Pea Soup Thursdays: A Finnish Tradition

published Jan 6, 2011
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

When thinking of pea soup, I can’t help but also think of pancakes and Thursdays. Does this sound strange? Well, it all began in Finland, you see…

I probably ate pea soup for lunch on 98% of the Thursdays in the year I lived in Finland as a student. The university’s cafeteria served it every Thursday alongside its traditional pairing of thin pancakes and jam.

Why? Originally, the soup and pancakes came to be eaten as a filling tide-me-over before fasting on Fridays throughout pre-Reformation-era Scandinavia. As an inexpensive lunch that’s easily prepared in large batches, the tradition stuck and today is served in lunch rooms across the country from primary schools to universities. Home cooks also still adhere to the simple Thursday lunch.

Read much more about Finland’s (and other Nordic countries’) pea soup Thursdays at this Wikipedia entry.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

The practice at first seemed to me a curiosity, but I came to look forward to the weekly pea soup ritual and still yearn for it a bit today. The foods are, in fact, a delicious combination!

Do you associate any particular foods or meals with days of the week? In what traditions are those associations rooted?