The Nordic Cookbook

Magnus Nilsson. Phaidon, $49.95 (608p) ISBN 978-0-7148-6872-1
This magnum opus by Nilsson (Fäviken), head chef of Sweden’s Fäviken Magasinet restaurant, offers more than 700 recipes full of Scandinavian flavor. Nilsson hedges his bets in the introduction, warning that ingredients behave differently in different parts of the world, so even if his instructions are followed precisely, “sometimes it’s not going to work anyhow.” But that’s okay, since he posits that recipes are a “technical base on which you can then build” and adjust. The book consists of 22 chapters, organized by food type, interweaving recipes from Norway, Finland, Denmark, and neighboring countries. The book is amazingly comprehensive: the opening chapter, for example, is composed of six egg recipes. This is the perfect tome to simply crack open to a random page and have at it. In the game chapter, one finds puffin stuffed with cake, and a couple of pages later, stew of shaved reindeer meat. Flip back to the section on saltwater fish and discover what could be the world’s most comprehensive guide to herring, with instructions on curing and nearly three dozen variations including fried herring in vinegar. Or, for courage, start at the end, where drinks such as salty licorice vodka await discovery. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/19/2015
Release date: 10/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
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