In collaboration with Satoa goes Wild Festival.
Set amongst the beautiful market square of Kuopio and cobbled streets around it, the Satoa goes Wild Festival, as its name suggests, celebrates all things wild and local from Northern Savonia.
Each June in Kuopio, you can sample deliciously diverse wild delights and regional specialities, including a few unlikely fusions like this year’s willowherbs and crickets, wood sorrel meringue and cricket-chocolate cookies. Satoa goes Wild is a best-loved food festival, bursting at the seams with pop-up restaurants, workshops, city’s cultural history, live music & hungry foodies, like us.
You can buy your festival pass (45 euros) online or at the ticket booth on the market square. The festival route is defined by 10 restaurant spots so we followed our beautifully illustrated map and soon found ourselves in the thick of it.
First up we went for appetizers at Tallikahvila, set in idyllic old stables called Pikku Pietarin torikuja, just a stone throw away from the market square. Tallikahvila was serving up carrot soup with wild-herb pie, which both were delicious and great starters to ease into the day. We washed it all down with this magical stuff, which I’ve never had before but certainly will again. Sparkling willowherb drink by Willimaku.
The second appetizer was served by a catering company called VS Ravintolat in a pop-up restaurant at restaurant Maxim.
They had prepared a small Savo tapas plate: spruce and birch, smoked vendace mousse, pork from Pielavesi and cucumbers. Unbelievably delicious and easily my favourite dish from the day. Peaking early, I know, but it’s true.
Our tasting continued with…
…Wild Herb Burger at King’s Crown. Brioche bun with super tasty black bean patty with nettle and wild herb sauce. Tender, full of flavour with that delicious smoky barbecue taste. Perfect with the local strawberry soda. Big thumbs up – we all loved it!
I’m always on the hunt out for something different when we go to foodie events, and I found it on the at Thai Samruai‘s pop-up restaurant, located in the beautiful garden of J.V. Snellman home museum. Samruai served willowherbs and crickets with steamed rice. Chicken and tofu options were available as well. The willowherbs were lovely, crickets were nice and crispy with slightly nutty flavour, but all in all, the portion wasn’t particularly tasty.
Now, these two restaurants I was really looking forward to trying out. Isä Camillo and Musta Lammas had joined forces under one roof and they had whipped up fish-galettes with wild herb & spring vegetable compote and a falafel pitas with wild herb sauce and crickets. Here the crickets worked much better in the dish. Super fresh and tasty.
The festival being in central Kuopio keeps you close to the main market square and other fun summer happenings like Kuopio Dance Festival, the beautiful parks and most of the popular attractions that Kuopio is famous for, all within walking distance. With the festival pass, you also get a free entry to J.V. Snellman Home Museum and to Old Kuopio Museum.
We were starting to feel well and truly stuffed so a little walk around the pretty, cobbled streets of Kuopio does just the trick! And Kuopio is looking particularly fine in the Finnish sunshine.
Having walked around a little, we got back to business.
At Kummisetä we had pork ribs with meadowsweet, onions and milk thistle. Everyone tucked in with a beer, or one of the mocktails with pine spruce syrup – another triumph that I will be (trying to) re-create at home! Who knew pine spuce is this delicious!
Heading indoors for a change, Bowl D1ner served another winning dish – melt-in-your-mouth wild boar toast.
Moving onto desserts, we headed to cafe Houkutus. On their sunny terrace, they were serving organic ice creams (you could choose your flavour so we tried blueberry and mixed berry) with cake bottoms, topped with wild herb and wood sorrel meringue and cricket-chocolate cookie. It was so incredibly good – everything works so well together, perfectly sweet and creamy.
We finished our culinary journey at Intro Social. We were all really full at this point and were wondering whether we could still finish this last portion. Well, along came the nettle waffles with whipped spruce sprout cream, crispy puffs and caramel, then promptly vanished. Food this good doesn’t stay on the plate for long.
SATOA GOES WILD
It was an excellent day and we all really enjoyed it… The staff were charming everywhere, there’s such a buzz and feel-good atmosphere in the air and on a summer’s eve, there’s no other place I’d rather be.
You should absolutely go next year. It’s a corker of a day. Website here, Twitter here. In the meantime, get your butt down to any of these great restaurants in Kuopio. Trust me, you need a little Savo in your life.