Mustamakkara: The Black Sausage Controversy

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Mustamakkara: The Black Sausage Controversy

Mustamakkara, the black sausage. Would you eat it?

Mustamakkara, the black sausage, is an authentic Finnish cuisine that originated in Tampere region. You can get it in other places in Finland, but not as authentic as Tampere’s. It’s the best to be eaten when it’s hot and fresh. The name itself just doesn’t sound very appealing; blood sausage or black sausage. We don’t usually eat things that are black. But I wanted to try it because it’s a regional specialty. As you know, I don’t normally get scared with the food.

When I posted the photo of sausage online, because I loved them so very much, more than half of the responses were negative. Most of the people think this is too ‘grotesque’ to eat. Yeah, I’ve never thought of that. I can see that, though. I didn’t think of it when I was eating it, but I see it now. Certainly, it is not the type of the food that you don’t even want to touch because it’s so artistic, like a Japanese sushi. Quite the opposite. But never judge the book by its cover! So I wanted to give the mustamakkara, black sausage a change to shine here. Not with the look, but the description… maybe.

Where to eat

The first time was for diner at a proper restaurant in Tampere. The plate was about 9 with a good amount of sausages, lingonberry, potatoes, and salad. It was similar to what we Koreans know as ‘sundae’.

Then we had it at a food stall at Tammelantori market place for much cheaper. It was priced by the weight, and 3€ will give you more than enough amount for three people to share. Or you can just show them how long you want it to be cut using your hands, just like locals do.

What is it?

Mustamakkara is made with pork, pig blood, rye and flour, after which it is stuffed to the intestines. It is basically a sausage. At a market place, it is popular for a late breakfast and a lunch. Believe of not, it is one of the most beloved food in Tampere, Finland.

How we eat?

Mustamakkara is usually served with lingonberry jam. The sausage was wrapped with a paper with lingonberry jam on it. Meat and jam didn’t go really well in my head but they actually do. The sweetness of jam enhances the taste of meatiness. As much as it sounds strange, it is that good.

Don’t forget to finish up with milk. (that’s what Finns do.)

So the verdict is? I like it. I just couldn’t get enough of it. It really doesn’t look great, but there’s much more to it. You just have to come over and eat it yourself.

What do you think? Do you try to eat everything when you are visiting other countries?

Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Juno set off for the wider world to pursue her passion for travel and storytelling. She traveled the world as an award-winning travel blogger and photographer, witnessing the everyday life of different cultures. Currently based in Anchorage, Alaska and exploring this amazing Last Frontier. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Instagram .


  1. Juno, I LOVE blood sausage! We have black pudding in England which is kinda similar, and I adore it – although I know a lot of people who detest it. I’d totally eat the sausage in Finland. I’m glad the red in the photo is jam, though – I was worried that it was actual blood for a second and that’s why people were so disgusted by it haha!

  2. It’s pretty good, and it’s definitely best at Tampere, other cities might not get it quite right. I do quite like it, but it’s been ages since I had it the last time thou.

  3. Patricia says:

    I tried it a year ago at the Kauppahalli, and loved it!
    My last afternoon in Tampere I bought some at the food stall from your picture! 🙂
    Nice memories!
    In 2 weeks I’ll be back in Finland, and I will visit Tampere for an icehockey match!
    I will defenitely stop by for some mustamakkara!

  4. Tara G says:

    Doesn’t look to appetizing but I would definitely try it! I don’t think it would be so popular if it wasn’t very good. Adding to my list of foods to try, thanks!

  5. Ayngelina says:

    I’m surprised people were disgusted, there are so many cultures with a similar dish. I am heading to Tampere and you can believe I am going to eat it!

  6. Steve says:

    Finland has one of the highest rates of Alzheimer’s in the world. Some related brain diseases have been linked to the consumption of animal products such as the blood and brain matter. Recently it’s been found that Alzheimer’s may be caused by bacteria not brain plaque. Maybe it’s time to rethink eating of socially shocking foods that are forbidden by many religious groups like the ancient Jews For example who were generally more healthy than surrounding ethnicities because of their basic clean habits.

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