Scandinavian food is tipped as the hottest UK culinary trend of 2011 and could even be a future shopping basket staple.
Traditional Nordic products such as herring, smoked fish and lingonberry jam will increasingly be on British shopping lists, Waitrose predicts.
Britain’s discovery of Nordic nosh follows the smash-hit success of Scandinavian fiction such as Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the Wallander television series.
Denmark’s Noma restaurant helped put Scandi food on the culinary map when it scooped the world’s best restaurant award last year.
Scandinavian food is now poised to make a splash in Britain, according to an independent trends report called Food Watching commissioned by Waitrose.
The simplicity of light Nordic cuisine together with its use of pared-down, high quality ingredients are its main attractions, the report says.
Waitrose Executive Chef Neil Nugent said: “Scandinavian food is now being discovered for its simple, clean flavours. I think this will eventually become part of the repertoire of foods that Britons eat and some products could be a future food staple, such as Västerbottensost cheese which could become as popular as Edam.”
John Lewis Foodhalls from Waitrose on London’s Oxford Street and at Bluewater in Kent are backing this trend by hosting Swedish food trials from Monday, January 10.
Customers will have the chance to taste and buy a diverse range of products such as Västerbottensost cheese, Leksandsbröd crisp bread, Swedish Kitchen Organic Meatballs and lingonberry jam.
The trials will run to the end of February thanks to a collaboration between the Swedish Trade Council and Waitrose in response to the UK’s growing appetite for Scandinavian food.
Swedish Trade Council Project Manager Gustaf Bergström said: “Swedish food is about natural ingredients, high quality and innovation, hence it fits well into the Waitrose offering.
“It is the first time such a trial sale of Swedish food has been conducted in the UK and we think the timing is just right since we can see a large and growing interest around Swedish and Scandinavian food.”
Classic Scandinavian food is a mix of simple oats and wholegrains, berries, vegetables, oil-rich fish such as herring or salmon, hard cheese, poultry and lean meat.
London’s restaurant scene is also reflecting this latest food trend. Scandinavian venue Madsen in South Kensington has enjoyed positive reviews whilst Verru, opening on Marylebone Lane this month, will merge Baltic and Scandinavian flavours.