Scan Magazine, Issue 85, February 2016

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Restaurant Rudolf Mathis

Rudolf Mathis | Dosseringen 13 | 5300 Kerteminde | 6532 3233 |

Scan Magazine | Contents

Contents 22 36

COVER FEATURE 14 Leila Lindholm – keeping the fire burning

man neighbours down the south of Denmark, the Nordics boast a rich food and drink scene worthy of your attention. Scan Magazine spoke to the giants about their secrets and the newbies about their dreams, resulting in a very special food issue covering microbreweries, sweets producers, charcuterie specialists, cheese makers and world-class distilleries. Get ready to be tempted.

With seven books and countless TV shows in the bag, Scandinavia’s answer to Nigella Lawson is more than just a charming kitchen goddess. Scan Magazine caught up with Leila Lindholm to talk about inspiration, being a woman in a man’s world, and staying in control.



Stay cool, have fun and smell nice

That there is enough entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking in Denmark to make the national business brand highly regarded across the globe is surely news to no one. From a venture helping brands find unlikely employees in academia to a recruitment agency matching local demand with foreign talent, here are our favourite enterprises coming out of Denmark of late.

This month’s design section is both versatile and niche. While the Fashion Diary helps you stay warm while looking cool, we also present some creative playground equipment from Finland, nature-inspired smash-hit jewellery from Norway and luxurious perfumes and aromatic lamps from Sweden.

FEATURES 23 From old Norse to New Nordic We are just as fascinated by Scandinavia’s Viking




Keep it simple, language nerds

past as your next Scandinavian magazine. But when Magnus Nilsson starts talking about Nordic food, that is all we hear. Alongside a feature explaining what the New Nordic Cuisine trend is really all about, we give you a review of sorts, not to call it fan mail, about Nilsson’s The Nordic Cookbook.

With a special Danish business theme encouraging transboundary collaboration and recruitment beyond the usual, safe pools of candidates, our keynote columnist, Steve Flinders, ponders the benefits of language borrowing and the risks of Eurospeak. His advice is this: keep it simple.



A taste of Scandinavia There are the brands you already know well: Absolut, Västerbottensost, Jarlsberg. Then there are those you have heard of but perhaps have yet to try – Mackmyra, Austmann, Ægir – and the behind-the-scenes pioneers, including Solina Group and Svenskt Butikskött. From the Russian border in the north of Norway to the Ger-


Enterprise Denmark


Old and new cultural stages While Karl Batterbee, like any self-respecting Nordic music lover, gears up for the Eurovision Song Contest, Scandic Hotels is preparing to welcome back one of Stockholm’s old favourite culture stages, Vasateatern. Between Euro disco and cabaret, there is something for all tastes.


We Love This | 8 Fashion Diary | 78 Conference of the Month | 82 Restaurants of the Month Attractions of the Month | 91 Humour | 92 Experience of the Month

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 3

Scan Magazine | Editor’s Note

Dear Reader, I recently discovered the joys of listening to podcasts while running. This pleasure has not just made running easier on the psyche, but simultaneously has also earned me an extra 45 minutes or so of time for information consumption every couple of days. Anyone who knows me well will understand my elation. Among my favourite podcast channels is the quintessentially Swedish Sommar i P1, giving everyone from famous footballers and artists to politicians and academics an hour and a half to talk about what makes them tick. The other day, I listened to writer and social commentator Katrine Marçal, then Kielos, who in 2013 shared her family’s war-torn history alongside some views on the world we live in. “If we knew how similar the Polish poppy seed cake, the Jewish hamantaschen and the German mohnkuchen are, then a lot of suffering could have been avoided,” she said, listing the ingredients to the cakes as a recipe for Central European peace.

have failed to be vocal enough about the amazing qualities of our food produce. From antibiotic-free meat to world-class oats and healthy, organic vegetables and berries, the Nordic diet could not just significantly improve our health, lowering cholesterol levels and controlling blood pressure as well as blood sugar; it could make huge strides on the biggest challenge we face today: global warming. Throwing the Law of Jante out the window and letting ’lagom’ rest for a while, our big food issue is a showcase of everything that is great about Nordic food and drink: from healthy grains and organic meats to microbrewery beers. Not to forget our cover star, Leila Lindholm, whose food and lifestyle empire may well inspire happiness and world peace all by itself. Enjoy!

