From the Forest

From the Forest

By
Simon Bajada
Contains
8 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781742708799
Photographer
Simon Bajada

My first encounter with Scandinavian forests came from seeing Norsca commercials and tourist brochures in the eighties. They got it right: endless birch and pine trees, moss-covered rocks and streams – although perhaps a few too many ferns. What people might not have learned from the adverts, however, is that there is a diverse range of edibles that the forest delivers.

The principal fruits found in the forest are lingonberries and blueberries, but there are plenty more besides: white-, red-, and blackcurrants, raspberries, wild strawberries, blackberries, rowanberries, elderberries . . . the Arctic plains even offer up cloudberries, which can only be found this far north. And these fruits never taste better than they do in that moment, standing in the dappled shadows of thousands of trees, picked fresh and straight on to the taste buds. A harmony of sweet and sour. Back in the kitchen, these perfect fruits often need nothing more than a splash of milk or a lick of cream. Or they can be turned into marmalades, jams, liqueurs and fruit syrups to be stored away and savoured during the cold season. Nearby, you will find an abundance of wild greens: sorrel, ramsons, nettle, angelica and woodruff, to name a few.

Yet, the forest yields much more than what you can find growing on the ground, in trees and on bushes. With thousands of kilometres of almost uninterrupted birch and pine, the woods of Norway, Sweden and Finland in particular contain a great deal of interest for the hunter. Roebuck, elk (or moose), reindeer, red deer, fallow deer, wild boar, European bison and beaver, as well as an array of birds present a whole new challenge for those wishing to source their own food. This chapter uses ingredients sourced from the forest but that are readily available outside of the Nordic region.

Recipes in this Chapter

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