Exploring Karelian cross-border gastronomic route
The Finnish-Russian expedition took place along the route of the intended food tour from 1 to 6 of March 2019. As part of the expedition, the participants became acquainted with the accommodation and food facilities (cafes and restaurants), tourist attractions and local food enterprises in the Republic of Karelia (Russia) and North Karelia (Finland). On the Russian side, the route passed through six municipalities of the Republic of Karelia: Prionezhsky, Pryazhinsky national, Olonetsky national, Pitkyarantsky, Sortavalsky and Lakhdenpohsky districts, on the Finnish side through the Tohmajärvi, Puhos, Honkavaara, Hammaslahti, Kitee and Joensuu.
Visits to the food enterprises on both sides of the border made it possible to assess the current level and potential for the development of gastronomic tourism in Karelias. Expert evaluation of Karelian cuisine by Tarmo Vasenius, chef of Karelskaya Gornitca restaurant (Petrozavodsk) was one of the most significant moments for the local chefs during the expedition. In addition to the already existing and successfully functioning catering facilities, group was familiarized with plans on creating cafes and restaurants in the Olonetsky national, Sortavalsky and Lahdenpohsky districts. During the six-day expedition, about 50 objects were examined and assessed in order to include them in the developed cross-border gastronomic route.
The expedition was successful due to the great organizational work conducted by the project team. Tatiana Morozova (project supervisor), director of the Institute of Economics and research associate Svetlana Stepanova (project expert) represented the Lead partner. The Finnish partners were represented by Keijo Koskinen, expert of the University of Applied Sciences Karelia and Tarmo Vasenius, expert of the North Karelian Educational Consortium Riveria. The Russian partners were represented by Olga Nazarova, director of OnegoTour (project expert) and Gromov Vladimir (project manager from OnegoTour); Simonov Yakov and Chumak Ksenia, experts, from the NGO Art-Shater.
Photos by Svetlana Stepanova and Vladimir Gromov