Introduction:

"This blog is not necessarily for lovers of art, it includes a variety of topics and whatever. I'm a painter who likes to know what's really going on in the world today. So you might find anything from Shamrocks to Salmiakki mentioned here on my blog. There will of course be some boring, factual and informational posts, but I'll keep them to a minimum, I promise!

And I might get a bit nostalgic now and then.

So you have been warned!"


- Alan Hogan



Showing posts with label food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food. Show all posts

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easter Eggs: Irish v Finnish eggs




As it's the Easter this weekend I just wanted to post a quick blog on Easter eggs.









As a kid growing up in Ireland the best thing about Easter was receiving chocolate Easter eggs. It's customary for Irish children to get an egg from their parents and they often get a few more from relatives also. With lots of nice and kind relatives I usually got around five or six eggs in total!









The eggs themselves vary in size from the smallest 12cm to the largest being around 20cm in height. It's possible to buy much larger eggs, but these are usually expensive and popular with husbands buying for their wives. Most eggs are made from either milk chocolate, dark chocolate or white chocolate. Inside your average Easter egg you can find a bag of chocolate sweets or candy
depending on which brand. 







Most eggs are packed in boxes and foil, some come in very large boxes! The lower-priced eggs (without a box) are usually made from a chocolate-candy, and not as tasty as the real chocolate eggs. Some popular eggs when I was younger were the 'Buttons', 'Flake' and 'Milk Tray' eggs all produced by Cadburys. The famous Milk Tray box of chocolates has been around for as long as I remember and is an old favourite in Ireland. .... James Bond has nothing on the Milk Tray man!





I may be wrong but the large-sized Easter eggs don't seem so common in European countries outside Ireland and the UK, although a few can be found in shops such as Lidl and Aldi. When some Finnish friends of mine were presented with eggs while visiting me when I lived back in Ireland they were quite surprised at how large the typical Irish Easter egg was.

In Finland the eggs you find in shops are usually small. The most common ones I've noticed are the Kinder Surprise egg with a small toy inside. There are many other egg brands of a similar size such as Minnie Mouse, Transformers and of course Angry Birds. I consider the Kinder egg to be like the Cadbury's Creme Egg, and not quite an Easter egg due to the fact that they're both available all year round, at least I think they are. 
For me the best Easter eggs in Finland are the Mignon eggs. These are something special, and nothing like anything you will ever find in Ireland.



The Mignon Egg
   




The Mignon Egg is produced by the Finnish food company Fazer, one of the largest companies in Finland. This egg is the second oldest Fazer product, dating back to 1896 and is considered to be the quintessential Finnish Easter egg. The most notable feature about the Mignon egg is it's resemblence to a normal everyday hen's egg. This is because it is indeed a perfectly natural egg which has be drained of it's contents, cleaned and then filled with a blend of delicious nougat and chocolate. The natural egg look is then enhanced by it's real egg-box packaging. The result is a piece of chocolate art and what I would call an adult's easter egg!!! In other words, it's sitting in my fridge now waiting to be devoured! 

Of course, for those who don't like chocolate here in Finland there is also another customary dish which can be found well-stocked on supermarket shelves this Easter. This is called Mämmi (pronounced Memmy in english). 




Mämmi is an acquired taste and will only appeal to some. For me it was a big NO!! NO!! the first time I tasted it. But as I am a fan of Guinness (a sort of liquified version of Mämmi) I may try tasting it again someday. The Finns consider Mämmi a dessert, but I would rather compare it to a potent energy power-breakfast. Here's a video of what sounds like a Scottish guy describing this Finnish Easter dish in detail !!!
 ... Warning! Viewers discretion advised!!!





Thank you for visiting my blog and Happy Easter from Finland!!!


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- Alan
 



               
                                                             








Monday, October 7, 2013

Art and the Autumn fair.

Autumn in Finland

The autumn market is popular here in Finland and I will be going to my local one here in Karjaa/Karis this coming weekend. The market takes place on Saturday (12.10.2013, 9am-4pm).
I recently went to another autumn market in the nearby town of Ekenäs/Tammisaari, which is a much larger event with more stalls, a beer-tent and a fairground (video below). 






