New Scandinavian Cooking is a hit

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smoked wild salmon
Chow down on wild seafood Scandinavian style
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New Scandinavian Cooking highlights the tastiest cuisines in the region

If you havenít watched the popular cooking show New Scandinavian Cooking, youíre missing out. Over 100 million people in more than 130 countries watch the weekly episodes. Now in its 9th season, the show gives you an up close view of Scandinavian cuisine.

Watch any episode and you'll see why this food and and culture focused series is so appealing. Unlike many cooking shows, our hosts take us to different regions throughout Scandinavia. The focus isnít on travel, but the scenery certainly puts you in the mood for whatever dish theyíre serving up.

On top of filming the episode in the featured cuisineís home, wild seafood and hearty meals are enjoyed outdoors amidst mountains, rivers, ocean, boats, fields of flowers and the tops of cliffs, depending on the region. Viewers pick up tips and techniques straight from the brilliant hosts and guest chefs.

The New Scandinavian Cooking Hosts

For four seasons Andreas Viestad has shared his passion for the culture, history and foods of Norway. His new cookbook, Kitchen of Light, has received rave reviews from fellow Norwegian food enthusiasts.

Tina Nordstrom is a Swedish chef with five cook books to her name. She often skips the utensils in favor of mixing things by hand, and has a variety of unusual food combinations. 

Claus Meyer guides us through Denmark fare, where heís already penned 14 cookbooks on Danish cuisins.

Sara La Fountain shares secrets to Finnish cuisine from her award-winning cook book, A La Sara.

The Recipes

Like many great cooks, Scandinavian chefs use local ingredients, which include plenty of seafood, root vegetables, cream and cured meats. Popular recipes range from heart stews and brothy soups, to elegant goose breast in port wine and an irresistible flourless chocolate cake with wild strawberries.

Most of the seafood recipes on New Scandinavian Cooking are healthy because they donít call for processed ingredients, but that doesnít mean they lack flavor. Pickled vegetables and sides like horseradish sour cream take a simple roasted salmon dish over the top. Presentation relies on the vivid colors and variety of textures on the plate.

If youíre not a seafood lover, perhaps a rack of lamb with dill pesto and veggie couscous will tempt your appetite. The best thing about these recipes is that theyíre not too complex. Beginning cooks can take them on and expect to be pleased, you may even pick up some knife skills. 

Some of the hardest ingredients to find may be the wild berries. Check out some online cooking stores, or get creative and adapt a recipe to ingredients available locally. 

Why People Love it

Cooking isnít always as graceful as the slicker chef hosts make it seem. Think about the most famous scenes from Julia Childís shows The French Chef, dropping food on the floor or piecing together what has fallen apart. If mouth-watering recipes and gorgeous scenery isnít enough to get you hooked, you should know things get awkward in the best way at times.

Scenes also show the messier side of cooking, and the unpredictability of doing it outdoors. For example, thereís one episode where Andreas Viested is cooking fish on a pier in a little shack.  He hauls a bucket from the water into the kitchen himself while we get to appreciate the view from the open wall. In the same episode filmed on the shack, the fish froze and a crazy storm rolled in.

The spirit of this wildly popular series is a simple devotion to Scandinavian cuisine and how it reflects the mix of cultures to be found there. Viewers in the United States can watch the show on PBS and look up recipes on the shows website. Even if you check it out on a full stomach, you may suddenly find yourself craving cloudberry cheesecake and a front row seat at the edge of a mountain top.


Outside Oslo: Kitchen of Light
Show Website

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