Scandinavia - a way to go!
Inspired by Iceland

Scandinavian food #2

15/05/2012 | By | Reply More

Food in Scandinavia

Scandinavian food - sild

Scandinavian food – sild

If it’s true that the Danes live to eat, the Norwegians eat to live and the Swedes eat to drink, then it must also be said that Americans eat to experience other cultures.

In my last article of same issue, was the theme question; “Why is Scandinavian food becoming popular in the UK” and the main answer was “Scandinavian cooking is about quality and service and is comfort foods. Now, in this article, I will discuss a little why the Scandinavian food is also becoming popular in United States of America. But look at first of the beginning of the Scandinavian heritage and culture.

From the 8th to the 10th century, were Danes known as Vikings. Together with Norwegians and Swedes, they colonised, raided and traded in all parts of Europe. Viking explorers first discovered Iceland by accident in the 9th century, on the way towards the Faroe Islands and eventually came across Greenland and  “Vinland” (Land of wine) also known today as Newfoundland, in Canada. It is my meaning, that our heritage, as a Scandinavians, back to this periode, that our food culture got a new sight which has live with us, century by century.

The cuisine of Scandinavia consists mainly of meat and fish. This stems from the region’s agricultural past, as well as its geography and climate of long, cold winters.

Traditional food culture has developed through the centuries and nowadays, many Chef’s are looking back to the past, by using all kinds of herbs ingredients from nature amongst there local fields, for wild produce, which many of us has experienced by the popular Scandinavian restaurant´s.

And it is with fervor that the restaurant industry has attached itself to the cultures of Scandinavia.

Now I want to invite you for a travel by Merrilees Parker of Planet food, as our guide, in this video’s below, to learn a bit, how Scandinavian cuisine culture are in real. Please note this is NOT as we serve guests in our restaurant´s but will give you some insight for our wild produce.

Scandinavian Food Culture – Part 1


Scandinavian Food Culture – Part 2


Scandinavian Food Culture – Part 3


Scandinavian Food Culture – Part 4


Scandinavian Food Culture – Part 5


In these video’s, Merrilees Parker of Planet food, give you a brief insight of the Scandinavian Food Culture, of Denmark and Sweden. She start on the Viking’s era, in a festival of Malmö Sweden, learn all about herring in Bönan of north Sweden, then south to the Styrso island of Gothenburg and then back to Falun to learn about the famous Falun sausages, then to Lake Siljan in Sweden to learn all about the Moose meat and then up to Båotsuog in Sámpi (Lapland) to learn about reindeer cooking, then to Stockholm Sweden and will end in Copenhagen, Denmark to learn all about the open sandwiches.

It’s not unprecedented. The food scenes of Sweden and Denmark, especially, have been quietly calling out to the most food-focused travelers for years.

When the World’s Best Restaurant Awards was announced April 30, it was the Noma’s name everyone looks for in the No. 1 spot: Indeed, the Copenhagen-based restaurant has claimed the honor for the past two years.

Furthermore, Noma’s chef, René Redzepi, was just named one of two restaurant industry people on Time Magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People — the other was The Bazaar’s chef and restauranteur José Andrés.

Scandinavian food in America

Norwegian meatballs

Norwegian meatballs

But back to Scandinavian food in America. One can credit Marcus Samuelsson, who made waves at his New York restaurant Red Rooster Harlem for popularizing Scandinavian fusion, with elements of soul food, New York food and Ethopian food, only a year and a half ago.

And the restaurant industry’s renewed interest in smoked and cured fishes, or fish charcuterie, also parallels a very Scandinavian approach: One cannot enter any restaurant in Copenhagen without encountering pickled herring or thin, glassy slices of smoked salmon.

And though not every restaurant will serve such obvious Scandinavian fare, the region’s flavors, earthy and bright and even briny, have been noticeable on more and more menus across the nation.

Next time you order roast chicken at a restaurant, see if that dish is accompanied with potatoes and asparagus or wild mushrooms and green herbs. If it’s the latter, as is quickly becoming the case, you’re already receiving a hint of this Scandinavian style.

The West Hollywood restaurant Red Medicine claims to be inspired by Vietnamese cuisine, and many of its dishes are. Credit should go too, though, to the Swedes: A vegetable dish of snap peas comes mixed with trout roe, while spot-prawn roe accompanies some Dutch white asparagus. The “plucked from the ground, plucked from the sea” approach is modern Scandinavian food at its best.

Another West Hollywood hotspot, Michael Voltaggio’s ink, serves its Malpeque oysters in terra-cotta garden pots filled with stones under which a fog of dried ice — or something remarkably similar — emanates. And the restaurant’s bar hosts trays of wispy herbs and plants of which chefs pluck tiny flowers to place atop tuna or garnish salads.

Popular Scandinavian foods like smørrebrød, the open-faced sandwich topped with any assortment of spreads, herbs and proteins, are also appearing in disguised forms around the city.

Brentwood’s Farmshop has a version with long slices of toasted bread, spread sweet-potato purée and some punchy toasted broccolini on top.

Typical Smørrebrød

Typical Smørrebrød

It’s no surprise, either — Americans have happily adapted banh mi and pozole into the American food vernacular. Why not smørrebrød?

It is my opinion that the Scandinavian food trend is here to stay in the United States like in many other countries. If good food and happiness really do have an intrinsic connection, then knowing the people of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden are often credited as the world’s happiest only further highlights the benefits of emulating certain foreign countries.

Decades from now, when we’re dining with our families at Swedish meatball parlors and smiling incandescently, food historians will look back at the dining scene of the early 2010s and mark the decade as the start of the American-Scandinavian food revolution.


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