Dining with Marshal Mannerheim is a vivid and delicious journey through history and the world of international cuisine in the company of an extraordinary Finn.
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim has perhaps had a bigger impact on modern Finnish history than anyone else. He was a true cosmopolitan, a Swedish-speaking nobleman in origin, who served twenty years in the Russian Imperial army. He was the leader of the Whites in the Finnish Civil War , and united the nation as Commander-in-Chief in its fight to maintain independence in the war against a much greater neighbour in 1939-44, becoming president of Finland in 1944-46. London, Moscow and Helsinki were the only three wartime capitals that were never occupied. Marshal Mannerheim’s influence on the course of Finnish history is indisputable, and his colourful life and fascinating personality offer most captivating material to this book.
From his childhood in a Swedish-speaking manor house in the Finnish countryside, through his time as a Chevalier Guards Officer and the splendour of the zakuski tables of the Russian Imperial Court, his wide travels in Asia, and his time as a political and military figurehead in Finland, Mannerheim always showed a strong interest in culinary affairs. He appreciated carefully prepared, fine cuisine, collected menus from his extensive travels, and acted as a generous host in his private home to numerous luncheons and dinner parties, the menus to which he designed himself.
This is a culinary and historic adventure through eight decades with the Marshal of Finland including numerous delicious recipes from the original menus, as well as many compelling anecdotes and stories from his life. Dining with Marshal Mannerheim even contains the recipes from a dinner offered to a very controversial vegetarian guest, Adolf Hitler, who suddenly appeared at the Marshal’s table on his 75th birthday in June 1942.
Ritva and Risto Lehmusoksa have collected menus and recipes from all areas of the Marshal’s life and accompanied them with historic stories and delicious photographs by Katja Hagelstam.