Find the roots of food at Ålands small scale producers
In Åland you can find many innovative small scale producers who refine delicacies of fantastic quality with help from the love towards their native land and the ingredients. Cheese and other dairy products, beer, cider, juice and lemonades, chocolate and bonbons are just a few examples of delicacies from Åland. Here you can read up on three different small scale producers from Åland, which you can also visit during your trip to Åland.
Amalias limonad and Mercedes chocolaterie
In Amalias Limonad in Lemland, southern Åland, drinks are made in a traditional way with the taste, colour and scent from real berries and fruits. The result is a really tasty lemonade without any artificial additives on the label. The lemonade is made by hand in a small factory, and contains 20 percent pure, cold-pressed juice from berries. It’s filled in old-school bottles of glass with a patented stopper or bottles of glass with a bottle cap.
Perfect stop along your bicycle route
The lemonade shop is perfectly located along the main road from Långnäs harbour to Mariehamn, and is a fantastic spot for a break during e.g. the bicycle journey to or from Långnäs harbour. On the second floor of the small factory you can find a cozy café where you can quench your thirst with Amalia’s delicious drinks. Here you can take part in sampling drinks, factory tours and purchase gifts to take home from the shop.
Wide assortment of delicacies
Today approximately 30 different lemonades and other drinks are a part of Amalia’s assortment, but they are also constantly curious about new flavours. Traditional flavors such as raspberry, lemon and strawberry are naturally a part of the assortment, but they also offer exciting combinations of flavours such as lingonberry-apple, rhubarb-elderflower as well as the children’s favourite Lion-lemonade with a taste of apple and cinnamon. If there are any other flavours you would like to see in their assortment, feel free to tell the personnel! You can also find drinks by Anton suited for the adult taste with the shop’s own ciders, gin&tonic and long drink.
Luxurious chocolate pralines
At Amalia’s you can also buy exquisite chocolate pralines from Mercedes Chocolaterie, which is located in the same building. Here world-class chocolate meets cream, butter and honey from the Åland Islands. The pralines offer a combination of the world’s finest cacao products paired with local flavors, such as blueberry, raspberry and sea buckthorn. There are more than 30 different pralines in the assortment! You can enjoy these delicacies on the spot or buy some pralines with you as a memory from Åland.
At the Mattas gårdsmejeri-farm you can find organic cheeses, yoghurt and ice-creams which are made from milk from the farm’s five cows. The farm is located in Sund, northern Åland and is a small family business as well as one of the 11 original farms in the village. There is dairy ancestry in the region since a long time back.
All of the farm’s dairy products are made with organic milk, and handled in a way that does not require any additives or preservatives. The entire process from growing fodder for the cows, caring for the cows all the way to refining the milk to a finished product is entirely taken care of by the couple Jennifer and Lars-Johan, who are in charge of the farm.
The tastiest milk from happy cows
Every animal on the farm goes in and out as they like during the winter, and they have free access to the farm’s home-grown silage, water and mineral limestone. The cows are then milked twice a day. From May to October the animals roam around outside in the pasture and eat grass.
Only milk from their own cows is used in the farm’s products. The milk is not homogenized and in the production Jennifer uses as natural ingredients as possible. These days a number of unpasteurized products are also made, which have a tendency to offer a more unique flavour since the microflora at the farm give the cheese a certain characteristic. The milk retains its natural traits during the process since it’s never heated.
Unique flavors at the farms café
A fun detail regarding the farm’s products is that they’ve all been named after the cows and heifers of the farm. Since everything in the production is made by hand you can never guarantee that every product tastes the same every time, but that’s also what is so charming with handcrafted items! At Mattas the milk tastes different depending on what the cows eat and from which cow the milk comes from. To get so close to the ingredient is something unique and simply amazing.
At Mattas you can find a shop as well as a café during the summer, where you can enjoy the farm’s own ice-cream, but also other sweet goods and some lighter meals. The cows and calves can usually be found grazing near the shop, so you can also greet them.
Rent your own apple tree at Öfvergårds
Have you ever dreamt of visiting a vineyard? You don’t have to travel further than to Öfvergårds in Tjudö to experience the similarity. There the couple Anna and Jan Alm grow different sorts of apples and refine them into apple-juices that have characteristics according to the specific sort of apple they’re made from. Since the couple took over the farm in 2010 they’ve developed the orchard from a traditional apple orchard to become an innovative business that deals with food crafts.
Öfvergårds is a good example of the persistence and innovative characteristics that can so often be used to describe islanders from the archipelago, and Ålanders as well. It was in 2014 when Öfvergårds was hit by a hailstorm which laid waste to most of the apple-harvest. It was at that moment that Anna and Jan realized they needed to do something more in addition to just growing apples, and began refining them.
Except for the apples that are sold around Åland and in Finland, the orchard produces juices, pickled apples and honey. All the products are available for purchase at Öfvergård’s own shop at the orchard but can be bought at other places in Åland as well.
In autumn 2019 Anna and Jan acquired a mobile juicer. This meant that they were now able to experiment and focus more on product development. To lift the colour, taste and characteristic of every sort of apple, every sort of apple is juiced separately and when they’re at their best. It gives a fresher and clearer juice and creates unique experiences in taste. Anna and Jan are passionate about food crafts, and work with the mantra “Only with first-class quality ingredients can you create foods of first class quality.”
Apple safari - a juicy experience
As a visitor at Öfvergårds you can take part in a guided apple-safari where you get to follow an exciting journey of tastes. The safari takes approximately 1,5 hours and is suitable for the entire family. During the safari you get to follow Anna and Jan to see, taste and learn more about apples, juices as well as the history of the orchard. Afterwards awaits a tasty sampling of a selection of juices paired with delicacies from Åland. Safaris are arranged throughout the summer and autumn and you need to reserve your spot the day before.
Rent your own apple tree in Åland
Öfvergårds is the first orchard in Åland which has started its own shareholders orchard called Mitt Äppelträd (My Apple tree). If you long for your own harvest of apples, you’re given the opportunity to rent one or more apple tree’s from the orchard. As a shareholder you get to follow what happens at the orchard through social media and news letters. If you rent an apple tree from the orchard, you’re also welcome to visit the orchard, and Öfvergårds naturally lets you know when it’s time for you to come get your harvest!
Now you might be wondering if you have to live in Åland to be able to rent your own apple tree at Öfvergårds? The answer is no, it’s not a requirement. Anyone is welcome to become a shareholder.