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This past week, a friend and I trekked 1,000 km north of Helsinki to Sodankylä, a small town north of the Arctic Circle that hosts the annual Midnight Sun Film Festival. With films scheduled for all hours of the day--the 24 hours of sunlight in Sodankylä helping us ward off sleep--the festival went by like a cinematic blur, film after film after film interrupted only by quick meals, a few hours’ rest in the car, and a quick swim in chilly Lapland rivers.
With most of our time spent in theaters and movie tents, there wasn’t much chance for culinary exploration. I did get a chance to try some homemade Lapland reindeer though. Served between two pieces of dark bread, the reindeer meat was cut into thin slices and served with ligonberries and cream. The meat was a little bit tough and was not nearly as gamey as I’d anticipated--I was actually a little disappointed that it didn’t pack more flavor. Reindeer meat is widely available throughout Finland though, so I’m going to try it again soon to see if my first experience was a fluke.