ForeWord Reviews

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All of Scandanavian Cooking

Clarion Review (2 Stars)

One of only a few books on the subject Sofie Michelsen’s All of Scandinavian Cooking is a self-published collection of Scandinavian recipes. The author who studies business and economics at Sweden’s Lund University begins with a preface in which she discusses the countries that make up Scandinavia (Sweden Denmark and Norway) as well as what the region’s cooking entails.

The book is organized by categories of recipes i.e. breakfasts lunches dinners and finishers. Michelsen also includes recipes for beverages both alcoholic and non-alcoholic and breads which she terms “additional.” The concluding section contains recipes for what the author calls “traditions”—New Year’s Eve Lent Spring celebration middle and late summer etc. A page of color photographs of dishes begins each section though the dishes are not labeled.

Most of the recipes utilize common ingredients including fish chicken dark bread and of course Danish or Dana blue cheese. Several however call for such things as pickled sprats potato starch and elk. The majority of the recipes are no longer than six steps from start to finish and would be easy to make. The most difficult or time consuming part will be looking up what some ingredients are. With some recipes especially it may be necessary to make substitutions depending on the season as well as the type and variety of ingredients available to the reader.

While the concept for the book is noble All of Scandinavian Cooking ultimately falls short. Readers hoping for a sumptuous culinary tour through Scandinavia will be disappointed in rather ordinary recipes such as grilled salmon and blueberry pie. A glossary of the most frequently used Scandinavian terms like “smorrebrod” “lefse” “farikal” would have been helpful. While some sections begin with a brief description and mention some of the unique dishes not all chapters include this feature. In addition it would be nice to see illustrations of the dishes next to some of the recipes particularly those with a Scandinavian name such as “marvpostei” and “Norwegian tilslorte bondepiker.”

Aimed at the home cook those unfamiliar with Scandinavian culture and cuisine may not readily pick up this book. All of Scandinavian Cooking is recommended for those with a special interest in Scandinavian food or those wishing to experiment in the kitchen.

Nicole Mitchell