The balance between traditional and modern is often hard to strike – this new book makes it easier for all
Take a trip to Denmark and you’ll understand the allure of Danish food. Hearty soups, pickled herring and pan-fried meatballs (take that, Sweden), its foodie offerings are iconic – and oh so scrumptious. Growing up on traditional recipes passed down through generations – like her mother’s rye bread and her father’s Sunday spaghetti with tuna fish sauce – and helping in the kitchen for as long as she can remember, authentic Danish food is in Caroline Fleming’s blood and her latest cookbook,
Cook yourself happy proves it. ‘There was always life in our kitchen, from dusk till dawn,’ she recalls. ‘My mother was amazing at baking. Many weekends and holidays were spent picking wild blueberries and various kinds of mushrooms, we went crabbing and fishing in Sweden also – it gave us such joy to prepare our finds at the end of the day.’
While her parents were not strictly conventional when it came to eating – Caroline’s father’s Cordon Bleu course meant their food often displayed French influence – Cook
Yourself happy certainly brings Danish food into the modern day.
‘When I was a child there was a tradition to cook the ingredients for far longer and the preparation of various dishes took much more time than my food prep today,’ Caroline says. ‘I am definitely someone who tries to leave my ingredients as nutrient-rich as possible, which in my humble opinion means less cooking time. It’s what I think they call the more Mediterranean way of eating, as close to raw and fragranced with simple things like fresh herbs, oils, fresh lemon and pink salt.’
So far, so simple – but Caroline’s recipes are anything but ordinary. What’s her secret? ‘What I do do, which is an extension of my father, is spend hours, even days, making my various stocks,’ she says. ‘These stocks are used as bases for many of my recipes, and although they take time, it’s actually so very simple as the saucepans just simmer for hours on end, intensifying the flavours.’ With food like this, it’s no wonder Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world...