New Nordic cuisine – a Lunds and Byerly’s tradition
Posted by Elin Hansen, deli category coordinator
Monday, April 8, 2013
I can remember as a little girl being fascinated by the Lunds brown paper grocery bag covered with “thank you” written in many languages.
Once emptied of its goods, I would turn it over in my hands and seek out the “thank you” in languages I understood. I would give a quick glance at “tack” (Swedish), “tak” (Danish) and keep looking until I landed on the one that meant the most to me: “takk”, which is Icelandic and Norwegian for “thank you.” I was only eight years old at the time, but knowledge of my Nordic heritage was already instilled in me and I recognized that word with a feeling of special recognition.
I’d rather not reveal what year this was, but Lunds and Byerly’s has long acknowledged the abundance of Lenas and Oles here in the Twin Cities and always provides the food stuffs that harken back to our old countries.
And, in case you haven’t noticed, all things Nordic are quite cool right now, especially in the world of food.
To make a long saga short, back in 2010, a cuisine coined as New Nordic gained international attention when Noma, a tiny restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark, was named World’s Best Restaurant by a survey of more than 900 restaurant industry experts. At the time, Noma was considered at the forefront of a movement to promote Nordic food and culture to the world. Often compared to the Slow Food movement, New Nordic cuisine embraces local foods, seasonality, simple preparations, sustainable practices, healthy eating and the preservation of Nordic food traditions including pickling, smoking, drying and curing.
Once Noma was crowned World’s Best Restaurant, food writers across the globe began writing in earnest about New Nordic cuisine and strove to identify where the trend was unfolding in other places across the globe. Many trend watchers, noting the media buzz, placed New Nordic at the top of their culinary trend watch lists for 2011.
By 2012, the Twin Cities was discovered and named an epicenter for New Nordic cuisine by the likes of The New York Times and Travel + Leisure magazine. Local media, including Mpls/St.Paul Magazine and City Pages, jumped on board as well. Most often cited as places for great Nordic dishes are popular restaurants like Bachelor Farmer, Fika and Finnish Bistro, and numerous food retailers providing traditional Nordic foods, including our stores!
I’m all about preservation of heritage and it has long been my family’s tradition to pick up all our Nordic favorites at our neighborhood Lunds: pickled herring, potato lefse, Swedish meatballs, Swedish sausage, lingonberries, gjetost, snofrisk, lutefisk, wasabrod, kavli, julekage, kringle and more. We fill those iconic brown paper grocery bags with foods of our homeland and to this day I get a sense of pride and delight when I notice “takk” floating amongst the other languages on our bags.
What are food traditions of your heritage?