The Story about Algoth Niska

And how the king of smugglers gave his name to a restaurant

Algot Niska lived and worked between 1888 and 1954 and during the Prohibition Law (1912-1932) he smuggled alcohol to Finland and Sweden. Niska has published many books in which he describes his adventures on the Baltic sea and how he through storms and sunken ships from time to time managed to trick the authorities with his brilliant ideas and sharp mind.

When I in the darkness notice the silhouette of the islet I order a slower speed and we creep slowly towards the little island. At the shore I think I can see the two boats waiting. Sure enough, there they are. We move closer. 50 meters from land I telegraph a stop signal to the machine operator asking him at the same time to be ready. Achtung!
Flyer lays still, waiting for the buyers to glide forward up to the boat’s side as usual.
Hey! What is it!
An engine suddenly blares violently. One of the waiting boats awakes! Too much noice!

From “My Adventures” by Algoth Niska
Niska had customers in all classes of the society, and perhaps that was the reason for his successful smuggling career that continued for several decades. ”Agi” as he was called, was adventurous and loved diving into new adventures and overcoming challenges.  Agi did not only use his skills in smuggling alcohol. Under the second world war Niska got known for helping Jews to safety, something that brought the Gestapo in the hunt. Algoth Niska was also a skilled football player, he played in the Finnish national team during 1911-1912.

What could taste better than a plåtbröd/peltileipä after a long day in the archipelago?

The plåtbröd/peltileivät on the menu are all a tribute to the archipelago and its high quality raw ingredients. They have names inspired by Algoth Niska and his life. Have you for example already tasted Kickan, who is named after Niska’s high speed motor boat? The filling of goat cheese, tomato and red onion will surely taste great for an adventurous eater. The plåtbröd/peltileipä Cecilia is named after Algoth Niska’s second wife and has a filling of prosciutto and red onion among other things. (Even if all the Niska restaurants are serving plåtbröd/peltileipiä, there are regional differences in the menus of the restaurants.) The interior design of the restaurants in a style inspired by people working at docks, loading and unloading ships, has been planned and built by the carpenter Sture Ahlström, who lives on Åland. Click the button below to find your closest Niska restaurant!

Do you know Michael Björklund, the founder of Niska Restaurants.

Michael Björklund, the founder of the Niska concept, is since 2007 ambassador for Ny Nordisk Mat (”New Nordic Food”), a project that wants to inspire Nordic food traditions. Björklund has also won the title Chef of the Year in both Finland and Sweden, and is also known from TV shows Strömsö, Mat så in i Norden, and now he is also the winner of Robinson, the Swedish version of Survivors. Björklund’s interest for locally produced ingredients inspired him to offer an alternative to regular pizzas. From this idea the unique plåtbröd, Scandinavian pizzas were born, produced by ingredients from Åland and served in a small restaurant with a cozy atmosphere.

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