An economic alliance and the use of synergies
Our Finnish toast only needs four ingredients - plus the Finnish summer sun...
...and Eero Koivisto!
An interview with the man,
who bakes our Finnish toast:
The Finnish toast is the only product we don't bake ourselves at MOIN. After all, Finns are best at making Finnish toast. That's why our friend Eero Koivisto has been baking it for us for over twenty years.
Eero, do you remember how it all started?
- Yes, I do. The first time I met with Hans-Paul Mattke we were in Bremen. I was looking for new customers and was able to convince Hans-Paul of the quality of my baked goods. However, he wanted a different shape and so the idea of a square rye roll came up. I took this idea back to Finland and worked on it in my bakery. The result: the Finnish toast, which was added to the MOIN range in 1995. A great cooperation - and that for so many years. I'm very happy about it, because I've heard people say so many times that they couldn't live without this bread. I like to keep old connections, especially when they make so many people feel so well provided for.
You were one of the first organic bakers in Finland. What were your motives?
- Being a baker is simply my path. I reckon I will bake bread for the rest of my life and therefore I want to do it well. Besides, it just makes sense. Finland has the best rye in the whole world. That's because of our long hours of sunshine during summer, the gentle sea breeze and our pure water. Our fields are far away from traffic and pollution and our cold winters keep pests at bay, so they aren't an issue for us. Best conditions for growing excellent grain and baking bread from it that isn't only very tasty, but is also really good for you.
You still use original stone ovens. Why do you keep up the traditional way of baking?
- That's my father's legacy. His name was Kauko Koivisto. After the war he built about 500 high-quality stone ovens for various bakeries all over the country. At some point I asked him if it was possible for me to get one. Today I have two - each eighteen meters long, made from about 20,000 bricks. Others may work with newer models, but at FinnSnack we know that the unique taste created by the gentle heat of a stone oven is something very special and irreplaceable.
What is so special about a stone oven?
- Bread baked in a stone oven simply tastes better. This is because the air flow and humidity in a stone oven are different. The oven itself absorbs some of the steam that is released from the bread during the baking process and slowly returns it. Our products are baked or roasted twice. That means: a lot of time and warmth. This baking process guarantees a crispy texture as well as full flavour. And taste is everything to us!
Taste comes first. But it also important to you that your baked goods are wholesome. What are the health benefits?
- Rye is a very valuable grain. It provides us with a lot of fibre, vitamins and long-lasting energy. It supports our digestive system, prevents gallstones, reduces the risk of diabetes, regulates blood pressure and protects the cardiovascular system - just to name a few!
Where do all your different ideas for one and the same grain come from?
- For many years, I had a natural USB stick in my head, which kept giving me new ideas. (Eero laughs) It was like this: When I was 15 years old, my little brother put a grain of rye in my ear. I shook my head like crazy, but it didn't come out. I had even carefully tried to get it out with a vacuum cleaner (don't try this at home!) but the grain was stuck. Twenty years later my otologist found the rye grain during a professional ear cleaning. - I'm sure all my rye bread innovations come from that.
Is regionality important to you?
- Yes, my aim is to use only Finnish ingredients, because - as I said at the beginning - we are blessed with very good, pure raw materials in Finland. Of course there are cheaper options, but we only want to use the best ingredients for our products - just like you.
That's right, using best ingredients is one of our priciples, too. Can you think of any other similarities?
- It's important that the soul takes part in the baking process. I think Hans-Paul and Sui feel the same way. The human creative power is a key element - that goes for the work of a baker as well as an artist. And what also unites us, I think, is that the pleasure of good taste is a top priority in both of our undertakings.
Thank you very much, Eero!