Sweden: The time has come
There is a place where forests overflow with chanterelles, where berries ripen to sweet perfection under the midnight sun and reindeer run wild over the hinterlands. This is the place we call home.
Here in Sweden, we forage many of our ingredients from the woods, the sea and the field. Our cuisine takes its flavours from a landscape that stretches across nine climate zones, from the fertile soil of southern Skåne to the windswept reaches of northern Lapland.
Sweden is a land known for its natural beauty. The Swedish people tend to be straightforward and earnest. Our cuisine has always been refined, rarified, ingredient-focused. Many of our farming practices – like requiring that cattle are in the pasture for a minimum amount of time, free-range hens and limited use of pesticides – are there to ensure the welfare of our animals and the quality of the product. To us they are a way of life. It’s therefore not so strange that as people search for the pure and natural, many eyes have fallen on us.
Right now the world is in the midst of a food revolution. As part of a greater quest for authenticity, there is a demand for streamlined food production. Artisans and large food corporations alike are starting to hone their techniques in order to distill nature’s bounty to its essence. Swedish grocery stores are now flush with innovative products like those of Oatly and Renée Voltaire. Renée Voltaire´s products take their inspiration from all over the globe, are beautiful to look at and on the cutting edge of health food.
At the same time, a new generation of farmers, producers and chefs are pushing the boundaries and creating new food experiences. They are forging a new food culture defined by diversity, curiosity and a spirit of innovation.
The secret is out
It’s only been a few years since the world started hearing rumors of a chef in Northern Sweden who was chopping up beef heart in his dining room and serving it raw to 12 astounded guests. This little restaurant in the middle of nowhere quickly became a world sensation.
What is happening at Fäviken is a sign of a greater movement in Sweden. Like the beloved potatoes Swedes plant each year and then eagerly watch the calendar for. Like the “wild strawberry places” (smultronställe), as ripe in nostalgia as they are in berries. Like the pockets of earth where chanterelles return each year, thickly guarded by family allegiance.
Until recently, Swedish food has stayed an undiscovered secret. But it’s a secret whose time has come. We’re ready to share it.