On June 8th the Embassy of Finland in Rome will host an exclusive event “Cibo per le Scuole” (Food for Schools) in honor of Finnish food in all of its delicious variations. Ambassdor Janne Taalas will host guest of honor the Italian Minister for Public Education, Stefania Giannini, who will meet with the Finnish chefs that created the best menus for their country’s pupils and who were the winners of a prestigious national prize for their flavorful dishes.
The lunches created by this talented group of chefs from the city of Kotka are distinguished by the fact that they are especially healthy while simultaneously appealing to the finicky taste buds of 210 students ranging in age from 7-12 every day. The menus offered are a real fusion between more typical Finnish flavors and newer international dishes, a union which allows for meals that appeal to students of many nationalities making these lunches perfect for foreign students as well.
Yet one of the most astonishing factors regarding these menus is the combination of high quality foods at an extremely low cost. All of the recipes for these lunches are based on basic ingredients and that is why the total cost per meal ranges from 0.70 cents to 2 euros per student. Impossible? Evidently not.
On the other hand it should come as no surprise considering the fact that Finland has had a provision to provide pupils with healthy, free meals since 1948. Along with neighbor Sweden, they are one of the only countries in Europe to have a project that takes such careful pains to assure that students are eating tasty balanced meals while they are at school, all the while respecting a low cost budget.
During Wednesday’s event organized by the Finnish Embassy in Rome, guests will have a chance to eat the same prize-winning dishes that the chefs created for the schools. Heading up the work in the kitchen will be Chef Kimmo Kettunen, chef for the Ambassador’s residence in the Italian capital. He and his team will prepare this varied and delicious menu for Minister Giannini and other lucky guests who will have a wonderful opportunity to enjoy these flavorful dishes from the north.