Listen: Sweden, Finland, Baltics discussed on Good Food
"After three years now six years so research, and this I think we're pretty much done. It's incredible. I mean, it's kind of book that you just want to keep because it's so physically substantial as well as intellectually substantial thank you. I'm curious you've been on book tour. There's a really large contingent of Scandinavians in the midwest are people fascinated to reconnect with their culture. Yeah. Absolutely. And I think also especially up there people are already very much in touch with their past Minneapolis. For example. We did our event at the American Swedish institute, and it's fascinating. How many people go there? And they learn languages and take part in classes and things like that. So I think that connection is very well established already actually. So the cooking hasn't veered because often immigrant cooking can drift. I find it's the other way around with the Kim again cooking in the US that it's been preserved almost in a bubble very statically because it's been representing cherished memories of the home. Land whilst back in Sweden, for example. Cooking culture house of all that the higher pace, you know, so many recipes that exist in American Swedish cooking no longer existence with him. So fascinating. Because one of the things I love that. You do is you will take an item, and you will really follow it through many iterative from country to country and also just methods. Can we pick a recipe in which you do that? Maybe the sponge cake. Yeah. This is one of those things that every country in the whole world almost has some kind of sponge cake ripped center in their baking culture. What it contains? And how it's made is usually something launched informed where its main for example, should go to Sweden. Are you will have a fairly rich and dense sponge cakes signifying a rich agricultural history, stability and prosperity. Perhaps at least in the south and. Then you can cross the Baltics to Finland news today like to finish inland region that I mean, even if today, it's exactly the same level of material wealth as Sweden has. But historically supporter region has experienced many more wars in recent history, and so on and you can look at the sponge shakes there, even if they today would have exactly the same of living. Most of them will contain less of the expensive stuff from before like butter sugar. So interesting how you can distill economic history. A little cake. Yeah. What we eat. And what we bake. It always depends on the circumstances where we live regardless if he wanted to be sore and all the just the way it is. And it's so fascinating to look at it from the other direction that you look at what we eat. And then you start seeing why you know. So let's talk about bread and flour because you're talking about a region. That's so far north the types of grains, that can be grown very. Yeah. They do. I mean in the south. You will have quite little wheat the southern third of Sweden Denmark Finland Norway as well. And there's also, incidentally, where you'll find the most of the wheat based recipes traditionally, and then you can compare that with for example, Finland most of the country either too far north to cool or it's inland climate. So it's too hot too dry in the summer to ripen properly in almost all of the country's ri- base because RAI gross across the whole country. And I mean, if you go further north in Sweden, Mike from where I'm from which is sort of halfway up through Sweden. Them. It's too cool for wheat, and it's too cool for right to so people used to grow, oats, and barley and oats has no at all. And barley houses the gluten. So the further north you would get in Sweden, the flat breads will become as well. So that tradition of having flat breads that are dried and have a hole in the middle and sit on a Dowell dangling above you. Does that still go on? So they're two separate traditions. One is hard tack which is mostly what you find today have that whole in the Midland the past. And that's today. That's the most the produced industrially, and it's something that people eat all across Sweden and you buy in a grocery store. So do you soften it before you eat it? Don't like a cracker. But then there's also a hard flat breads, which is a different thing unless essentially like a soft, usually we I'm barley flat bread. That's quite thin. And after it's been baked you might eat of soft, but the rest you will dry and stack and they're thinner more fragile and those people still make a home. Okay. So with all that Brad people do some really interesting things with it. Could you talk about up and face? Ouch. Is or the tradition of Saint? Again. Danish tradition with Montreal which is like the most well known of open face sandwiches. But all over the Nordic region. The sandwiches are generally speaking only one slice of bread with topping on top. No second slice of bread over the topping was that just to not waste the bread. I don't know why I tried to find out. I mean, I think in Denmark, for example, it's simply that historically. It's been such a rich country, which really shows on the sandwiches. No, you have like little small piece of Brandon Bonham. Hope mount toppings on top. And you you eat them with the cutlery on the plate. So there I think it makes sense and further north I don't know how that tradition actually came to be because that's not how he would eat or sandwiches there. They will be open face. But you would eat them from the hand that will be more like a loaf of bread with butter and slice of cheese. Sunny wouldn't be as a richly decorated as it would be no, Mark. There's a beautiful finish salmon pie in the book. Could you describe it in Finland they have this whole other culture of filled pastries pasties and things like that. That doesn't really exist in the rest of the Nordics at least not in Scandinavia and a lot of that comes from their connection to the Baltics and the proximity. The Russia the salmon pie is one of those. And I think that the one you're referring to in the book is simply like your wall season. Solomon, that's essentially rolled up into a pastry. Like giant pirogi, essentially, it almost looks like a kubiak. Yeah. But it's the same principle, and it's just completely fascinating. You know, it's the one of the countries in the Nordic region who culturally distinguishes itself the most from the auditor's. Because because of the difference in language and seventy to Russia and the Baltics. So let's talk about salty liquorice because it's one of my favorite things and minority."