Acclaimed Chef Magnus Nilsson of Fäviken restaurant Sweden (currently ranked #25 in S. Pellegrino’s World's 50 Best Restaurants) has penned the first ever comprehensive guide to the rich culinary offerings of the Nordic region.
Due to be released by Phaidon next month, the 768 page hard back Nordic Cookbook is a carefully crafted collection of 700 recipes and cultural observations that took perfectionist chef Nilsson two years to gather.
With an introduction from Dr Richard Tellstrom from the Department of Restaurant and Culinary Arts at Örebro University in Sweden, the book contains authentic, simple and easy-to-follow recipes. Many are accompanied by narrative texts from Nilsson himself on Nordic culinary history, ingredients and techniques, including smoking and home preserving.
As well as the familiar Nordic favourites (gravlax, meatballs and lingonberry jam) expect some lesser-known aspects of Nordic cuisine (rose-hip soup, pork roasted with prunes, and juniper beer) and some where it might prove difficult to source the ingredients (like puffin stuffed with cake).
Organized by food type, The Nordic Cookbook covers every type of Nordic dish including meat, fish, vegetables, breads, pastries and desserts as well as some Nordic twists on contemporary food like pizza and tacos.
A glimpse inside shows the stunning food photography:
Clockwise from top left: Mushroom Soup; Creamed Mushrooms; Fried Mushrooms; Mushroom Salad; Finnish Salted Mushroom Salad; Mushroom Gratin. Photograph by Erik Olsson. From The Nordic Cookbook
Clockwise from top left: Fried Salt Pork and Fried Falu Sausage on Plain White Loaf; quartered Brined Cucumbers; How to Fry a Really Good Egg; Nordic Hash; Pickled Beetroot; Mashed Pluck and Pearl Barley Hash. Photograph by Erik Olsson. From The Nordic Cookbook
Travelling around the Nordic region in his two year pursuit of Nordic culinary research (Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), Nilsson’s collection has become a cultural reflection as well as a cook book. Expect plenty of images he captured on camera of the people he encountered along the way, as well as the landscape.
Man thinking about something and interior of traditional north Swedish mountain farm house, Summer 2014, by Magnus Nilsson. From The Nordic Cookbook.
The Nordic Cookbook is more than just a cook book. As professor Tellström says in his preface, a recipe is sometimes the best way of describing a tiny aspect of a culture, “which is what a dish always is.” Both culturally as well as gastronomically the book is a great insight into Nordic life.
Nordic food fans can pre-order their copy from Phaidon for 39.95 euros.
Nilsson talks about how he managed the photography side of the book:
Take a look inside the mind of the chef and see what makes Nilsson tick, from how he tackles the long winters to how he stores his ingredients.