Holiday Gift Guide: Finnish sweet bread a delectable holiday treat

  • Apron Strings Nisu by Leona Traffie is available through special order only. Courtesy Photo by Apron Strings Bakery

  • Simple Pleasures by Kim Anderson hosts a pop-up bakery in Mason during the holidays only. Courtesy photo by Simple Pleasures

  • Finnish Mama by Adrianna Stefanko delivers Nisu to the Dublin General Store weekly on Fridays, except the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Courtesy photo by Finnish Mama

  •  Iced Nisu from Island Bowls in New Ipswich is available daily from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m Photo courtesy of Island Bowls

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 11/20/2021 4:00:26 PM
Modified: 11/20/2021 4:00:12 PM

Nisu, the Finnish word for “wheat,” is a sweet bread seasoned with cardamom, often eaten with coffee and company. Since the influx of Finnish families in the early 1900’s, Nisu has been a popular bakery item among in the area—especially during the holidays.

Keep some loaves at home to serve to your guests. Or buy a bundle to gift to friends and neighbors.

Just be sure to get your orders in on time.

Nisu is best when fresh, and freezes well. A few local bakers agreed to share when and where to order their bakery items for the holidays.

Three residential bakeries, and an acai bowl spot — Simple Pleasures, Finnish Mama, Apron Strings and Island Bowls — offer various forms of the popular Finnish holiday bread, as well as variations of traditional holiday treats in the Monadnock area.

Simple Pleasures

By Kim Anderson

“My grandma always had iced Nisu for company or holidays. Everyday bread was plain Nisu,” said Anderson.

Where: Mason. Special order online and Barrett Hill Farm special holiday orders

When: Saturday local pick up, residential kitchen licensed bakery set up three days before Christmas

What: Breads, Nisu (Traditional, Sugared, Frosted, and Fruit/Cream Filled), Babka, Brioche, and Challah bread

Contact: Message Simple Pleasures on

Finnish Mama

By Adrianna Stefanko

Where and when: Special order online; weekly Friday delivery to the Dublin General Store and Sunflower Cafe; weekly Saturday delivery to the Keene International Market, except the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

What: Nisu (Traditional, Sugared, Raspberry with Glaze, Almond, Wreath with Icing and Cherries), Korvapuusti (Cardamom Rolls), and Swedish Tea Rings. The bestseller is the traditional Nisu

Best in Show: Stefanko has the first place title at the 2019 Cheshire County Historical Society’s Finnish Bread Bakeoff for People’s and Judge’s Choice Awards.

Apron Strings Bakery

By Leona Traffie

Where: Rindge, online orders

When: Weekly, Bi-weekly and special orders

What: Nisu (sugared, sugared with a side of frosting, plain or plain with a side of frosting), dinner rolls, and pies (Pumpkin, Berry, and Apple).

Contact: (603) 878-1076; Apron Strings Bakery on Facebook

Island Bowls

For when you need at least one slice of Nisu and didn’t place an order or make it to the general store before they sold out.

Where: 584 Turnpike Rd., New Ipswich

What: Traditional Nisu with almond icing

When: Daily 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.


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