It is set to be one of the biggest healthy eating trends of 2015. What exactly is Nordic nosh?
Nordic food is about so much more than wearing a Sarah Lund-style jumper while eating pickled herring (although we recommend that too).
Here's what you need to know ...
Pickling is like a religion
Well, pickled, brined and soused fish and veg such as beetroot or cucumber are pretty essential. Start with something traditional like pickled herring and serve with rye bread and some hot horseradish sauce.
They know how to cook a potato
The Swedish meatball
Even if you don’t know much about Swedish cooking, you’ll have heard of the Swedish meatball, or köttbullar, right? The secret is to serve them with lingonberries (aka cowberries in Britain) on the side, apparently.
They are baking geniuses
Any place that has a "cake table" party (which is exactly what it sounds like) is a winner for us. From dark, dense breads to Napolean hat cookies (they have a marzipan centre and are dipped in dark chocolate, mmm), Danish pastries and Norwegian apple cake, if you've got a sweet tooth, you are going to be friends with Nordic bakers.
Cinnamon can be used in sooo many things
We’re really missing a trick with our scarce usage of cinnamon. There is nothing a warm and sticky cinnamon bun can’t fix, and it’s acceptable to have one morning, noon and night too (but not all on the same day).
They’re creative with their jams
Strawberry jam on your morning toast? Yawn. They do lingonberry and cloudberry. Boom!
Smörgåsbord trumps a sandwich
Literally meaning “buttered table”, this is an array of small hot and cold dishes. You start with fish (such as pickled herring with rye bread, pâté and beetroot salad), then move on to cold meats and then warm dishes (meatballs, yum). Cheese comes at the end (obs). A traditional lunch can take hours – now we’re talking.
Rye is the only grain (kind of)
Rye loaves, rye buns, rye grains in anything and everything. There are even Karelian pasties: rye crusts filled with rice, butter and boiled egg. Sounds weird but tastes amazing.
And now for the scary stuff ...
OK, there are some dishes that you might want to avoid. Surströmming is Swedish fermented herring and locals insist it tastes amazing. However, it smells really bad so you might want to open the tin outside.
Next up, lutfisk. This is cod or sometimes ling preserved in lye, a powerful alkali derived from wood ash – it looks like tripe.
Finally, hákarl, a national dish of Iceland. It's fermented shark, buried for weeks and hung for months. It's probably best described as a acquired taste.