Linnea Dunne, Editor

The Scandinavian countries are not currently at war, strictly speaking, but it is worth entertaining for a moment the idea of food as a recipe for world peace. In her column for this month’s Scan Magazine food special, Marie Söderqvist, CEO of the Swedish Food Federation, proposes that we, at least in Sweden,


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Foto: Villa Andromeda, New Royal Edition

Hello! My name is Pål Ross! Since1996 I have created hundreds of quality, life-affirming living environments. My award-winning, unique designs have lived up to my goal, which is to deliver and exceed the wishes and expectations of my clients. Whether it's a brand new residence, the remodeling of a current home, or a public environment, my designs have delighted and brought smiles to the faces of thousands of Ross clients and fans! Most recently, in another first, I have become the first Swedish architect to receive the right to eco-label (SVAN) my projects; yet another step in securing one of the best investments you will ever make! This year Ross is celebrating 20 years in business, and I have the honor of inviting you to make this year's most important phone call. It is about your new home! Book your appointment today at +46 8 84 84 82 or

Warm welcome!

Awarded Sweden's most beautiful villa of 2009 Awarded best newbuilding in Jämtland in 2010 Gold winner at European Property Award 2013 2015 Svanen Nordic Ecolabelling Licence

Scan Magazine | Design | We Love This

We love this… Add a little hint of colour, play around with different interior solutions and find that one perfect piece that really shows off your personal style. Simple, elegant and timeless pieces can boost the appeal of your home in ways you did not think possible. The smallest tweak in style can make a huge difference. By Vilde Holta Røssland | Press photos

Anderssen & Voll has designed this pouf for Muuto with a combination of a linear profile and softcurved edges, which will fit just as well with your sofa as it will in a corner to liven up the place. Five Pouf, £649.

Winter is not over just yet. Cosy up under one of these blankets from The Omaggio vase from Kähler is already a big hit in many Scandinavian

Slettvoll and take a well-deserved break from the drudgery of everyday

homes. Designers Ditte Reckweg and Jelena Schou have reinterpreted the

life. 130x200cm. £125.

classic raw stripes and, with coarse brush strokes and a modern shape, the Omaggio vase is distinct and bold. Available in more colours and sizes. From £19.

With its simple shapes and solutions, String Pocket can be used in any

We find that marble never goes out of style. Norm Architects has designed

room, be it to store away spices in the kitchen or show off your collection of

this beautiful marble wall clock, which is also available in green and

LEGO in the living room. Use one shelf alone or connect several to add your

black. The clock is simple, decorative, uncomplicated and elegant. This

own twist to it. Available in several colours. From £92.

wall clock is simply timeless. £219.

6 | Issue 85 | February 2016

Foto: Mats Lind


SPRING FEELINGS AT IT’S BEST Come and spend some lovely April days at Trillevallens Mountain Hotel. - from 725 SEK per person -

Including mountain breakfast and two-course dinners. And of course, we hope for some help to feed our reindeers.


+46 647 - 360 90 | |

Scan Magazine | Design | Fashion Diary

Fashion Diary… February is the last month of winter, and while we are dreaming of warmer days we must accept that they might not arrive for a little while still. Looking fashionable while staying warm can be a challenge. But this month, we have got you covered! By Vilde Holta Røssland | Press photos

As winter is coming to an end, rain will likely replace the snow on a damp day. Stutterheim makes some of the coolest raincoats on the market. The Stockholm raincoat is handmade in rubberised cotton, unlined and with double-welded seams. £200

A turtleneck always does the trick, as you look trendy and stay warm at the same time. This one from Whyred is 100 per cent merino wool and will be sure to keep you snug. Pekka sweater, approx. £113

Not only will this beanie from Cheap Monday keep you warm; it will also save you from a bad hair day. £20

8 | Issue 85 | February 2016

Scan Magazine | Design | Fashion Diary

Tailored trousers are a wardrobe essential. The cropped leg with pressed pleat works perfectly together with a narrow waistband and slant pockets, making this outfit both sophisticated and relaxed. Top it off with this long-sleeved merino wool sweater in a clean, minimalistic design. Nelly pants £159, Lucile sweater £169 You can never go wrong with a hat. While it gives your outfit that cherry on top, it also helps prevent your hair and make-up from getting all messed up in the snow or rain. How about this one from & Other Stories? £39

