The Fundamentals of Nordic Cuisine

Any food lover knows the world of cuisine is vast and best approached with an open mind. There is an abundance of options available when preparing your meal, from the number of spices you add to the way it’s cooked.

The options are endless and that is one factor that is so enjoyable about food. Another added enjoyment is the cultural experience that accompanies tasting signature dishes from another culture.

When Vettä Nordic Spa opens up to the public, we intend to provide an immersive Nordic experience, from the moment you begin your spa day to the moment you sit down to eat. You can look forward to a fine dining experience with locally sourced ingredients inspired by Nordic cuisine.

So, naturally, you may be wondering what Nordic cuisine is.

In this blog, we’re going to answer that question for you.


An Overview

Before modern times, Nordic cuisine was fairly basic and included limited ingredients due to the colder temperatures in the north. After industrialization was introduced, more food options became widely available. Nordic cuisine utilizes a lot of traditional foods that were once considered “poor man’s foods,” like herring, dried fish, potatoes, and hard bread.


A Few Traditional Nordic Dishes

  • Smörgåsbord (or known in Finland as seisova pöytä or lounaspöytä) is a hearty buffet of bread, herring, warm meats, cold cuts, smoked fish and desserts.
  • Husmanskost- a staple in many Nordic households and in some restaurants, it surrounds the idea of filling, inexpensive food. Some foods commonly used are fried meats, boiled potatoes, and brown sauce. In the past ten years, it has transitioned into a more modernized, gourmet style of eating.
  • Lutefisk/lutfisk (lipeäkala) is a lye-processed dried white fish commonly served warm with potatoes, pea soup, bacon, and gravy. You will usually see this meal close to Christmas.
  • Pea soup or known in Finland as hernekeitto is often eaten on Thursdays, with pancakes and jam as dessert.
  • Open-faced sandwiches are popular in Nordic countries, which you will see as an appetizer or as a whole meal.

Now, Nordic cuisine has incorporated elements of other cultures and evolved into refined dining, referred to as “the New Nordic.”


The New Nordic Diet

The Nordic diet is often compared to the Mediterranean diet due to its health benefits. Compared to the Western diet, you see less sugary, processed foods, and less fat, but double the fibre and seafood. One distinction between the Mediterranean and Nordic is the preference for rapeseed oil as opposed to olive oil.

Within the Nordic diet, you’ll see fruits and veggies, potatoes, legumes, nuts and seeds, low-fat dairy, seafood, rye breads, and rapeseed oil.

According to a study from the University of Eastern Finland, the Nordic diet saw similar health benefits to the Mediterranean diet, where participants saw improved physical health and a decrease in risks of disability later in life.


Vetta: A Relaxing Spa Experience With Nordic-Infused Fine Dining

At Vettä Nordic Spa, we will be providing a relaxing experience rich in traditional Nordic culture. From our day spa to fine dining, it’s your time to take.

We can’t wait for you to see all that we have to offer!

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