Dear readers, I have made a wonderful discovery: Finnish cinnamon rolls, korvapuusti, are not just cinnamon rolls. They are cinnamon and cardamom rolls and they are delicious. Also, korvapuusti translates to "slapped ear" — perhaps because the dough is rolled rather than coiled — which is adorable.

You can try korvapuusti at Moi Café in Kichijoji (2-28-3 Kichijoji-Honcho, Musashino-shi, Tokyo; 0422-20-7133;, along with a cup of The Emperor's Bride tea (a blend of Assam and Ceylon seasoned with elderberry and quince from Finnish tea maker Nordqvist). On Wednesdays, the cafe closes to devote the whole day to baking and, if you order in advance, you can pick up large quantities of cinnamon rolls to go. There's your holiday party sorted.

I decided to investigate Finnish food this month because it is December and Finland is one of several countries that claim to be the home of Santa. But Finland, I have since learned, is more than just possibly the home of Santa: It is a country that puts vodka in its coffee. Presumably you can do this yourself (use Finlandia vodka to be extra authentic), but if you want it done for you, Café Poro in Yokohama (1-11-4 Tennocho, Hodogaya, Yokohama; 045-442-4667; can oblige.