Food Culture in Scandinavia

Food Culture in Scandinavia

Food Culture in Scandinavia

Food Culture in Scandinavia

Synopsis

The food cultures of Scandinavian countries are similar in important ways but also have many different traditions because of variations in geography and climate and unique social, cultural and political history. Food Culture in Scandinavia covers Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland's unique and common foodways, all in the context of significant recent changes. This is the most exhaustive overview available in English with all the latest insight. Students writing country reports and food mavens get the up-to-date scoop from an insider on how Scandinavians eat and live. Readers see how everyday food habits are quickly changing in Scandinavia, mostly in urban areas and among the younger generation. The trends are shown to stem from Scandinavians travelling more, Americanization and globalization, new immigrants bringing their cuisines, classic national and regional products being revitalized, high-end restaurants for the new business elite springing up, and a growing interest in healthful and organic food.

The Historical Overview chapter lays the groundwork to understand the evolution from the traditional Scandinavian fare--fish, porridge, bread, milk. A chapter on major foods and ingredients elaborates on these staples and more and updates their use. In the Cooking chapter, the new gender dynamics are discussed in terms of who is shopping and cooking and especially the impact of the supermarket. Typical Meals discusses the mainstays for daily fare and notes the biggest changes in the choices of pizza and fast food for youth. Eating out in Scandinavia is becoming more common, and Chapter 5 highlights the growing options for casual family meals out, business and school lunches, as well as take-out food and more. The Special Occasions chapter illuminates the major events in the calendar, especially the magical Christmas time plus the famous seasonal fests such as Midsummer in Sweden and life-cycle events such as weddings, where innovation is expected. A final chapter on diet and health emphasizes the familiar health concerns related to diets too high in fat and sugar and too low in vegetables and fruit. A timeline, selected bibliography, illustrations, and classic recipes complement the narrative.

Excerpt

The appearance of the Food Culture around the World series marks a definitive stage in the maturation of Food Studies as a discipline to reach a wider audience of students, general readers, and foodies alike. In comprehensive interdisciplinary reference volumes, each on the food culture of a country or region for which information is most in demand, a remarkable team of experts from around the world offers a deeper understanding and appreciation of the role of food in shaping human culture for a whole new generation. I am honored to have been associated with this project as series editor.

Each volume follows a series format, with a chronology of food-related dates and narrative chapters entitled Introduction, Historical Overview, Major Foods and Ingredients, Cooking, Typical Meals, Eating Out, Special Occasions, and Diet and Health. (In special cases, these topics are covered by region.) Each also includes a glossary, bibliography, resource guide, and illustrations.

Finding or growing food has of course been the major preoccupation of our species throughout history, but how various peoples around the world learn to exploit their natural resources, come to esteem or shun specific foods, and develop unique cuisines reveals much more about what it is to be human. There is perhaps no better way to understand a culture, its values, preoccupations, and fears, than by examining its attitudes toward food. Food provides the daily sustenance around which families and communities bond. It provides the material basis for rituals through which . . .

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