Creating Terroir: An Anthropological Perspective on New Nordic Cuisine as an Expression of Nordic Identity

by Mark Emil Hermansen “Cuisine is not food, it is food transcended, nature transformed into a social product.” — Clark 1975 By Mark Emil Hermansen, Anthropologist at Nordic Food Lab. Abstract By examining New Nordic Cuisine – a contemporary food discourse based only on produce grown and ways of cooking “native” to the Nordic region – this article explores localised cuisine as a focal point for analysing contemporary flows of identity sentiments in the Nordic region in the 21st century. By (re)creating a Nordic terroir, New Nordic Cuisine enables its “natives” to ingest the (cultural) landscape, and consume a material version of local and regional identity. Identity will be shown to be a concept that is in many ways inarticulate but can be ingested as “nature” through localised cuisine, becoming, in the words of Appadurai (1981), ‘a highly condensed social fact’, and established “The Nordic” as a marker of group … Read more