenings – from sauna beverages and fish baked on the sauna stove to light salads or festive meals complete with homemade breads and condiments. A special chapter is devoted to traditional Christmas sauna entertaining.
"A beautiful and welcome addition to the library of Finnish and Scandinavian cookbooks."
Online “For Body and Soul”: A Cookbook No Finn Should Be Without
Beth L. Virtanen, Ph. D.
Every time I buy a new book, I open it carefully and smell the freshness of ink and paper. It’s a ritual. I breathe in deeply enjoying that first acquaintance with a new friend. When I opened my latest purchase, The Sauna Cookbook: Food for Body and Soul, I was not disappointed by the delicious smell of quality ink on exquisite paper, but that was only the beginning of my experience of the senses. From beginning to end of this book, I was captivated by the obvious care that has gone into its making, a care that reflects the nurturing of body and spirit that is the essence of the sauna.
Authors Tuula Kaitila, native-born Finn and Canadian immigrant, and Edey Saarinen, Finnish-Canadian fully immersed in things Finnish, provide an odyssey of taste and experience based in Finnish traditions for their readers. The beautifully illustrated full-color text opens with a Foreword by the authors in which they explain their personal connections and experiences with Finnish traditions, including the sauna and the Kalevan Naiset, or the Ladies of the Kaleva Society.
Chapter one sets the text of the cookbook in its literary and cultural traditions with excerpts from the Kalevala, works by Aleksis Kivi, Maiju Lassila, Marja-Liisa Vartio and others. The authors also call upon the works of the renowned ethnographer Juha Pentikainen in discussing the sauna’s historical origins and connections with the early Finns, the Sami and other Baltic Finnic peoples of the region. In this chapter, the authors also provide instructions for taking a sauna. The Löyly and vihta, or vasta, are explained as well as sauna etiquette itself.
The subsequent chapters, covering topics of traditional foods, Christmas foods, salads and side dishes, soups, casseroles, seafood, meat and poultry, desserts and pastries, sauces and condiments, breads, and beverages, are all illustrated with the same quality photography and punctuated with authors’ comments of tips or variations to insure our complete understanding. Each segment of the text is as delightful as the previous. Thoroughly indexed and containing a conversion chart at the back, the quality of the book attends nicely to the needs of its readers.
Once I began following the directions presented in the cookbook to create my first authentically Finnish meal, I realized that the wonderful odors emanating from my own kitchen were tugging my heart back home to my grandparents’ sauna where we used to bathe every Saturday night. I could smell the wood smoke and the steam and taste the sauna sausage my large and extended family shared after sauna while we watched television together in my grandparents’ home.
The reviewer is a Toivola native and graduate of Michigan Tech’s doctoral program in Rhetoric and Technical Communication, Beth L. Virtanen, Ph. D., is Associate Professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez.