Here and Now
Copenhagen, Denmark, Scandinavia,
Denmark, a nordic country with a mild Scandinavian climate, soft and wait summer , long dark and cold winter , nothing like Finland but already a very sense of north latitude.The seasons are well marked , 4 real seasons with there very own personality.The harvest is fluctuating among them.
The specific crops for danish grounds are not as diverse as the ones of a Mediterranean country.
Here, no red peppers grows, no aubergines, no melons in summer, no artichokes neither, no lemons,
No , Scandinavia is the region of the bulbs and root vegetables and potatoes, beet roots, celeriac, carrots, jerusalem artichokes, onions,leeks, and cabbages are kings of the vegetables harvest.
For the fruit, well, apples,plums, rhubarb, and a cornucopia of different Berries ( danish strawberries are stunning).
For the grains, there is the rye as champion and the wheat of course (oats …) some pulses as well.
Then there is seaweed, the sea is never to far , and the coast line weeds and plants.
The forest provides mushrooms, nuts.
The favorite method of conservation here is pickling, scandinavian pickles are relatively sweeter compared to other countries, but the farmers developed as well some techniques of overwintering, that consist in keeping the roots vegetables such as carrots or beetroot all over winter in the ground, which concentrate the amount of sugar and the taste , of course , fermentations.
Using locally source products do not only give chefs a sense of belonging , and proximity with a chain of skilled and dedicated professionals, it does as well makes sense on a ecological aspect , preventing a big waste of energy for transportation.
It force as well to concentrate once focus on products that will otherwise stay unnoticed and discover or rediscover their very potential and treasures.
Apart from the effort to stick to the seasons in order to get the tastiest fruit and vegetables , I also like to consider how I should include the different reality of our time, economic reality , ecologic and sanitary reality , demographic reality also.
Those considerations have shaped the way I cook, drawing the lines of a cuisine that I wanted reactive to its environment, and moderne not as a rebellion against classicism or in the trendy sense of the word but more in the sense of a liberation from old culinary and dietetic habits that don’t makes anymore sense to me in our actual context.
The times , climates (social, economical, demographic ..) have always influence the way population were feeding themself .In hard times, it will have force adaptation.
For now, I feel that the re-adaptation have to come as a common effort , as a common reconsideration and accountability toward our way to consume.
Never before, I could imagine ,( except during war or famines period) , our way to cook and our eating habits have change so dramatically in such a short period ”thanks to” the technical advance in conservation, production and transportation.
Our grand parents have great difficulty to recognise most of the food the latest generation eat , and if this evolution can be-wild our elder , it is more our environment, public health and our fellow earthling that suffer from such a fast evolution.
The response to the different informations and actual problems regarding the production, and consummation of food is somehow a logical and thoughtful reconsideration of our eating habits ,
Less animal product even no animal product at all, as a response to the health hazard and real epidemic of malnutrition that strike the modern and developed society around the globe, as well as a response to the environmental challenges; a focus on local and organic products will be another ”reflex” to adopt, a systematic rejection of industrialised , and refine products, to the benefice of whole grains , pulse and sugar will also have such a tremendous effect on our health.
Here is , to my idea and in a few big lines, the frame of a modern, sustainable way to harmonize our consummation to our environment and time, here and now.