We believe that a leather jacket works its magic all year round. Buy one that gives you the opportunity to put on a layer or two underneath, throw a scarf over your shoulders, and you are ready to go. When the warm weather comes, the classic leather jacket works just as well with a sweet summer dress. Vita jacket from Whyred, approx. £570

This leather bag from Dagmar is perfect as it gives you the space to add that extra scarf or those gloves in case the weather gods decide to turn against you and put on a snowstorm. Better safe than sorry. Lou bag, approx. £810

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 9

Scan Magazine | Design Profile | By CRY

On-trend in Oslo Before husband and wife Carina and Roar Ytre-Eide launched the brand By CRY in November 2014, jewellery making had only been Carina’s hobby. Her only previous experience of selling her designs was during maternity leave, when she had time to produce enough to sell at the local Christmas market. By Andrea Bærland | Photos: Christine Eide

When the couple decided to turn Carina’s hobby into a business venture, Roar took charge of the business side of things, while she focused on designs.

creativity even further with more advanced designs, as she did not have to take into consideration whether or not she was able to make them by hand.

One reason why the Ytre-Eides dared to take a leap of faith and scale up the production was Carina’s popularity on Instagram. With a following of 18,000 on her interior inspiration account, they already had a superb marketing channel available.

Inspirational surroundings

Scaling up and moving to machine production meant that she could take her 10 | Issue 85 | February 2016

“I have always been really fascinated by the cross-section of diamonds, which is why A Shape of a Diamond became our first collection,” Carina Ytre-Eide says. By CRY’s first collection, and the philosophy of the right to everyday fabulousness, resonated well with Oslo’s style influencers, and By CRY became an instant success.

“It went much faster than expected, and I am really proud of what we have managed to accomplish, with 15 stores stocking our products despite the fact that we are still keeping down our day jobs,” the designer smiles. The smash-hit debut collection was soon followed by the Starry Sky collection, boasting the constellations of every star sign. Clear, starry nights have always had a moving effect on Ytre-Eide, and she explains that she draws a great deal of inspiration from her surroundings in general, and nature in particular. Towards the end of 2016 yet another collection will be launched, inspired by Norwegian nature.

On-trend symbolism “Our ambition is that By CRY will be on-trend, high quality and meaningful,”

Scan Magazine | Design Profile | By CRY

By CRY jewellery is high quality, on-trend and symbolic.

Ytre-Eide says. All By CRY items are made of sterling silver to make them both durable and suitable for people prone to allergic reactions. “For the past few years the trend has also been that jewellery should have a meaning to the bearer, whether it’s a specific symbol or something more abstract such as letters. With the Starry Sky collection people get the chance to choose their own star sign, or maybe the star sign of someone they love,” YtreEide says. “Jewellery and the meaning behind it is often very personal.”

dren is something By CRY has every intention of continuing with. “I feel so privileged that I have been able to realise one of my dreams, and it only feels right to give something back by contributing to making young people’s futures more promising.”

2016 and beyond

Taking social responsibility

What about By CRY’s plans for its own future? In addition to finalising the designs scheduled for the autumn 2016 season, the start-up jewellery brand plans to continue full steam ahead, to expand both in Norway and abroad through a presence at design fairs as well as on social media.

But when it comes to designing meaningful jewellery, Ytre-Eide ticks more than one box. “Last year we donated a portion of our income to Save the Children and a few other organisations,” she says, adding that donating to charities that work with less fortunate chil-

“Our first year in business has been a great success, while we’ve both kept our day jobs. The year ahead is going to be hectic, so it’s exciting to see where our second year will take us,” Ytre-Eide concludes.

Carina and Roar Ytre-Eide have turned Carina’s hobby into a thriving family business. Photo: Hanne Erøy/

For more information, please visit:

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 11

Scan Magazine | Design | Street Style

Nordic humans of London Scan Magazine’s brilliant Sanna Halmekoski has hit the streets of London to find out what the Scandinavian fashion fanatics are wearing. Cool, sleek and full of statements, this is a little piece of Scandiland in the United Kingdom. Text and photos by Sanna Halmekoski | Twitter: @suomigirl |

Animaya Grant, Finnish head of communications and events at the London Finnish Institute (

“I invest in good-quality clothes and rarely buy new ones. I love jewellery, and my friend Brooke Gregson makes the most beautiful pieces using rare precious and semi-precious stones. My jewellery today is by her, the top is by Jasper Conran, the jeans are by Karl Lagerfeld and the coat by Topshop.”

