April, 14, 2016
Despite my ancestral composition being over ninety percent Scandinavian, I have never set foot on Denmark jord (soil) or any ‘Skandinavien’ jord, for that matter. Regardless of how many stories Mormor tells me about her days growing up in Danmark, Mit Fædreland, and no matter how many books on living Danishly I devour, I have accepted that I will really never fully understand what it means to be Scandinavian until I experience it first-hand.
If I have learned anything from my study of Nordic and Scandinavian culture it is that I constantly aspire to indulge (or overindulge) in a bit of Danish hygge, Norwegian koselig, and Swedish fika. These are all Scandinavian concepts that can be very difficult for us Americans to grasp because they all essentially involve slowing down and appreciating life (cue deep breath). At least I can work on these until I can finally cure my wanderlust.
Until then, however, I will have to live vicariously through Annelise and our weekly calls, which consist of her divulging the latest restaurants she has visited and me begging for recipes to try and recreate. Yes, I may be a bit obsessed with Scandinavian cuisine, and how could I not?
Scandinavia boasts four of the fifty world’s best restaurants in 2015. The US claims six spots, however the US also has 63 times the people. This illustrates the popularity of Nordic cuisine and the New Nordic food movement around the world.
Copenhagen has Noma (in the #3 spot) and Relae (#45), while Stockholm has Restaurant Frantzen (#31), and tiny Järpen, Sweden claims Fäviken (#25). Perhaps the most fascinating of these culinary victors, Fäviken is located in an 18th century barn in the remote Northwest part of Sweden where twelve patrons dine (chefs concept) each night on a 20-30 course meal sourced locally. It is described as ‘the world’s most isolated restaurant’, and rightly so, since it is located in a town of just over one thousand inhabitants.
All this talk of food inspired me to research the many restaurants of Scandinavia’s capitols: Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo and Helsinki, and let me tell you, it made me sulten (hungry)! Check out Pinterest for the delicious culinary inspiration I found, and nyde dit måltid (enjoy your meal)!
Tillykke med fødselsdagen!
Speaking of delicious food, in celebration of the birthday of Danish Queen Margrethe II, the Women’s Auxiliary of The Danish Home of Chicago will host the 58th Annual Benefit Spring Luncheon this Saturday, April 16th, which is her 76th birthday. They will dedicated the luncheon in her honor.
Don’t forget to enter this month’s giveaway!