Old and new, favorite Nordic cookbooks

Cookbooks make great gifts for Christmas, but which one to choose? Here are six can’t-miss picks from Taste of Norway editor and cookbook enthusiast Daytona Strong

Daytona Strong
Taste of Norway Editor

Nordic cookbooks

Photo: Daytona Strong

As much as I love food, books are among my first loves, and I choose these for gift-giving every chance I get. To help you with your gift-giving needs, I’ve created a guide to some of my all-time favorite Nordic cookbooks. Ranging from old to new, the books are full of traditional favorites, and they often also feature inventive new recipes that incorporate classic Nordic flavors and ingredients with a twist.

The Nordic Cookbook by Magnus Nilsson

The ultimate book on Nordic food, this beauty by Magnus Nilsson—two star chef of Sweden’s celebrated restaurant Fäviken—belongs on every food-lover’s shelf. With approximately 700 recipes representing the traditional cuisines of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland, it’s as much a resource on Nordic food culture as it a cookbook. Nilsson’s latest title, The Nordic Baking Book (released in October 2018), is sure to be on many wish lists this year, but also don’t miss his 2015 gem.

For a peek into The Nordic Cookbook, visit www.norwegianamerican.com/food/history-culture-and-a-rich-sense-of-place.

Fire & Ice: Classic Nordic Cooking by Darra Goldstein

I’d dog-ear dozens of recipes in this cookbook if it weren’t so gorgeous. Indeed, I’ve lost track of how many recipes I’ve cooked from this book, and virtually each of them is spot-on. Darra Goldstein manages to present even the most traditional Nordic dishes in such a way that makes them look utterly appetizing and accessible, even to those who may not be very familiar with the cuisine of the north. Fire & Ice also captures a rich sense of place with its stories and stunning landscape and inspiring food photography.

For a peek into Fire & Ice, visit www.norwegianamerican.com/food/dishing-up-memories-a-book-of-dishes-rooted-in-place.

It’s hard for me to separate my thoughts of Scandinavian food from the hospitality that I so associate with it, and
Scandinavian Gatherings blends these together in a fun and playful way. As the writer behind the popular food, home, and lifestyle blog Lulu the Baker, Melissa Bahen has a great way of extending the recipes she shares by grouping them into a variety of events complete with crafts and decorations. Full of delightful-looking recipes and adorable crafts, Scandinavian Gatherings is sure to inspire readers with plenty of ideas for brunch, tea, birthdays, and Christmas festivities.

For a peek into Scandinavian Gatherings, visit www.norwegianamerican.com/featured/a-nordic-cookbook-for-every-celebration.

The Scandi Kitchen: Simple, delicious dishes for any occasion, by Brontë Aurell

If Brontë Aurell’s numerous cookbooks are any indication of how delicious the food is at her ScandiKitchen in England, then I almost wish I were a Londoner just to eat at her restaurant every week. Every recipe she writes is one I’d like to eat. You can’t go wrong with any of Aurell’s Scandi Kitchen books, but I’m listing this one—the first—simply because it’s a solid standard. Others include ScandiKitchen: Fika and Hygge: Comforting cakes and bakes from Scandinavia with love, ScandiKitchen Summer: Simply delicious food for lighter, warmer days, and the latest, ScandiKitchen Christmas: Recipes and traditions from Scandinavia. These others focus on specific themes, but if you want to start with something general, then The Scandi Kitchen: Simple, delicious dishes for any occasion is great.

For peeks into Aurell’s books, visit www.norwegianamerican.com/featured/cream-cardamom-and-coconut, www.norwegianamerican.com/food/a-fresh-savory-nordic-spring, or www.norwegianamerican.com/food/summers-bounty-wrapped-book.

The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas

This classic will always have a special place in my heart. One of the first two Scandinavian cookbooks I ever bought, I spent so much time reading and baking from this book that it feels like an old friend. With simple line illustrations rather than photographs, this book provides less eye candy than the other titles in this guide, but it’s one of my all-time favorites and an excellent choice for anyone who loves traditional Nordic cakes, cookies, and breads.

North Wild Kitchen: Home Cooking from the Heart of Norway by Nevada Berg

Former Taste of Norway contributor Nevada Berg released her first cookbook this autumn, and we couldn’t be more delighted by the way she depicts life in Norway through her recipes and photographs. As an American expat in rural Norway, she researches Norwegian food culture and shares her own takes on the ingredients as well as providing plenty of recipes for classics.

For our announcement, visit www.norwegianamerican.com/featured/former-contributor-publishes-cookbook.

Daytona Strong is The Norwegian American’s Taste of Norway Editor. She writes about her family’s Norwegian heritage through the lens of food at her Scandinavian food blog, www.outside-oslo.com. Find her on Facebook  (www.facebook.com/OutsideOslo), Twitter (@daytonastrong), Pinterest (@daytonastrong), and Instagram (@daytonastrong).

This article originally appeared in the November 16, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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