Scandinavian Food

Topics: Food, Christmas, Denmark Pages: 5 (938 words) Published: April 11, 2011

The fare of Scandinavia is simple and hearty, featuring the abundant foods

of the sea and making use of the limited foods produced on land. Most

Scandinavian cooking and food processing reflect preservation methods of

previous centuries. Fish was dried, smoked or pickled, and milk was often

fermented or allowed to sour before being consumed. Scandinavians still

prepare a large variety of preserved foods and prefer their foods salty.

Scandinavians are probably best known for their use of fish and shellfish,

especially the dried salt cod which is exported all over the world today.

Lutefisk is prepared by soaking the dried cod in a lye solution before

cooking. Other typical fish dishes include salmon marinated in dill, called

gravlax, smoked salmon known as lox and many varieties of pickled herring.

Common fruits and vegetables are apples, potatoes, cabbage, onions and

beets. Pea soups are a winter treat throughout Scandinavia, often served with

pancakes. Several varieties of berries – particularly lingonberries and wild

mushrooms are collected from local forests.

Meat, in limited supply, was stretched by chopping it and combining it with

other ingredients. Today the Scandinavians still eat many vegetables stuffed

with ground pork, veal or beef. The Swedes are known for their delicious

meatballs and the Danes for their meat patties called fricadeller.

Bread is also a staple food item and is often prepared from rye flour,

punched with holes and hung from the ceilings and dried. A thin round

potato bread lefser is cooked on an ungreased griddle and is eaten with

butter and sugar and folded like a hankerchief.

Desserts served with a coffee break or after a meal, are rich but not overly

sweet. Most are made with butter and also contain cream or sweetened

cheese and the spice cardamom. The Scandinavians use almonds, almond

paste, or marzipan in desserts as often as Americans use chocolate. The

Danes are known for their pastries, which were brought to Denmark by

Viennese bakers 100 years ago when the Danish bakers went on strike.

When the strike was over, the Danes improved the buttery yeast dough by

adding jam and other fillings.

Besides milk and other dairy drinks, common beverages are coffee, tea, beer

and aquavit. Aquavit which means “water of life”, is a liquor made from the

distillation of potatoes or grain. It may be flavored with an herb, such as

caraway and is served ice cold in a y-shaped glass. Beer is customarily

consumed everyday; occasionally it is drunk with aquavit.

The Scandinavians eat three meals a day, plus a coffee break mid-morning,

late in the afternoon, or after the evening meal. Breakfast is usually a light

meal that may consist of bread or oatmeal, eggs, pastries, cheese, bread,

fruit potatoes or herring. Fruit soups may be served in the winter topped with

heavy cream.

Smorrebrod, which means “buttered bread” is an open-faced sandwhich

served for lunch in Denmark. Buttered bread topped with anything from

salmon, potatoes, sausages, sliced potatoes or tomatoes make up this knife

and fork eaten sandwich. Smorrebrod may also be eaten as a late afternoon

or bedtime snack.

A buffet meal in Sweden is the Smorgasbord(bread and butter table), a large

variety of hot and cold dishes arrayed on a table and traditionally served

with Aquavit. Ritual commonly dictates the order in which foods are eaten

in a smorgasbord.

Dinner is also large, often including an appetizer, soup, entrée, vegetables,

and dessert. Potatoes are usually served with the evening meal and coffee is

served with the dessert course.

Scandinavians assimilated rapidly into American society, yet their diet has

Not changed significantly. Many of their food habits are similar to the diet

of the American majority, such as three large large meals per day...
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