Karelian pasty

Karelian pasties, Karelian pies or Karelian pirogs (Karelian: kalittoja, singular kalitta; Olonets Karelian: šipainiekku; Finnish: karjalanpiirakat, singular karjalanpiirakka;[1] Russian: карельский пирожок karelskiy pirozhok or калитка kalitka; Swedish: karelska piroger) are traditional pasties or pirogs originating from the region of Karelia. They are eaten throughout Finland as well as in adjacent areas such as Estonia and northern Russia.

Karelian pasty
A store-bought Karelian pasty
TypePasty, pirog
Place of originKarelia
Region or stateKarelia
Main ingredientsrye flour or wheat flour, rice or potatoes, butter

The oldest traditional pasties usually had a rye crust, but the North Karelian and Ladoga Karelian variants also contained wheat to improve the quality of the crust. The usual fillings were barley and talkkuna. In the 19th century, first potato, and then buckwheat were introduced as fillings, and later, boiled rice and millet.

Today, the most popular version has a thin rye crust with a filling of rice. Mashed potato and rice-and-carrot fillings are also commonly available. Butter, often mixed with chopped-up boiled egg (egg butter or munavoi), is spread over the hot pasties before eating.

Karjalanpiirakka has had Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG) status in Europe since 2003.[2] This means that any producer not following the traditional recipe cannot call them karjalanpiirakka and instead, will have to call them riisipiirakka ("rice pasties"), perunapiirakka ("potato pasties") etc., depending on the filling.[3]

See also


  1. Sallinen-Gimpl, Pirkko (2000). Karjalainen keittokirja. Helsinki: Tammi. p. 59. ISBN 951-31-1540-2.
  2. EU Profile-Karjalanpiirakka (accessed 06/01/2021)
  3. Food Safety Authority Evira Archived 2016-01-26 at the Wayback Machine (accessed 1/19/2016)

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