Reindeer: an Arctic Christmas feast in Levi, Finland

Christmas was an altogether relaxing affair for the nine of us. We spent the morning perusing the tourist stores in Levi (and purchasing a couple of beautiful Lappish pieces), drinking mochas in the Coffee House and strolling around the resort until it was time to knuckle down in the kitchen to ensure there was a memorable spread on the table for dinner.

As the phrase goes, ‘when in Rome…’, and as we figured it, ‘when in Lapland…’; the result being an incredible Christmas feast of roast (wait for it…) reindeer!

a Christmas feast

Yes, I know what you’re thinking: how could I eat Rudolph, right?! Well, if I was in Australia or England for example, I wouldn’t eat reindeer, as it’s not abundant and wild like it is in Finland. In the same way, I wouldn’t eat kangaroo over here in Europe but in Australia I don’t hesitate to enjoy a nice roo burger or steak. I like to think I’m fairly adventurous with food and enjoy sampling what the locals eat in whatever country I am travelling through (I’m not sure if I want to travel to Scotland though, on account of the haggis and black pudding!), so I was happy to give reindeer a taste, and I was not disappointed. It’s a really rich meat, something like a beef/lamb combo, and absolutely delicious.

We enjoyed a huge meal of vegetables, meat (there was beef for those of us who weren’t so comfortable with the local cuisine), gravy, potatoes and stuffing balls, accompanied by glögi, and followed by Christmas pudding and ice cream. For some of us, it was just too much:

some things (like digesting dinner) are simply tiring!

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