The 6 Cookbooks That'll Help You Master Scandinavian Food

Don't just idolize this lifestyle -- eat it.

These days, Scandinavian cuisine is at the forefront of the food world; and it's all thanks to bold, celebrated restaurants such as Noma and Faviken reinventing traditional ingredients and shining a new light on old recipes. This style of food is known as New Nordic cuisine, and its excitement has seeped past the boundaries of the nations that make up Scandinavia. We are infatuated.

The dishes that make New Nordic so enthralling couldn't have been conceived without the steeped culinary tradition of the Scandinavian people. Masters of the open-faced sandwich, geniuses with pastry, and wholly responsible for aquavit, this is a region rich with flavorful surprises.

Overlooked in the past for its seemingly humble recipes -- Scandinavians don't use fiery chilis so beloved in Indian cuisine nor gallons of cream like the French -- their hearty fare is shaped by the land's climate. And its flavors of rye, cardamom and saffron tell the story of this area's history, dating back to the vikings.

If you're ready to discover what the region has to offer, these are the six cookbooks you need for a well-rounded education. (For a taste of their beloved fresh cloudberries though, you're going to have to put the books down and make the trip over. There's no way to get your hands on that flavor anywhere but in Scandinavia.)

The Art Of Home Cooking
Swedish celebrity chef Leif Mannerstrom explores classic Swedish food in this nicely put-together book. The recipes do not feature New Nordic cuisine, but the kind of dishes that have been feeding Swedish families for decades.

Get the The Art Of Home Cooking from Amazon
Scandinavian Baking
Scandinavia is known for its baked goods -- they're home to cake parties after all, clearly they know what they're talking about when it comes to dessert. This recent cookbook by Trine Hahnemann beautifully shares some of the cuisine's best sweets, highlighting traditional holiday recipes.

Get the Scandinavian Baking cookbook from Amazon
The Nordic Cook Book
Magnus Nilsson is chef of the famous Swedish restaurant Faviken, but his latest book does not highlight the glossy food served there. Instead, this 700+ recipe book delves into dishes from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and the outlying islands -- some of them hundreds of years old.

Get The Nordic Cook Book from Amazon
Foods of the World: Cooking of Scandinavia
Don't judge this book by its cover. Yes, it is old. But, it is also a classic. This Scandinavian edition of the Time-Life "Foods of the World" series published in the '60s and '70s is filled with food history of the region as well as trust-worthy basic, classic recipes. It even gets a shout out in "The Nordic Cookbook" by Magnus Nilsson.

Get the Foods of the World: Cooking of Scandinavia from Amazon
If you're going to learn just one thing from Scandinavian culture, let it be the art of the coffee break. (In sum the idea is that it should always be accompanied with something to eat, usually something sweet.) This book will help you do that.

Get Fika from Amazon
Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine
Rene Redzepi is the chef behind Noma, the Danish restaurant often considered to be one of the best in the world. He is credited with reinventing Nordic cuisine, which has helped put this food on the map today. This book might not be one you cook from everyday, but it is an education of what has -- and is happening -- to the way people think about food in Scandinavia.

Get the Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine cookbook from Amazon

Before You Go

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