According to the nursery rhyme, Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet and began to eat her curds and whey. For anyone growing up outside of North America, they could be excused for never quite knowing exactly what a curd is. That is, of course, until they visit French Canada.

Cheese curds are pieces of fresh cheddar cheese before they are processed and aged into the more common varieties found on the supermarket shelf. With a mild flavour and rubbery texture, fresh curds squeak against one’s teeth when bitten into, creating quite an unusual dining experience.

A few years ago the idea of combining wine and chocolate would’ve sounded pretty out there. Lately, however, public interest towards those sinfully scrumptious cocoa delicacies has increased, with little chocolatiers popping up here and there, and this less than obvious pairing of vices is starting to attract adventurous taste buds. A wine-and-chocolate tasting is now on the programme of the Helsinki Chocolate Festival.

According to wine consultant Mika Vanne, one of the organisers of the tasting, there are no hard and fast rules to combining chocolate and wine.

The global mourning ritual over the death of Michael Jackson continues. Dancers have been gathering to pull shapes en masse in celebration of the release of This Is It, a film edited from footage of Jackson preparing for the planned London concert series. Most of those tributes pale in comparison to the mass craze Jackson’s celluloid epitaph is causing in India. In the context of Indian entertainment culture Jackson’s videos are likened to The Beatles or the opening credits of Dallas as a defining image that heralded the age of global media culture.

Furthermore, Jackson was not just a popular icon, but a paragon to countless Indian entertainers. Stars, film directors, choreographers and musicians have cited him as a major influence of their work, but his ...

Imagine a future where you glide to school or work on a silent scooter that is dirt-cheap to operate and environmentally friendly – no internal combustion engine, no noise and no pollution. When could that scenario become a reality in Finland? In five years, two years, one year? In fact, the possibility already exists. Electric scooters are just one of the many vehicle types that will be on display and for sale at Helsinki’s Electric Motor Show 2009.

Development in the electric vehicle market has been rapid in the last few years. Electrically-powered cars, motorcycles, quad-bikes and work machines are ready to roll and more models are on the way. This fair is part of the “Green Weekend” theme at the Helsinki Exhibition & Convention Centre ...

Learning the Finnish they don’t teach in school

Kalsarikännit (noun)

Literally: “underwear drunk”

Example of usage: “Pysyin kotona ja vedin kalsarikännit.” (“I just stayed home and pulled a kalsarikännit.”)

Less a word than a lifestyle, kalsarikännit describes a day or weekend in which the speaker failed to achieve anything as ambitious as actually getting dressed, and instead subsided into a stupor of watching Dr Phil, eating microwaved makaronilaatikko, and emptying a mäyräkoira (12 pack) of beer.