In My Heart

Lapp food is based on the blessings of nature

Traditional Lapp food

Lapps have always used what nature offers as food. Thus the Lapp food traditions are based on what nature have where they lived. The recipes have been passed on through the generations orally. Just in the later years the rcipes have been written down.

To a large extent the traditional food of the Sami is based on natural resources. The natural livelihood is still important today and is an essential element in Lapp culture.

Reindeer slaughtering starts in September-October and goes on until January-February.

Reindeer husbandry and fishing have been important in forming Sami food culture. The traditional Sami way of life has been based on the cycle of nature. Through the year they had to adapt to what nature had to give them.

Read more about the reindeer.

The reindeer as food

The most traditional and reknowned Lappish dish is a stew made on sautéed reindeer meat chippings. This is a nourishing and tasty meal that doesn't take long to cook.

Another common way of cooking reindeer meat is to boil meat and marrow-bones to get a broth (bouillon). The meat from the back parts of the reindeer are best for this. The reindeer tongue can be included and is very delicious.

The reindeer tongue can be eaten alone hot or cold or as cold cuts on sandwiches.

Gumppus is also considered a delicacy in the Lapp food traditions. Gumppus are blood cakes and blood sausages boiled together with meat and potatoes.

Dried or smoked reindeer meat remains a popular delicacy. So is reindeer heart in various forms. Dried meat and hearts are even used as snacks

Another reknowned Sami dish is the bithos which is a kind of meat soup cooked on lots of reindeer meat in a little water. Reindeer meat is quite lean compared to other dark meats. It contains around 4% fat.

The reindeer was the main food source for many Lapps.


The most common freshwater fishes in Lapland are salmon (salmo salar), arctic char (salvelinus alpinus), powan (corgonuas lavaretus), trout (salmo trutta)and pike (esox lucius) are cooked or fried. They are also smoked or cured and used as cuts on sandwiches.

The most common salt water fishes on the Arctic Ocean coast are cod (gadus morhua) and saithe (pollachius virens). They are cooked fresh or cured. In addition they are fried.


Cloudberry are the most famous berry of Lapland. In addition there are plenty of blueberries, , cowberries or lingonberries in Lapland. They are used for jams and desserts. In recent years cloudberries and blueberries have been used in for instance in liqueurs.

You'll also find large quantities of crowberries. These are used for juice. In recent years they have also been used for wines.

Learn more about berry picking in Lapland. Here you can read more about Lapp food.

Where the Reindeer Roam