Scandinavian food: simplicity and freshness on the menu
For the past decade, new Nordic cuisine has enhanced local, unfussy produce. A whole generation of young chefs excels in the art of combining fish, game and vegetables with varied flavours.
A real culinary revolution! The crowning of Noma, owned by René Redzepi, as best restaurant in the world in 2010, projected Scandinavian cuisine centre stage. "The manifesto for a new Nordic cuisine" written by this young 32-year-old chef, had set the tone of this cuisine, four years earlier. His principles: no imports, regional products, respect for the seasons and the ethical values of Sweden, Norway and Denmark, focused on simplicity.
The dishes are prepared simply and ingredients overflow with flavours in a "slow food" philosophy Nordic cooking successfully combines ancient food traditions with a touch of modernity. Totally in tune with the times, this "locavore" spirit, respectful of the environment and sustainable development, is strongly rooted in Scandinavian culture.
Juggle with the richness of Northern terroirs
"New Nordic cuisine plays perfectly with its local wealth, and, primarily, with the wide variety of fish and seafood: cod and salmon from Norway, mackerel, crab and haddock are prepared in full respect of the natural product", explains Hélène Respondek, head of the Scandinavian export zone for Les vergers Boiron.
The Scandinavians are very fond of game. "Reindeer, wild boar and elk are stewed like beef bourguignon, with delicious berries, cranberries or even redcurrants and red fruit", continues Hélène Respondek.
A supercharged sea-buckthorn puree
Attentive to the needs of this very varied and tasty cuisine for gourmets seeking authenticity, Les vergers Boiron have developed a sea-buckthorn puree intended for Scandinavian chefs. This difficult-to-find small, tart orange berry turns out be a great antioxidant because its vitamin C concentration is more than 30 times greater than that of orange. It beautifully integrates sauces served with fish and meats, cocktails or desserts in a host of recipes offered in a book distributed by Les vergers Boiron.
New techniques adopted
Chefs improve products when they are at the height of the season, and use several methods of conservation to diversify their use: salting, smoking, drying, pickling and brining offer varied textures.
This scalable cuisine does not hesitate to follow new techniques and even makes a nod to molecular cuisine. Chefs try out butternut in jelly, a pumpkin emulsion, or a dried candied squash. Others, fewer in number, use liquid nitrogen to transform powdered herbs. This all sublimates the beauty of dishes, where sorrel and emblematic dill punctuate these genuine masterpieces.
The growing influence of Nordic cuisine
Tomorrow's culinary Ambassadors continue the path marked out by René Redzepi. A true barometer of the influence of world cuisine, the Bocuse d'Or 2015 competition was won by a Norwegian in front of an American and a Swede. Nordic candidates even managed a grand slam at the 2011 edition won by the Danish Rasmus Kofoed in front of a Swede and a Norwegian. Les vergers Boiron totally fit into this trend since two of the chefs receiving the winners of the Boiron Brothers Young Talents trophy in 2015 and 2016, Geir Skeie (Bocuse d'Or 2009) and Henrik Norström (Bocuse d'Argent 2001), are Norwegian and Swedish respectively. As for the pioneer, René Redzepi, he has decided to explore new culinary innovations. He is closing his Noma restaurant in December to launch a new concept based on an urban farm. A rural adventure to be closely followed!