Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and Finland are traditionally “Nordic countries”. These high-latitude countries have similar languages, customs and cultural ties, and their diets are also self-contained.
At the Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, a documentary called “Childhood” became popular. In the film, children from Norway, led by their teacher, collect mushrooms, vegetables, berries and other ingredients. Director Margaret Olin joked that the purpose of this arrangement is to change the outside world’s stereotype of the Nordic “carnivorous nation”.
Moose, bears, wolves, lynx, musk, cattle, wild boars, deer… eat as much as you come, roast as much as you can, and all the birds and beasts can be put into the mouths of the Nordic people. Eating flesh like life is like a hidden talisman, embedded in the body of the Nordic people, deeply buried in the blood of the Nordic people. No wonder someone ridiculed: Nordic? The Nordic people are the “Cantonese of Europa”.
Used to be without meat
In a restaurant in Bergen, Norway’s second largest city, there was a popular saying: “My body is not bleeding, but pieces of venison.”
To welcome the “culinary revolution in Scandinavia” “Before, the Nordic people experienced a period of “glorious years” without meat and unhappiness-saying that they have no meat and unhappiness because at least 60 kinds of animals can be hunted by the locals in the northern part of Scandinavia. Eating.
Once upon a time, foreigners who had gone to Northern Europe on vacation could quickly agree on the following: Northern Europe is good, but the food is too unpalatable. Why is this? Is it not good to have a lot of meat?
A lot of meat is good, but the amount of meat that can’t be eaten is “smashed up” by the Nordic people. Economically, Europe is a rising star in the Nordic countries, and its culinary culture has been considered too simple and rude in the past.
Take Norwegian salmon, which is most well-known to the Chinese people, as an example. In old Norway, the most traditional way to eat salmon was to boil clean water in a pot, then blanch the sliced salmon in hot water and remove it from the pot. Dip a little salt and seasoning and eat directly. Families with a little temperament and conditions will put some vegetables in the bowl, such as potatoes, carrots, and roast them for eating. Until these years, with the increase of Japanese settled in Norway, the native Norwegian barely accepted the exquisite way of eating salmon sashimi.
Take another example on the streets of Copenhagen, Denmark. The most popular “famous snack” is rye bread made from fresh butter and pickled herring. The locals call it “open sandwiches.” It is a Danish lunch tradition, but the salted herring can be said to be stinky and strong, which makes foreign tourists swear “dark dishes” in their hearts.
Like game, addicted to blood, strong taste, good pickling, this is almost the same taste in the diet of the early Nordic people. There are many reasons for this taste. Going back to the source, the word “Scandinavia” is derived from the Latin word skadino, which means “darkness”. In the final analysis, the peninsula is named for its high latitude and long nights in winter. The advantage is that the five Nordic countries rely on the North Atlantic Ocean and Badinia Bay to salvage and capture a large amount of pollution-free seafood.
To a certain extent, the Nordic people’s diet of “no meat and no pleasure” is actually formed passively: Due to the lack of sunlight in the Nordic countries and the extreme cold of the climate, the locals can only try to grow vegetables that are easy to feed and make ends meet. And crops. But this is far from enough to fill their stomachs, so the Nordic people had to turn their eyes to farmed livestock and fresh seafood.
Ru Mao drinks blood, but it is also naturally pollution-free. This may be an excellent summary of the early Nordic eating style. The food is preserved by pickling, fermenting, smoking, etc., supplemented by rough bread made from rye. Whether it is Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland or Iceland, this kind of food pairing method is regarded as a classic.
A new whirlwind of Nordic cuisine
If you have the opportunity to go to Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Reykjavik, or the homes of ordinary people in other large and small Nordic cities, you will find seasonal fresh game in their refrigerators, such as hare meat, Venison, bear meat, whale meat, fermented shark meat, etc.
Whether it’s dark cooking or rough cooking, the Nordic countries, where the national happiness index and human development index frequently “dominate the screen”, have in recent years passed a “new cooking whirlwind” that has blown away the rudeness that used to be in the kitchen and on the table. The barbaric and general also tore off the past labels of Swedish meatballs, salted salmon and venison stew.
A clear stream in the culinary world has gradually formed a new Nordic style.
