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110 VIKING.COM EXPLORE

110 VIKING.COM EXPLORE MORE 2020

FOOD Scandinavian FOOD Some of the most delicious and healthy cuisine in the world hails from the fjords of Norway and the Swedish archipelago The heritage of Scandinavian food dates back to the time of the Vikings, who sourced many of their ingredients from the North Sea and were particularly fond of mussels, cod, trout and cured salmon. Their diet was designed to sustain their lifestyle. At sea, they would eat dried or salted meat or fish, washed down with beer or sour milk. At home, they farmed crops and raised animals. On a typical day, the Viking people would eat two meals. The dagmal, or “day meal,” was served an hour after rising. It might consist of some stew left over from the night before, served with bread and milk; porridge with dried fruit and buttermilk with bread were also popular. The nattmal, or “night meal,” was eaten at the end of the working day, and would be composed of fish or meat stewed with vegetables. For a sweet treat, the Vikings might have had dried fruit with honey. And they drank mead (a strong fermented drink made from honey), björr (a strong fruit wine) and buttermilk daily. Today, several dishes and ingredients link all the regions of Scandinavia together, bringing the Nordic food experience to life. Scandinavian cooking is all about quality ingredients and simplicity, with the main ingredient being used to flavor the dish. Hearty dishes, such as pork and meatballs, contrast with exquisitely presented open-faced sandwiches. Cured fish and herring are also popular, as are berries including lingonberries, cloudberries and blueberries. A shot of aquavit—a distinct and potent eau-de-vie flavored with caraway—is an important part of Scandinavian culinary culture. With its spectacular mountains, wilderness and coast, and an abundance of fresh produce including seafood and game, Norwegian cuisine is diverse and usually quite unfussy, letting natural ingredients speak for themselves. Swedish cuisine is centered around fish, cheese, sourdough bread, meatballs (served with lingonberry jam) and potatoes, usually mashed or boiled. Clockwise, from above: Cinnamon buns are a popular sweet treat; open sandwiches can be made with a variety of toppings Whatever they are doing, the Swedes make time to stop for a coffee and sweet roll once or twice a day in a tradition known as fika. They also invented smörgåsbord, the delicious buffet of hot and cold dishes which has become popular around the world. Danish cuisine has its roots in peasant traditions. Rustic dishes made with potatoes, fish and pork sausages are always popular, and the country is known worldwide for its excellent cheeses and smørrebrød—a piece of buttered rye bread topped with a slice of fish, meat or cheese. In Finland, salmon and herring are staple foods, along with deer and moose. Arctic wild berries, including cloudberries, are often featured in the country’s jams and desserts. EXPLORE MORE 2020 VIKING.COM 111