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Typical Nordic Recipes

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In this Lesson you will Learn

  1. What is New Nordic Cuisine?
  2. What are typical ingredients in Nordic cuisine?
  3. What are typical Nordic dishes and recipes?


The Nordic Countries Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Swedenare known for their cold climates, coastal waters, and stunning landscapes, from forests to lakes to mountains. The traditional dishes in these regions vary based on unique geographical features, but they all center around seafood, game meat, and produce suited to their cold climates.

Recently, a new movement called the "New Nordic Cuisine" has taken hold in these countries. This movement focuses on using high quality, seasonal, and local ingredients that are produced in ways that respect the environment and, in the case of meat and fish, that are both sustainable and humane. The movement also welcomes new takes on traditional dishes, as well as the creation of fusion foods that combine Nordic foods with elements from other cultures and cuisines.1

Typical Ingredients

Fish, whether fresh, salted, smoked, or pickled, is a mainstay of Nordic cuisine.

Herring, cod, salmon, and sprats are common. Game meat is also popular in Nordic countries, including venison, boar, moose, rabbit, reindeer, quail, and pheasant.1

Staple produce in Nordic cuisine includes wild mushrooms, lingonberries (often made into lingonberry jam), gooseberries, strawberries, root vegetables (beets, rutabagas, onions, parsnips), potatoes, and cabbage.2 Dill, chives, fennel, caraway, cardamom, and juniper berries are common herbs and spices. Vinegar, sour cream, horseradish, yogurt, and various cheeses also find their way into many Nordic dishes. 2,3

Crisp bread, rye bread, and dark multi-grain "black bread" are eaten as part of the well-known smorgasbord (more or less open-faced sandwiches).

Typical Nordic Recipes

Appetizer: Gravlax
Appetizer: Pickled Herring
Soup: Purresuppe
Salad: Dandelion Salad
Main Dish: Kjøttboller
Main Dish: Reindeer
Main Dish: Janssons frestelse
Main Dish: Baked Cod
Side Dish: Crisp bread
Side Dish: Potato salad
Dessert: Lingonberry Cake
Dessert: Swedish Pancakes

Recommended Read

The Everything Nordic Cookbook

This cookbook contains 300 typical Nordic recipes, including gravlax, meatballs with lingonberries, and Swedish apple cake.

check it out »


  1. The Everything Nordic Cookbook
  2. The Ethnic Food Lover's Companion
  3. BBC Food - Cuisines - Nordic


  1. New Nordic Cuisine is a recent movement focusing on the use of local and seasonal ingredients to create modern versions of typical Nordic dishes or even "fusion foods."
  2. Typical ingredients in Nordic cuisine: fish, game meat, wild mushrooms, berries, root vegetables, potatoes, dill, sour cream, and bread.
  3. Typical Nordic foods: gravlax, pickled herring, meatballs, baked fish, braised meats, potato salad, crisp bread and other multigrain breads, lingonberry cake, and dessert pancakes. Some of these dishes are served as part of a traditional smorgasbord.
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