Kim Thomé, Norwegian designer who makes objects, spaces and installations (

“I would call my style ‘workshop wear’ since I basically wear clothes that fit my daily working life in my studio, such as t-shirts and jeans. My shoes are by Dr Martens, the jacket from a vintage store and the jeans are by Cheap Monday.”

Animaya Grant

Sara Fjällström, Swedish model “My style is quite Nordic; I wear a lot of black, white and grey shades. My jacket is by Topshop, shirt by H&M, jeans by Zara, shoes by Din Sko, and I bought the bag in Madeira.”

Kim Thomé

Sara Fjällström

12 | Issue 85 | February 2016

Scan Magazine | Design Features | Lappset / DOFTA

Ageless fun For Lappset Group Oy, fun and education are not mutually exclusive. As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of playground equipment, their designs combine play and learning in an innovative way. From playgrounds to parkour equipment, the company’s products provide stimulation and amusement to all ages.

Photo: Haydon Lloyd

By Ndéla Faye | Photos: Antti Kurola

Founded in 1970 in northern Finland, Lappset specialises in outdoor equipment for playgrounds and parks. With clients in over 40 countries, the company prides itself on being experts in play. Using environmentally sustainable materials, the company’s products are designed to blend in with their surroundings. The company’s timeless designs will stand the test of time – and many hours of play. “Our products inspire children

to play, which sounds like an easy task, but a lot of careful planning goes into the design of playgrounds. Play equipment has to adapt to the needs of children and leave room for imagination,” says Hannu Ylinenpää, director of marketing and innovations at Lappset Group Oy. Lappset is constantly looking for new and inventive concepts not just for children, with existing products including a variety of park and street furniture, parkour equipment and a range of products for senior citizens. Throughout product development, Lappset uses the expertise of professionals to ensure the safety and user-friendliness of the equipment. The company’s latest addition is a range of interactive play equipment, which com-

Heavenly lush fragrances

bines the digital and physical world in new and exciting ways. “Our mission is to entice people into the great outdoors and we want to encourage our customers to explore, imagine and be active. Our aim is to bring the joy of play to people of all ages,” Ylinenpää concludes. For more information, please visit:

By Malin Norm | Photos: DOFTA

Rapidly growing Swedish brand DOFTA makes luxurious scented products from natural ingredients: pure fragrances for the ultimate sense of comfort and wellbeing. DOFTA has experienced strong growth since its inception eight years ago, with constant development of new fragrances and coverage in popular blogs, press and on TV. All products are specially designed and made from scratch by creative director Anna Riller. Her two collections, DOFTA Everyday and DOFTA Luxury, include perfumes, aromatic lamps and oils as well as fragranced candles, soaps, hand creams, body lotions and shower gels. The perfume Champagne is the all time best seller, and new this year is Champagne & Roses among several other upcoming launches, including lifestyle products. All DOFTA products are made by hand in Halmstad and come with a special quality guarantee. “This is Swedish craftsmanship,” says sales director Lena Blückert. “You can clearly feel that

the fragrances are natural and with no added chemical substances. Our products are unique due to their luxurious design and pure quality – there really is nothing similar on the market.” Evidencing its exceptionality and potential, DOFTA has been named one of the ten most interesting businesses in southern Sweden by Business Sweden, which is owned by the Swedish Government and the industry, and aims to help companies expand internationally. Blückert explains that DOFTA’s products will be launched in the UK as part of the programme. “We are very excited; this is a fantastic opportunity for us!” The exclusive DOFTA range is available online and at selected retailers such as interior and clothes stores, hairdressers and spas.