At the beginning of 2000, the Danish Klaus Mayer came to France. He was shocked by the threshold of French cuisine in terms of cooking skills and taste experience. He then returned to Denmark and opened a restaurant named Moma in a hidden corner of Copenhagen’s Christianshavn, and at the same time issued the “New Nordic Cuisine Declaration.” The declaration advocates the sustainability and seasonality of “New Nordic cuisine”, and emphasizes the use of local vegetables. Healthy food can also be healthy and delicious.
Nordic chefs, including Meyer, believe that nature is very generous to Northern Europe: it is near the sea and there is no shortage of seafood; there are many trees, and there is no shortage of fungi and berries. What Meyer wants to restore is actually the connection between cooking and nature. But what he didn’t expect was that the release of this declaration would boost the “taste bud revolution” in the food industry after the five Nordic countries.
The “taste bud revolution” at the beginning of the 21st century, the first thing to change, is the above-mentioned notion of carnivorous life. Therefore, the protagonist in the “Childhood” documentary will “start from the baby” and lead the Nordic children to pick fruits and vegetables and dig wild vegetables in the virgin forest since childhood, instead of “going into the forest and hunting game” in the traditional sense. Meyer believes that all Nordic people must form the concept of “from the field to the table”. As a chef, he also advocated that people pay more attention to snails, as well as raw plums, moss and all kinds of wild plants.
For this reason, he even canceled the chef’s “on-duty system” on the spot. “Chefs don’t need to check in, they need to go out and get in touch with nature.”
Going to the forest, going to the fields, going to the wild, collecting materials on the spot, digging the ground three feet, breaking the sesame mushroom (the edible mushroom), and catching ants, the style of the New Nordic diet has changed: chefs no longer hide in the kitchen The “House Clan” who delves into recipes here is the “Mobile Generation” who mixes with society, nature, and outdoors.
Nordic dietary philosophy
If the “Mediterranean diet” dominated by vegetables, fruits, fish, whole grains, beans, and olive oil is regarded as the “main theme” of the western cooking world, then the Nordic (local Rich in berries such as blueberries, blackberries, mulberries and raspberries), it composes an alternative and wonderful note in the dessert world.
For example, a dessert popular in Denmark today is directly derived from various berries and flowers in the Danish countryside and forests. Denmark’s various tart desserts are also “very Nordic”: pecans, kale, conifers, roe… In Bergen, Norway, whitebait and salmon-flavored ice cream have become the new favorites of local white-collar workers-if you use shells, branches, Rock is used as a platter, while cooking and eating, it can also bring the land back to its former balance.
So, what is the culinary philosophy of “New Nordic Style”? One sentence can be summed up: eat less red meat and more fish; eat less processed products and eat more raw foods. The representative of the new Nordic trend, the “good heart” of Michelin fans-the noma restaurant, can be regarded as a sample of understanding the new Nordic style. In Danish, noma means “Nordic food”. So, what is the new Nordic cuisine that is increasingly praised by artists, scientists and nutritionists?
Looking at the menu listed by noma, you may be clear: sea urchin squash salad, squid and seaweed cream, pickled round fin fish, grilled dace liver, cardamom starfish, dried autumn berry dessert, Ulva tortellini , Caramelized milk and truffles, celery root shawarma and broth…
Everything is familiar, and each is naturally embedded in daily life, but each is hidden “scheming”, which makes people unable to see and guess.
Of course, the New Nordic cuisine people represented by noma also have a lot of experience in pioneering molecular cuisine. The ingredients that melt in your mouth make it difficult for you to guess what the raw materials are. The magical effects of molecular cuisine include the intoxicating salty lemon flavor hidden in the meat texture, or the nutty flavor with just the right fragrance. The boundary between animal and plant food materials has been completely broken.
While exploring creative cuisine, Nordic New Cuisine also integrates its own “traditional arts”-natural and healthy eating habits into newly pioneered molecular cuisine and fusion cuisine. Scientists at the University of Copenhagen have conducted research on the dietary structure of traditional Nordic dishes and concluded that, compared with traditional dishes in the Mediterranean region, the dietary structure of traditional dishes in Northern Europe is also beneficial to health and has a high probability of reducing the risk of cancer.
When everyone is asking whether you are full or not, there is always someone who cares more about how well you eat. This person may come from Northern Europe, because in Scandinavia, there is a food culture and customs that are both traditional and trendy.