When the Finns started to arrive in Newport, they started to slowly recreate the culture they left at home, and food was no exception. One of their main dishes was the soup. “Soups of all kind, beef soup, cabbage soup, potato soup, fish and lamb soup. Pea soup was a standard of the Finnish army and soup was served at Finnish social , at the halls, at the tract meets at the Finn Park” (p. 13). Another soup that was considered a delicacy was fish soup. All the fish used in Finnish fish soup was not bought at a store, the Finns instead caught it fresh in Newport. The way they did this was by violating fishing laws and the place they fished, “Ledge Pond called Silkkonjarvi (Sullko’s Lake) was prime fishing ground. The pond was secluded and John Sulkko a Finn, owned most of the frontage. They were no cottages, no outside interference, and the conditions were ideal for catching a fish extra fish for Sunday’s picnic” (p. 15). The fish soup was a borderline delicacy, and was one of the fanciest things Newport Finns ate.
Another stable of the Finnish diet was butter. If it did not have butter on it, it was not food according to the Finns. In fact when Finns picked up a bag of lunch before going to work if they did not have time to walk home for a lunch break, “The meal in the bag was same heavy diet, ham sandwiches with butter, minced ham sandwiches with butter, bologna sandwiches with butter… to begin making the dough for coffee bread Finnish women through in a huge slab of butter. As a result of this butter-laden fat meat diet Finns had the highest rate of heart disease in the world” (p. 14). This probably is not true anymore, but it’s rather extraordinary that this was the case in the early twentieth century. The Newport Finns were resistant to changing their diet, but overtime it became more Americanized. Corn on the cob became an instant favorite and after World War II the diet changed so much that the Finns eventually discovered pizza and, “As a matter of fact, it wasn’t bad at all, and on Saturday night the old-country Finn found himself waiting in line for a take-out pizza” (p. 14). The irony to this moment is that the Finns were already used to a high fat diet. They were already prepared for the future.
Turpeinen, Olli. The Finns in Newport, New Hampshire, United States: United States, 2000. Print.