Nordic cuisine roots

Nordic cuisine roots and the early modern history of Lapland in Finland.

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Nordic cuisine roots are deep in the soil of the land and the waterways

Nordic cuisine roots in  north Finland are deep in the biodiversity of the environment, the marshes, clean fresh water streams, peat swamps, small crystal clean tundra ponds, lakes and rivers.  The thriving natural environment of fauna and flora facilitates a platform for the fish, for the game birds and all the animals that make it their seasonal habitat to live in, the game birds stay throughout the year and it is only the migration birds that migrate south for the winter.  The far north environment hibernates during the long winter season but surprisingly it comes back with a flowering spring season, full of life in the late spring summer season, promising and offering the migration birds with a rich environment for feeding on mosquitoes.  It is the mosquitos that lures the birds to fly many thousands of kilometers north for their nesting season and for a mega feast of insects, earthworms, berries, mushrooms and bugs, no bird goes hungry during the summer season.

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Look back in history to the early people of current Lapland

The Fennoscandia was populated by Nomadic peoples, that travelled light and used reindeer for carting their luggage, firewood and other supplies that they needed in the various seasons. The summer season was favourable to be down at the low altitude of the Arctic Sea, fish to be caught and harvested when the sea waters were accessible without the intense labor of hacking through thick ice. Reindeers are nomadic by nature like so many other grazing animals that they go where the natural environment provides food at the given time.  The growth of plants and grass can be affected by the position to the sun and shade, rainfall and a wind, and the nature of the soils.  A deep topsoils with a groundcover will support life even if the water drains and evaporates over time, the reindeer’s like to feed on mushrooms during the late summer and the autumn season. . The melting of the winter snow and ice does affect the water levels in the rivers and creeks that are often governed by watersheds. Nordic cuisine roots can be traced right back to the previous ice age some 10 000 years ago. It is the natural environment that provides food that support life, it is the fauna and flora that adapts to the climate and the seasonal changes.  It was the early nomadic peoples, the indigenous and the early pioneers that walked and travelled on the planet looking for better feeding grounds, climate-friendly homes and natural supplies that would keep them and their families alive towards the unknown future.

 

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Glow baked salmon

Glow baked salmon naturally

Glow baked salmon is called “loimulohi” in Finland (loimu =glow, lohi=salmon), it is a traditional cooking method that is both practical and very effective way to get a high quality caramelized surface to a large salmon filet.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5GCSRvDTBmrdIQdJD9_MVA

The cooking equipment needed to prepare the glow bakes salmon are very minimal.

glow baked salmon
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Cooking equipment and utensils.

  • Knife to filet the fish
  • salt
  • wooden blank and large 2-inch nails
  • extra piece of timber or rocks to support the plank almost vertical
  • firewood and kindling
  • matches to light the fire

Slow cooking method

Glow baked salmon is a slow cooking method that takes about 60-90 minutes for a large filet of salmon to caramelize on the surface, the highlight of the cooking method is the golden brown caramelized surface of the fish filet.

glow baked salmon
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How to prepare the fish and the fireplace

  1. Salmon is fileted and the filet salted for about 2 hours.
  2. The fire can be made well in advance so that there is a steady glowing of heat from the wood coals.
  3.   The salmon is then nailed to a flat timber plank with the flesh outwards.
  4. Work out the distance from the fire to the plank, by placing your hand there for 20 seconds without burning it. Remember. It is a slow cooking method.
  5. The plank is then set up slightly leaning out of the vertical position so that the heat from the fire is reached all over the filet surface.
  6. You may need an extra piece of timber or use natural rocks to hold the plank in a vertical position.
  7. Once the fish flesh heats up it will begin to weep natural fats, every 20 minutes turn the plank upside down so that the fat is distributed over the flesh and helps to caramelize the filet. keep turning the plank until the fish is fully caramelized and cooked.
  8. You may serve the cooked salmon according to the occasion, if it is simply a fishing camping trip then rye bread with cucumber, tomato and salad is fine. If it is more of a dinner setting then serve it with boiled potatoes, tomato, cucumber and red onion salad with lemon vinaigrette.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5GCSRvDTBmrdIQdJD9_MVA

Glow baked salmon enjoyed in the wild outdoors setting

Glow baked salmon is great because it is a very practical cooking method outdoors and the results is absolutely superb, the salmon fish is highly prized especially when camping outdoors in the wild and catching while being adventurous.

Here is a video link from the Baltic Herring festival that i visited in the Autumn of  2014. Baltic Herring festival Pori 2014.  There you can see the high quality caramelized glaze on the salmon filet being demonstrated.  The flambe seen in the video is done using Cognac liqueur for additional classic European flavors.

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For more pictures of the glow baked salmon visit this picture gallery online. Thank you for visiting Nordic Cuisine.eu and hopefully you learned something new about the Nordic culture, tradition and cuisine.  please do share the links with your friends and also visit and like the Nordic Cuisine Focus Facebook fan page.  Enjoy.

 

Nordic Cuisine

Nordic Cuisine

Nordic Cuisine has a distinctive environment, fauna, flora, seasons and climate.

Nordic Cuisine reflects the inland waters, land, soil, air and the sea.

Nordic cuisine is really about the geographical environment of the Nordic region, the habitat of the land has adjusted and adapted to the many extreme climate changes over the many tens of thousands of years to present the many varieties of berries, mushrooms, vegetables, plants, trees, the freshwater fish of the inland lakes and game birds and game animals that humans have consumed for their food and nutritional needs for a very long time.  Watch the above video for more information about the Nordic Cuisine.

The freshwater rivers

The fresh water rivers of the far north Nordic region are in most part clean and fresh, they really are unique picture going back in time to when the global warming melted the Ice Age some 8 000 BC.  The ice melted and there was a lot of runoff fresh water from the very thick slab of ice, at some places it was 2000 meters thick over the far north Gulf of Bothnia. Gulf of Bothnia.

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The Land

The land bears many marks from the Ice Age, the many small lakes and ponds are also a reminder of the imprints that the Ice Age left behind in a relatively short time ago Geologically.

The most predominant influences on Finland’s geography were the continental glaciers that scoured and gouged the country’s surface. When the glaciers receded about 10,000 years ago, they left behind moraines, drumlins, and eskers. Other indications of their presence are the thousands of lakes they helped to form in the southern part of the country. The force of the moving ice sheets gouged the lake beds, and melt waters helped to fill them. –Wikipedia.

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The soils and the vegetation.

The soils vary from a sandy soil of the West Coast to Inland, East Finland, and Northern Finland. Obviously, the climate also plays a part in forming the fauna and flora that ends up in the soil over time. The West coast inland ten of more kilometers is very sandy, due to the sea being over the land for many tens of kilometers many thousands of years ago. Flat land that resembles wide ancient river beds has been turned into useful farming land and forest plantations where the ancients berry plants continue to thrive as they have thrived for tens of thousands of years.

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