Nordic Cookbook


The Nordic Cookbook is a book on Nordic cooking by Magnus Nilsson. The first thing you notice about it, is it’s size. It’s not quite A4, but it’s not far off. The depth of it is even more impressive. It weights in at over 750 pages. It’s so heavy: a real struggle to lift with one hand.

It covers Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

It is well presented. Being so big, it does not have great structural integrity. The spine moves around a lot. It stays open really well though. It also comes with two ribbons for saving your place.

The chapters, organised by food type, are broken up with full-page photographs from across the Nordics. Many of which are very beautiful. It’s printed in quite a dull matte.

The recipes themselves are poor. Nilsson starts the book by explaining that you won’t be able to make a lot of the recipes because you will not be able to get the ingredients or do the cooking methods. He’s right. There are maybe five recipes to a spread, so there are probably somewhere in the region of 800 recipes in this book. How many did I manage to make? 19.

This is in-part by design. He explains that is a guide to Nordic food, rather than a recipe book. Some of the stuff is just boring. Everything is served with boiled potatoes. Some stuff you have to cook for six hours.

You also need some local knowledge. There is typically a paragraph or two for each recipe, one explaining where the dish comes from and a brief one explaining what to do. Other than that though, you are pretty much on your own. Photos are few and far between. Occasionally you get a full-page photo with six dishes on it, each one labelled. So there is sometimes a pictorial guide, sometimes not.

If you are after a book that captures the essence of Nordic cuisine, tells you how to make authentic recipes and contains some beautiful photography, this is a good book to get. As a straight-up cookbook, it’s less useful.



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This entry was posted on Monday, May 16th, 2016 at 11:10 am and is filed under Books, Food. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.