HYGGE ON A PLATE
Scandi-fy your mealtimes for a happier body and mind
Forget the golden arches, the link between food and feelings of gladness is a very real one in Scandinavian culture – and there’s not a Mcnugget in sight
Turn off the Nordic crime drama you’re halfway through – the one with all those chunky knits and chiselled-jawed Danes – and shrug off that IKEA throw, because we’ve got something to tell you: Scandinavian culture is switching its focus from your living room to your kitchen, and you’re going to feel a lot happier for it.
From the Swedish Jamie Oliver – Niklas Ekstedt, author of Happy Food (£22, Absolute Press) – to Rachel Khoo, who’s swapped her Parisian domain for a stylish Nordic equivalent – The Little Swedish Kitchen (£20, Michael Joseph) – your Billy bookcase will be creaking under the weight of Scandi cookbooks this summer. Why? Because the rest of the world has finally caught on to the fact that the Danes, Swedes, Finns and Norwegians have the recipe for more than good meatballs. These countries are consistently ranked among the happiest in the world, not only because of close-knit communities, free healthcare and flexible working hours, but because the focus of the Scandinavian diet on gut-boosting prebiotic plants is consistently linked with improvements in mood and reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Plus, the Scandi plate is more than the sum of its parts. ‘In the Nordic countries, we love eating together,’ says Swedish chef Nina Olsson. ‘The act of getting together and eating raises our spirits, especially when we have so many dark months to live through. We like to eat simple food locally sourced and as fresh as we can get it.’ Here, Olsson shares her Scandi-inspired recipes to perk up your taste buds and your spirits.