Mojakka (MOY-a-kah)
Saint Urho
Patron Saint
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5th Annual St Urho's Day Mojakka Cook-Off

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Dean Levanen and Brenda Denton were the winners in the Lihamojakka category.

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Arja Ojanpera, a native of Finland now living in Thunder Bay, captured the Kalamojakka trophy for Canada.

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Diane Sargent took home the "Potluck" trophy for Hapankaalikeitto, a Finnish style soup with cabbage, sauerkraut and pork.

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Fred Anderson's Grouse Mojakka was the most popular with the voters.

Nine mojakka chefs vied for awards at the 5th Annual Saint Urho's Day Mojakka Cook-Off at the Historic Northeastern Hotel in Cloquet. Every soup served was outstanding, which made it difficult for a team of three judges to choose the best in three categories. After much deliberation in a blind tasting, 1st place trophies were presented to these mojakka chefs (judges' comments in italics):

  • 1st Place Kalamojakka
    Bushwacker's Mojakka
    , Arja Ojanpera, Thunder Bay, ON. "Pure white broth, great fish taste, kicked up a notch with allspice."

  • 1st Place Lihamojakka
    Mummu's Mojakka
    , Dean Levanen, Duluth. The same basic recipe that gave Dean the Lihamojakka Trophy in 2004, 2005 and 2006. "Lots of rutabagas, best allspice taste."

  • 1st Place Potluck Mojakka
    , Diane Sargent, Saginaw, MN. "Sassy, with German flavors of cabbage & kraut, smoked ham and pork."

The Gary Ekman People's Choice Award is based on voting by those in attendance. All of the entries got many votes, and the final result was close among several of them. In the end, it was Fred Anderson's Grouse Mojakka that was the winner. The award is named for two-time winner of the People's Choice award, Gary Ekman, who passed away last year after a short illness.

More Photos from 2007 Cook-Off

Mojakka is largely a matter of personal taste and experience. All of the contestants put some of their own personality into their soup. The participants (in no particular order) were:

    Beef (Lihamojakka)

  • Dean Levanen, Duluth - "Mummu's Mojakka"
  • Anja Bottila, Moose Lake, MN - "Mirjamin Mojakka"
  • Steve Kolodge, Cloquet, MN - "Firehouse Mojakka"

    Fish (Kalamojakka)

  • Pat Ekman, Esko - "Gary's Lake Trout Kalamojakka"
  • Arja Ojanpera, Thunder Bay, ON - "Bushwacker's Mojakka"
  • Judy Whittington - "Northeastern House Kalamojakka" (not eligible for judging, but captured quite a few People's Choice votes.)

    Potluck (Non-traditional)

  • Fred Anderson, Cloquet - "Grouse Mojakka". Ruffed Grouse & Spruce Grouse.
  • Dennis Lampi, Cloquet - "I Can't Believe It's Mojakka". Venison, pork, & beef.
  • DeLynn Lalli, Forest Lake, MN - "Finnish Women Seldom Stew" - Seafood, incl. shrimp, mussels, crab with small potatoes & corn.
  • Diane Sargent, Saginaw, MN - "Hapankaalikeitto" - Cabbage, sauerkraut & carrots with ham steak and pork.

Friends of Animals The Friends of Animals Humane Society of Carlton County, Inc., and their animal shelter in Cloquet were the beneficiaries of this event. Over $700 was raised for the charity.

Winners were awarded trophies created and donated by All-Star Awards of Cloquet. Other contributors included:

- Posters. Northern Printery, Cloquet
- Milk & butter. Franklin Foods, Duluth.
- Location for the Cook-off, bowls, spoons, bread, etc. Bert & Judy Whittington, Northeastern Hotel, Cloquet.
- Promotion. Tim Winker, Wink Timber Media Agency
- and

Mojakka Judges:

  • Connie Wirta, features editor, Duluth News-Tribune
  • Ed Jaakola, former winner
  • Jenny Kerwin, KTLK-FM Radio's "Chowhounds" program, Twin Cities

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