For more information, please visit:

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 13

Scan Magazine | Cover Feature | Leila Lindholm

Scan Magazine | Cover Feature | Leila Lindholm

Leila Lindholm

Keeping the fire burning Celebrity chef Leila Lindholm has come a long way since The Guardian referred to her as Scandinavia’s answer to Nigella Lawson and suggested that her popular cookery show was behind the acute shortage of butter in her home country in 2011. Scan Magazine talks to the inspiration guru about being in control, being a woman in a man’s world, and keeping the fire burning. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: David Luftus

Her latest book, The Fresh Foodie – her third cook book, in addition to three bakery books and one about interior decoration – is all about the many dietary preferences foodies have these days and making it easy to cook for them. “It covers everything from gluten and lactose intolerance to vegan or egg-free food,” she says. “I wanted to make a normal cook book with refreshing recipes, but I’ve added almost like small post-its so that it’s easy to see what’s gluten free and so on.” The photographs in the book are all by London-based David Loftus, who is also behind the majority of Jamie Oliver’s books, but the look of the cookbook is Leila through and through. With over a decade of TV cookery shows, books and other creative projects under her belt, the chef and inspiration guru has created a strong, distinctive brand which has continued to churn out food and home-related ideas and ventures. And while it is obvious enough why many a magazine has compared her to the British food goddess, it was not looking ravenous on screen and cooking up hearty family meals that made her so cherished by the Swedish people, but rather her down-to-earth, unassuming demeanour.

Inspiring in the kitchen and beyond In 2004, the Swedish TV4 viewers voted her Chef of the Year after she appeared on Nyhetsmorgon, and the rest, as they say, is history. Still, her levelheaded-

ness remains intact as she talks about managing her career to date. “I’ve built my brand and my platform quite slowly and during quite a long time. I’ve always had a vision of what I wanted to say and do: my dream has always been to inspire other people – that’s the key purpose of my work,” she says. “I’m very lucky that people find what I do inspiring and that I get to move between all these different worlds of cooking, baking, interior design…” Lindholm has published five books – all by her own publishing company, Walter and Books – and has hosted numerous cookery shows since 2011, eventually broadening her focus to furnishings and interior decoration. After dipping into it on occasion as a guest on other shows, she launched the webshop Leila’s General Store, selling kitchen appliances, textiles and other home products, and today the concept has grown to include five brick-and-mortar shops in Stockholm, Gothenburg and surrounding areas in Sweden. In 2013 she published the book Welcome Home, presenting tips, inspiration and ideas on how to decorate your home to make it both practical and personal. “I’m juggling a lot of things,” she laughs. “But it’s a pretty big company now with I think around 30 or so employees, so it’s not like I do everything myself. I’m really hands-on with the details and will pop out to the shop and work there for a day

when I feel like it, but in a lot of ways my job is to inspire and influence the people who work for me.” As part of her mission to inspire, Lindholm uses Instagram as a way to share her ideas in a more personal way. Her romantic, pretty, rustic style is as inherent there as it is in her books. But does the need to show up a polished front ever get too close to home? “My perception isn’t that people expect you to be polished and perfect, quite the opposite. I think people find the perfectly orchestrated stuff quite pretentious and provoking, because it just isn’t real. You have to be real; you can’t pretend to be something you’re not. That said, I obviously wake up with messy bed hair, but I don’t feel as if that’s really in the public interest,” she laughs. “Some bloggers are completely uncensored in regards to their private life, but I don’t really feel like that kind of complete disclosure would add much to my brand. Everything is based on reality though – my interiors book was shot here in my home.”

‘It was like a light went on’ Growing up in Stockholm’s picturesque archipelago, Lindholm says she was surrounded by food from an early age, with most of her early memories from the kitchen. “I was a really spirited child, a lot like my son is, and from around the age of six or so I was quite gutsy,” she recalls. “I was always busy with my own projects and wanted to cook and organise Issue 85 | February 2016 | 15

Scan Magazine | Cover F eature | Leila Lindholm

you what you can or can’t do, and don’t give up. Keep the fire burning.” 2016 will see a big online push in the world of Leila Lindholm, including both the webshops and, which includes recipes, tips for housewives and other sources of inspiration for her fans. “And then I’ll do another book and a TV show or two…” she continues, as if talking about the simplest tasks in the world. When asked about slowing down, she laughs. “There usually isn’t a lot of time for slowing down. I love what I do and am really passionate about inspiring people – and then you just keep on putting stuff out there.” Five quick questions and answers: Q: Your friends are coming for dinner. What will you serve? A: A simple pasta dish or fish tacos.

