Nordic Cuisine

For a long time, the words ‘Nordic Cuisine’ was not something on most people’s minds. The concept of Nordic food was often synonymous with a farmer’s diet of meat and potatoes. However, this is changing, a change that mainly started with the success of Noma, a restaurant founded by Claus Meyer and head chef Rene Redzepi with the intention of reinventing Nordic cuisine.

The success of Noma was further bolstered by the New Nordic Food manifesto by the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2005. This manifesto encourages people to make use of the ingredients found around them and, combined with knowledge on health and well-being, push Nordic food further into the limelight.

Picking berries in the forrest

However, my experience is that this is not a food movement about what everyday people eat. When you think of a Mediterranean diet, or a Thai or Chinese, this is actually what people in these areas eat on a regular basis. However, New Nordic food appears to be more of a top-down process, rather than bottom up where the people living in the land put forward what they eat on a daily basis. New Nordic food is still something that is more closely connected to high-end restaurants than of Mette and Jens Andersen in their home kitchen.

Nevertheless, I decided to learn a bit more about this new Nordic Cuisine. A few years ago I had attended a book launch by Rene Redzepi in London, where my main memory is about ‘shit’ produce (as was most of the publicity afterwards!).

Mashed pea on toasted rye bread

Now I was in Denmark, so I toodled along to one of the ‘New Nordic Food’ courses being held around the country. The course was good fun, but supporting my previous impression, most of the recipes we tried few people said that they were inspired to cook them again at home. I am still waiting to be convinced about it! Maybe some one wants to have a go at this for me? Reservations at Noma could also work!

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