The best way to understand the Nordic region’s food culture is more than a trip to Ikea- it’s understanding our traditions, our nature and our people. Nordic cuisine has never been extravagant, nor has it been fancy- it can best be described with the words of my favorite cafe in Oslo; “By serving a simple slice of waffle with strawberry jam and brown cheese with a cup of coffee on the side”. Nordic cuisine is known to be simple and with few ingredients- ingredients from the areas where we live and the lands surrounding us- like the woods, the sea, the mountains and the fjords. A blend between fresh, seasonal and preserved flavors- often put in jars and stored away in a dark pantry somewhere on a farm- only to be enjoyed and devoured throughout the seasons.
The New Nordic Food Manifesto
The New Nordic Food manifesto was developed in 2004 in Denmark. In this manifesto the chefs made it clear that Nordic cuisine can be compared with the best cuisines in the world by virtue of its taste and individuality, but also in its quest for the quality and attractiveness that are to be found in regional cuisines. New Nordic Food is all about going back to the roots where food is produced with care and with a focus on taste and diversity, forgotten varieties and breeds, old processing methods and new ideas in the kitchen. The New Nordic Cuisine will be what we make it together, and with Nordic resources and cultural capital, we will do our part to contribute to a better world. A vision which now resonates from exclusive gourmet restaurants down to school canteens and private kitchens. Local dishes, regional varieties of fruit and vegetables and national food traditions are gaining ground again, but with a new and stronger profile. In an increasingly globalised world people are searching for their roots, to be better able to face the world.
I would like to inspire you to live up to this manifesto, but to think about which country you are from and what you have in season. Reduce food waste, eat local products and be creative in the kitchen. I want to share the nordic food traditions with you, but I would like you to consider the ingredients and adapt them to your country and what you have available. Together we can make the world a better place- by cooking!
This is the manifesto from nordic chefs around scandinavia and who founded New Nordic Cuisine; “As Nordic chefs we find that the time has now come for us to create a New Nordic Kitchen, which in virtue of its good taste and special character compares favourable with the standard of the greatest kitchens of the world.
1. To express the purity, freshness, simplicity and ethics we wish to associate with our region.
2. To reflect the changing of the seasons in the meals we make.
3. To base our cooking on ingredients and produce whose characteristics are particularly excellent in our climates, landscapes and waters.
4. To combine the demand for good taste with modern knowledge of health and well-being.
5. To promote Nordic products and the variety of Nordic producers – and to spread the word about their underlying cultures.
6. To promote animal welfare and a sound production process in our seas, on our farmland and in the wild.
7. To develop potentially new applications of traditional Nordic food products.
8. To combine the best in Nordic cookery and culinary traditions with impulses from abroad.
9. To combine local self-sufficiency with regional sharing of high-quality products.
10. To join forces with consumer representatives, other cooking craftsmen, agriculture, the fishing, food , retail and wholesale industries, researchers, teachers, politicians and authorities on this project for the benefit and advantage of everyone in the Nordic countries.”