I managed to pick up a few items including some berries and liquorice. I also got the chance to catch up with a few friends for a chat in the beer-tent. I'm always curious to see if there's anything new when the market begins, but I usually end up seeing the same products and features every year. I suppose it's good to know what to expect sometimes!



Autumn market advert in local newspaper (Finnish and swedish text)

This year's autumn market in Karjaa/Karis will I imagine be somewhat the same as last year, with all the old favourites such as long string liquorice/candy, Dutch cheese, makkara (Finnish sausage) and of course a selection of thermal clothing for the coming winter, brrrr!!! As well as taking a look around the stalls at the market this Saturday I will also attend an art exhibition I am currently taking part in at Galleri Fokus which is situated near the market stalls in the centre of Karis/Karjaa. I have five paintings on display alongside work by several other local artists.  

Paintings at Galleri Fokus, Karis/Karjaa, 2013


On Saturday I will have a few more samples of my art in a small book that visitors can look at and also a few postcards and Christmas cards for sale. The gallery is open at 10.00-14.00.



I was very pleased to notice a few newspaper articles on this exhibition which mentioned my name and my paintings in a good light. 
In the Etelä-Uusimaa newspaper the text read "Irlantilaissyntyisen Alan Hoganin pointilistiset maalaukset ovat jännittäviä varsin suurikokoisine pilkkuineen. Ne ovat myös jollain tavalla iloisia maalauksia. Aiheina on perinteistäkin perinteisempiä suomalaisaiheita, kuten maalausten nimistä voi päätellä. Kannattaa käydä katsomassa, miltä näyttävät Raaseporin linna, ”Piilopirtti” ja Ahvenanmaalainen maisema pilkutettuina.", which basically means that my paintings reflect traditional Finnish image subjects in a positive and happy manner. Iso kiitos Etelä-Uusimaa sanomalehdelle!!

clipping from Etelä-Uusimaa newspaper 6.10.2013
(click image to enlarge)



Here in the Länsi-Uusimaa newspaper I also got a few lines!

clipping from Länsi-Uusimaa newspaper
(click image to enlarge)


And lastly in the Västra Nyland newspaper for Swedish speakers here in Finland, I got a special mention for which I am most grateful. The full article can be found on the Västra Nyland newspaper website.

clipping from Västra Nyland newspaper
(click image to enlarge)


So if any of you are planning on going to the Karjaa/Karis autumn market this Saturday, you are welcome to drop in to the exhibition at Galleri Fokus (under the town library). It's open 10.00-14.00, 12.10.2013.

Instrument of reflection I-IV
2013, acrylic on canvas


I am also involved in a group art exhibition in Helsinki at the moment. It's entitled 'Reflections' and it ends this coming Sunday, 13.10.2013. I have four paintings on show here called 'Instrument of reflection I-IV', which I made especially for this exhibition. More on these paintings can be read on my last post called 'Eyes without a face'. Myself and the other artists all had a great opening night at the Stoa cultural centre, with many visitors enjoying and commenting on the artworks. Here's a short video featuring my own work and the venue. 






Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with any of your friends. Have a nice Autumn! ....(or Spring if you're in the southern hemisphere!!)






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You can receive my blogposts direct to your email or facebook profile by pressing the follow button at NetworkedBlogs  and you are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button under my signature below.


- Alan 



                     
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ooh... Sweet Trifle!



Bird's Trifle!


I just realised I'll have a chance to pick up a few boxes of my favourite dessert soon. I have a short visit to Ireland planned next month, where I will have the honour of becoming godfather to my brother's baby girl. Looking forward to a great day in Dublin.
I hope to pick up a few items to take back to Finland with me. And Bird's Trifle is top of the list!





I'd better pick up a few extra packets of jelly too. They never give you enough in the boxes. Unlike this one here, I prefer my trifle bowls to be filled right up to the brim.



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The Art Garage, Finland

The Art Garage, Finland
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