Scandinavian Cooking

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Contrary to what many believes, Scandinavian cooking is special, exotic, particular, ethnic and diverse. The ingredients and traditions of Scandinavian cooking might surprise you, and we will in upcoming articles share our secrets with you.

We suppose that when you grew up with certain tastes, seasonal specialities, and very fresh ingredients, it’s in your bones, and feels almost universal, but Scandinavian cooking and Scandinavian ingredients are truly unique.

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This has become internationally recognized in the past few years. The particularity of both the cooking and ingredients of the north is now receiving global acclaim, at the same level as the other great regional cuisines of the world.

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Growing conditions are the roots of any kitchen; the flavors of our food here in the north stem from cool summers and icy winters, plenty of rain, cold waters and long summer days with endless light evenings.

Clooudberry from Norway
Cloudberry from Norway
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Strawberries from Scandinavia

These conditions produce extremely sweet berries, thin-skinned apples, firm, sweet-fleshed fish and shellfish, and slow-growing flavorful vegetables. The northern climates are perfect for mushrooms and all manner of foraging, and the huge forests, the mountains and tundra are very much alive with game.

Scandinavian sandwich
Scandinavian sandwich

The flavors are fresh and intense, but not overwhelming, and has taught us to prepare food simply, but effectively, to allow every ingredient to shine.

Swedish meatballs
Swedish meatballs

Scandinavian cooking achieves a delicate balance between extravagance and the humble, producing a wealth of fine tastes, seasonal daily food and more luxurious festive food.

Scandinavian wheat
Scandinavian wheat

We are proud of our traditions, and they are mostly very much alive, some of them very local or regional.

Scandinavians are eager foragers, home picklers and home bakers, and traditions are here to stay, but also coexist with new ways. Young chefs and young families embrace traditions, in order to evolve them, creating fresher, lighter, even more seasonal and local food.

Smokehouse in Bornholm, Denmark
Smokehouse in Bornholm, Denmark

Environmental awareness is big, and growing and eating organic food, and eating locally and seasonally re growing fast. Small dairies, small-scale farms, smokehouses, market gardens, butchers, breweries, farmers’ markets and bakeries are increasing in numbers at fast pace. And this means a recreation of local specialities, keeping and evolving traditions almost lost to large-scale farming and factory food. It is happening before our eyes, and it is very, very welcome.

Swedish crayfish
Swedish crayfish

Daily Scandinavian aims from time to time to reflect on both the traditional, worth preserving and new techniques, dishes and ingredients, all necessary to keep the particularity of Scandinavian cooking alive and well.

We do hope that our presentations of the Scandinavian kitchen allow you to get a sense of the cooking of the north, and maybe help you in creating and recreating the special Scandinavian tastes on your own kitchen.

Scandinavian Cooking, written by Tor Kjolberg