The Finnish forests are now full of free-for-all superfood! The blueberry season is almost finished, but now it’s the perfect time to go and pick lingonberries for the winter!
This weekend I’m visiting my parents in my dear old hometown Tampere, always relaxed and nice. Also the weather was on our side, so this afternoon we decided to be brave and head to the forests.
Why brave? The challenge of picking lingonberries in the perfect spot that “only” my parents know is that one is not alone there. These hoods are packed with nasty deer flies (in Latin Lipoptena cervi, in Finnish hirvikärpänen), who come there because the forest is also popular among elks.
Someone would think we are exaggerating looking at the preparations below, but covering everything you can and closing your sleeves with some painter’s tape was only a clever and quite necessary precaution before entering the forest… as we immediately found out.
I don’t have photos of our little friends but after we returned to our car after 2 hours in the forest (and with 35 litres of lingonberries, all the buckets full!) we found these flies all over our bodies. Disgusting! Especially my dad seemed to be popular among them, as he’s the biggest one and these flies look for human heat.
But it was worth it, the forest was beautiful and gave you some special energy. Looking and tasting the lingonberries now makes one feel satisfied. Tomorrow we’ll freeze the berries and enjoy extra vitamins in the winter.
What is a lingonberry? Wikipedia tells that lingonberries are native to boreal forest and Arctic tundra throughout the Northern Hemisphere from Eurasia to North America.
The berries contain many organic acids, vitamin C, A and B (B1, B2, B3), potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. They also contain phytochemicals that are thought to counteract urinary-tract infections, and the seeds are rich in omega-3.
The amazing fact is that 90 per cent of this super food is left in the forests of Finland. And at the market lingonberries cost about 4 euros per litre. What a waste! Maybe the deer flies are too big a challenge for us.