SCANDINAVIAN - Cuisine of the Quarter, Spring 2021 (Apr-June)

The votes have been counted and the Vikings won by a nose! SCANDINAVIAN is our Cuisine of the Quarter this Spring. I don’t know much about the food of the cold north (beyond pickled herring and a few baked treats), so I look forward to learning along with you. Skål!

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We cook the Swedish dish Jannsons’s Tenptation periodically, so it’ll no doubt appear in the next three months. But it is really the only Scandi dish we cook. The traditional recipe calls for tinned sprats but I’ve never come across those , so we use tinned anchovies instead. Something like this recipe:

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I’ll have some gravlax this Easter Sunday to celebrate :wink:

Recommed Pulla, Scandinavian cinnamon-cardamom sweet bread, to any bakers. I’ve added cardamom to my Easter Braid this weekend.

Also, I enjoy Cardamom lattes- which my favorite Swedish cafe makes (I also get them at an Egyptian restaurant)

I will make Swedish rice pudding at some point.

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I was wondering whether there’s anything I already make that fits, and the mentions of gravlax and cardamom are reassuring!

Also swedish meatballs, which I love but have never made at home - good time to try!

Just remembered my cured salmon experiments - leaving a link here.

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Which countries are included this extravaganza?

I would include Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland.

This is a nice list of recipes.

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Seems like there’s some flexibility

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That’s what this European would also have as a list of our Scandi neighbours (although it’s easy to forget Iceland because of its geographical separation). By the by, it’s only a few weeks ago that I was prompted to look at the country’s Wiki entry - hadnt realised that it gained independance from Denmark in 1944.

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In the 90s I traveled regularly to Norway. In the mid '00s to Sweden. Those neighbors have strikingly different cuisines, at least to my perception.

I’ll dig out my recipe for lutefisk and a story to go with it. It’s somewhat better than its reputation as fish too long at the dock, marinated in gasoline on a back porch below freezing for a couple of weeks. Somewhat.

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Please tell more, Dave

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I watch YouTube videos from yarn designers Arne & Carlos. Besides the knitting and crochet projects, they frequently demonstrate making traditional Norwegian dishes. Carlos is the accomplished cook. In coaching Arne through preparing ingredients, he communicates the finer points of making the foods.

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I’ve only visited Stockholm. When I have Googled Swedish recipes, for sweet breads, fish soups, rice puddings, beet dishes, potato dishes, smorrebrod, I’ve usually seen Norwegian dishes which are quite similar.

There are also a lot of Northern German, Polish, Dutch, Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian and northern Russian dishes which are similar to the Scandinavian dishes, esp when it comes to herring. Probably some Scottish and NE English dishes as well.

I’m sure there are many culinary traditions which are distinct.

I haven’t made any distinctly Norwegian dishes, and the only distinct Norwegian specialty I’ve seen is gjetost, at a Norwegian Night when I was in University. I don’t think I tried it!

What I remember fondly from Stockholm, are beautiful open face sandwiches topped with tiny shrimp or smoked salmon in Gamla Stan (the old town) and a superb buffet at a historic hotel, where they had a dozen types of herring and I tried Swedish meatballs.

Princesstarta caught my attention about a decade ago. I haven’t made it yet. Here is Mary Berry’s recipe:

Some Scandinavian Easter recipes

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I LOVE gjetost. It is unlike any other cheese I’ve ever had. It has a peanut buttery sweetness as well as a deeply savory, tangy funk, with an almost fudge-like texture. I haven’t seen it at any of my usual grocery stores lately but I know Wegman’s used to carry it - I’ll have to check there next time I go.

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If you’re feeling up to the challenge:

Interesting - like making khoya (Indian milk solids), but with goat’s milk.

For context, I traveled a lot to Norway in the 90s, once to Stockholm. I traveled to Sweden a lot while my boat was being built in the mid '00s. Time was an issue.

Norway was lots and lots of fish and cheese. Small portions. Sweden certainly had lots of fish but much more poultry, beef, lamb, and venison. I remember some great reindeer in Goteberg.

Never been to Denmark, Finland, or Iceland.

Great open faced sandwiches, knife and fork food, in both Norway and Sweden.

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Almost inevitable. If you think of traditional dishes, you’re going to find that northern countries are all drawing on the same produce that we can grow/raise in our similar climate.

If I make a pot of scouse ( a dish as well as the nickname of people from the city of Liverpool), from 35 miles down the road, I’m making a stew that has its roots in Scandi/Baltic food - the Norwegian lapskaus or German labskaus (and others). As you say, you’re going to find herring - it’s no surprise that the UK traditional herring ports are along the east coast.

I’ve also tried gjetost. It may be the only cheese that I actively dislike. Don’t like its texture or its sweetness.

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Don’t forget all those Viking invaders, Harters!

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Frikadeller (meatballs) are prevalent in Danish cuisine. And Fiskerboller (fish balls) are one of the most typical dishes in Norway.

Frikandeller

Commercial Fiskerboller/fish balls have lot of flour and other fillers in them. I use haddock fillets, pureed with some onion, eggs to bind. Some potato starch to hold the shape. Note that if you only like spicy food you won’t appreciate Fiskeboller (or “bland” cuisines. But I love bland cuisines as well as spicy!).


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Yep, prima, my part of the world fell under their control (just about at the southern “border” of Danelaw). By the by, the Scottish Orkney islands are so close to Norway that the main church, in Kirkwall, was run by the bishop in Norway until comparitively recently.

Then there’s those pesky Anglo-Saxons. And there’s those Normans in 1066, who were actually also of Viking heritage…

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold