The Nordic region is comprised of Denmark, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the Faroe Islands. Lately Iceland has been hot with the Nine Muses Travel community, so I was happy to get a request yesterday for a mother-daughter trip to Copenhagen this summer. It's such a great city! I'm a big fan of the Nordics because of the gorgeous landscapes, cosmpolitan cities, fantastic arts and culture, and of course - the food. From some of the world's best restaurants to foraging in a Finnish forest for fresh ingredients, this is a fantastic article on Nordic culinary experiences - all of which I can arrange for you too!
Excerpt below from 6/16/2022 article produced by Virtuoso with The Nordics can be found HERE.
Denmark’s much lauded (and perennially booked) Noma in Copenhagen may have ushered New Nordic Cuisine into the global spotlight, but sustainable and delicious meals are more than just a passing trend in The Nordics, a region that comprises This ultra-cool corner of the world takes food seriously: In 2004, all seven countries signed the New Nordic Food Manifesto, a commitment to prioritizing seasonal meals, animal welfare, and innovation, all while upholding tradition. The result? Tons of food-focused activities that are good for the planet – and your taste buds. On your next trip to Scandinavia and its northern neighbors, here’s how to dig in.
Experience Nordic food traditions with a local
In the Faroes – an 18-island Atlantic archipelago roughly equidistant from Iceland, Norway, and Scotland – residents invite travelers into their homes for farm-sourced, home-cooked meals. The Faroese even have a word for it: heimablídni (home hospitality), a practice so common it’s recognized by the UN’s Sustainable Consumption and Production list. In Greenland, socializing and storytelling are key components of a traditional kaffemik, where hosts serve coffee, tea, and cakes in their homes to keep the conversation flowing. Your Virtuoso travel advisor can help arrange these local experiences alongside other savory adventures mentioned throughout this story.
To sample local flavors and culture on a larger scale, time a trip to Norway around one of the country’s beloved food festivals. In the southwestern coastal town of Stavanger, Gladmat celebrates “happy food” in late June and July, while roughly 600 miles north, regional specialties from mussels to reindeer take top billing at the Trøndelag Food Festival in July.
Join the farm-to-table journey
Finnish law gives everyone – locals and visitors alike – the freedom to forage for food on public land; nutrient-rich superfoods, including blueberries, chanterelles, and cloudberries, fill the country’s forests in summer and early autumn. Join wildlife collective METTÄ (the Finnish word for forest) for a guided mushroom-picking tour or wild herb workshop, where you can learn about your haul’s nutritional benefits and medicinal properties. An appreciation for local ingredients can enhance your dining experiences as well.
In Iceland, virtually all of the country’s best restaurants champion farm-to-table experiences and highlight a variety of local ingredients. Dine in a greenhouse at Friðheimar restaurant, around 50 miles east of Reykjavík, where an array of tomatoes grown on-site are transformed into soups, pies, jams, beer, and even schnapps, served in a hollowed-out tomato cup. Efstidalur restaurant, just a few miles north, incorporates its family-run farm’s dairy products into innovative dishes and organic ice cream, while lamb shanks and beef burgers at Vogafjós, in northern Iceland, are sustainably sourced.
Source your own seafood
The Nordics are surrounded by water, putting seafood at the center of the kitchen. In Denmark, you’ll need waterproof gear, a tide calendar, and a good guide to find fresh oysters at the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea National Park off the western coast, but you’ll be richly rewarded. Mussels shine in Sweden: Harvest the tasty mollusks from a fjord before preparing your own moules-frites at Musselbaren restaurant on the southwest coast. And in Greenland at Qooqqut Nuan – a restaurant so isolated it’s only reachable by boat from the capital of Nuuk – chefs prepare and put the finishing touches on fish that diners caught themselves just a few minutes before.
Savor a Michelin Green Star meal
Along with The Nordics’ 65 Michelin-starred restaurants, 20 establishments have earned Michelin’s new Green Star for their sustainability credentials, including Noma in Copenhagen and plant-based Fotografiska in Stockholm.
The Nordic penchant for innovation extends beyond the plate: The menu at Ræst in the Faroe Islands is dedicated entirely to Faroese fermented foods – including cod, whale, liver, and lamb – combining modern gastronomic trends with ancient food traditions. Chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard’s Under restaurant on Norway’s southernmost tip is half underwater, giving diners a diver’s-eye view of the North Atlantic marine ecosystem. Seasonal ingredients such as wild mushrooms, berries, seagrass, sea arugula, and sea kale stand out on the restaurant’s 18-course, seafood-focused tasting menu.
Support sustainable (and creative!) zero-waste venues
Faced with two of the hospitality industry’s biggest sustainability challenges, energy and waste, Nordic restaurants have created out-of-the-box solutions. At Ant Brew in Lahti, Finland (the city was voted Europe’s Green Capital in 2021), brewers use wild herbs; excess bread, berries, and fruit; and even goose droppings to create their Wasted Potential beers, which include the Boreality Check sour beer and Dumpster Diver wheat beer.
Across the Norwegian Sea at Laugarvatn Fontana, a geothermal spa and bakery in southwest Iceland, bakers are turning the island’s natural resources into renewable energy to make bread – the loaves are baked for 24 hours in an underground “oven” of hot black sand. Visitors can watch the process and taste the results, served with fresh Icelandic butter.
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