In November 2004 Nordic chefs, food writers and other food professionals gathered to discuss the potential for developing a new Nordic food culture. The meeting resulted in a 10 point manifesto outlining how best to develop this New Nordic Cuisine.
The New Nordic Cuisine Manifesto encourages embracing food sources in our natural surroundings.
The basic principles of the manifesto could actually be applied anywhere on the planet. every region and nation has its own unique conditions and traditions that could be developed and refined if only people were aware of their potential. New Nordic Food’s strength comes from the chopping board and the stove – it is a popular movement, open to all and without formal structures, a movement inspired by grassroots and a deep and genuine enthusiasm for developing a new, healthy and tasty Nordic food culture.
Simplicity is a key characteristic of Nordic cuisine whilst French, Italian, Indian and Chinese cooking have all evolved over many centuries to use highly complex methods, and combine a huge range of ingredients in their dishes.
In many ways, simplicity is paradoxical, as it utilises fewer components and relies more upon high quality products, grown under Nordic conditions. What distinguishes the red wines of Burgundy, the Mosels of Germany, the green lentils that grow in the volcanic soil of Puy, the peppers of Espelette in the Basque country and the sheep’s cheese of Sardinia from Nordic agricultural produce? The answer lies in the terroir.
It is the influence of terroir on ingredients and the products made from them that makes them unique. The local interplay of soil and climate, coupled with genetic diversity, provides the basis for a huge variety. ingredients should be distinct and recognisable, and their preparation and presentation should bring out their local characteristics.
The Nordic landscape is sparsely populated, with vast areas of untouched land, clean air and pure water – all of which has an effect on ingredients and on food. wild berries, fruit and mushrooms, game and fish have always been important aspects of Nordic life. Achieving harmony with the environment is important.
Here are the 10 points which make up the manifesto:
The aims of the New Nordic Cuisine are:
To express the purity, freshness, simplicity and ethics associated with the region.
To reflect the changing of the seasons in every meal.
To base cooking on ingredients and produce whose characteristics are particularly excellent in Nordic climates, landscapes and waters.
To combine the demand for good taste with modern knowledge of health and well-being.
To promote Nordic products and the variety of Nordic producers – and to spread the word about their underlying cultures.
To promote animal welfare and a sound production process in the seas, on farmland and in the wild.
To develop potentially new applications of traditional Nordic food products.
To combine the best in Nordic cookery and culinary traditions with impulses from abroad.
To combine local self-sufficiency with regional sharing of high-quality products.
To join forces with consumer representatives, other cooking craftsmen, agriculture, the fishing, food , retail and wholesale industries, researchers, teachers, politicians and authorities on this project for the benefit and advantage of everyone in the Nordic countries.