Johan Ludvig Runeberg was born on this day in 1804 but I must admit that the only reason I (and probably countless other Finns) remember this day so well is because of the Runeberg Tortes which are baked and available in stores at this time of the year. His wife, Frederika Runeberg, created this recipe.
Runeberg was the National Poet of Finland (although he wrote in Swedish) and (now I really should be ashamed of myself) the only work of his I know is Maamme (Vårt Land in the original, means our country) which became the National Anthem. Maamme is the first poem in The Tales of Ensign Ståhl (Vänrikki Stoolin Tarinat), an epic poem which also describes the Finnish War with Russia in 1808-1809. At the end of this war, Sweden lost Finland to Russia (1809 – 1917).
Runeberg himself was born when Finland belonged to Sweden and died when it was a Grand Duchy of Russia.
And as for the Runeberg Tortes, tying certain dishes to holidays is an excellent way to remember them!
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