An ode to rye bread

Personally I think breakfast is up there with the best things in life. As a Finn I love bread, and by bread, I mean rye bread. So without further ado, I give you my ode to the rye bread.

(Disclaimer: Not all of the breads you see in this post are traditional Finnish rye bread, but they're all rye bread. Get it? In different forms you know. They can do that now. Disclaimer 2: This might make you hungry and Cake and beans can't be sued for that. This is a food blog and you knew what you were getting in to.)

Rye bread with cream cheese and raspberries.

Rye bread with cream cheese and raspberries.

When I travel I'm always excited to see what people eat for breakfast in that particular country. Personally, I think that can be the biggest difference between countries and a major culture-shock. I'm often surprised how little the locals in other countries eat in comparison to us Scandinavians, and how often breakfast is a sweet dessert. But don't get me wrong, I love trying out different types of breakfast -- I've eaten everything from Indian styled yoghurt and fruit, fresh fish in Norway, strong coffee in South Africa to white baguettes in France. I'll never forget when me and my best friend were backpacking in Italy and we stayed in an hostel in Milano with the promise of breakfast. Well it turned out be one frozen croissant and marmalade. As it was our first meal in Italy, I was not impressed. But, we quickly learned that that's what they usually serve in Italy for breakfast, minus the frozen part. And I loved all of it. But, I will always prefer the breakfast I grew up with.

And by that I mean rye bread.

Hard rye bread  Knäckebröd  with peanut butter, apples and cinnamon

Hard rye bread Knäckebröd with peanut butter, apples and cinnamon

If you've ever traveled to Finland as a foreigner I bet a thousand Santa Clauses that someone tried to offer/force-feed you

  1. Salmiakki (salty licorice)
  2. Koskenkorva vodka
  3. Rye bread

If I'm right you have to comment below and send me a thousand dollars.

There is a reason why we force our guests to try these things -- it's because we love and are incredibly proud of them. Well, at least number 1 and 3. What Finns can't understand is why they're not that popular in other countries. As a Finn living abroad I find myself longing for exactly this stuff, and I realised I'm more Finnish than I ever imagined. I also miss a lot of things that aren't listed here, like saunas, the smell of the Baltic Sea and the gum I used to chew.

(And mom! Hi mom!)

To get you as hooked as us on rye bread, here's a list of a few suggestions of what to do with rye bread:

Make this soybean spread by mixing soybeans with garlic and little bit of water and salt in a food processor.


Rye bread with white bean spread. Mix 1 pack of beans (approx. 200g), 3 sun-dried tomatoes, 1/2 dl of water and salt in a blender. Blend until smooth.


Cream cheese with apples and oven baked pumpkin seeds / cream cheese with bananas and mint leaves.


Peanut butter and jelly. The "jelly" is made by mixing a handful of raspberries with cream cheese.


Toasted rye bread with avocado, thyme and salt.


But don't forget the simple, elegant, and classic rye bread toast with butter. Almost nothing beats that my friends!

Hope you found some inspiration for your next breakfast! Next time I'll include some other ingredients and maybe some smoothies and yoghurts and so on. Hehe.