COMMONLY known in Finland as sima, and consumed during the First of May (Vappu) celebrations, mead is traditionally a honey wine. Finnish mead doesn’t always include honey, however, although its Finnish name is a synonym of mesi, which means honey. The most common Finnish sima recipes include water, sugar, syrup, yeast and raisins, and are spiced up with the pulp and rind of lemon.
Historically, mead is often associated with the Vikings. Legend tells that the Norse god Odin was weak when it came to his favourite drink: in order to grow wiser and stronger he took a sip of mead after negotiating his payment – he had to sacrifice one of his eyes.
In many cultures, mead was offered to newlyweds symbolising happiness and fertility, from here we get the word honeymoon. But one doesn’t have to be as desperate as Odin to get a drink of mead any longer: sima is available at supermarkets and for a mere couple of euros perhaps some of that Viking strength is ensured.
Text Carina Chela