everything, help out with the salad and be the kitchen assistant.” Then her best friend’s older brother applied for culinary school and she had an epiphany. “I realised that being a chef was something you could actually do, and it was like a light went on. That was it: I was going to be a chef.” Lindholm went on to study at S:t Görans cookery school in Stockholm, followed by training in different restaurants in the capital. Aged 21, she packed up and moved to New York City, where she spent two years working at the award-winning gastro pub Aquavit. Upon returning to Sweden, she was ready to take on the big players and ended up working at renowned restaurants Operakällaren, Fredsgatan 12 and Restaurangen and, in 16 | Issue 85 | February 2016

1999, the Federation of Swedish Farmers (LRF) named her Female Chef of the Year. “The title is necessary to highlight female chefs, but it’s of course problematic that it should have to exist at all,” she says. “It’s a male-dominated industry. Men are good at helping themselves – it’s a lot of elbowing and so on – and they’re good at helping each other, not least in politics! I work a lot with women’s networks and think it’s really important that we women have each other’s backs.” She returns yet again to her pet topic: inspiration. “I’ve got a lot of female friends who are incredibly successful in their fields, and it’s important that we inspire and influence each other to show other girls and women that it’s possible. I always say to other women, don’t let anyone else tell

Q: Luxury breakfast on a Sunday – what do you have? A: Scones, fruit salad, maybe sourdough bread and some poached eggs Florentine. Q: Quick, cheap, simple dinner for a family with kids? A: Pasta with tomato and mozzarella sauce or a simple bean salad with fish. Q: What three ingredients do you always have at home? A: Butter, milk and pasta. And vegetables and frozen berries. That’s five, sorry – if all vegetables count as one… Q: What food is most typically Swedish, in your opinion? A: Meatballs and gravad lax.

For more information and inspiration, visit or find Leila Lindholm on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.


Endless days of skiing Spring time in Ă…re, the alpine capital of Scandinavia, means long days, fun events and easy going atmosphere. Lifts are open until May 1st.

Culinary voyages into the past Whether you are looking for a quiet, romantic dinner or a big feast served on medieval swords and shields, Viking Restaurant Harald offers diners great Nordicinspired food in a quirky setting. Drawing inspiration from mystical Viking times, the restaurant allows diners a unique way to switch off and dive into the world of Vikings. By Ndéla Faye | Photos: Viking Restaurant Harald

Founded in 1997, the company has restaurants in Helsinki, Turku, Lahti, Jyväskylä, Tampere, Kuopio and Oulu. Inspired by Nordic forests, lakes, air and earth, Viking Restaurant Harald’s menu offers interesting taste combinations served in an inimitable way: from tar ice cream to a selection of meats skewered on a sword, the restaurant puts a new spin on everything it does.

and the team is constantly developing the menu to come up with new ideas. “We’ve created a selection of the best tastes northern forests and lakes can offer, and we use good-quality ingredients and try to source our produce from local producers as much as possible,” says Raine Verho, development director and partner at Viking Restaurant Harald.

Titled Voyages, Viking Restaurant Harald’s menu takes customers on a culinary journey through time. The menu draws inspiration from Nordic food, and puts a fascinating twist on many traditional Scandinavian dishes. The restaurant prides itself on using fresh, seasonal Scandinavian and Finnish produce,

A Viking theme is reflected throughout the restaurant’s décor and menu down to the very last detail: animal pelts and cave drawings adorn the walls and cover the ceiling and the interior of the restaurant has been designed to look like a Viking village. In Helsinki, customers can even dine in a Viking boat.

18 | Issue 85 | February 2016

Getting into character

A Viking feast would not be complete without the full Viking costume: all kinds of props are at hand for diners who wish to fully immerse themselves in the Viking world. Ranging from animal pelts to horn helmets, every minute detail has been carefully considered to add to this unforgettable dining experience – and humorous limericks and Viking puns on the menus create a playful atmosphere. The Nordic theme does not stop at the décor and props: waiters are also dressed in full Viking costume. “Our staff members choose their own Viking name and come up with a backstory to

Scan Magazine | Culinary Feature | Ravintola Harald

their Viking character. We focus on providing great customer service, which is a big part of the Viking experience,” Verho explains. “We’re giving people a different kind of dining experience. It’s a great way for people to sit back, enjoy great food and have fun.”

Feasts and Viking baptisms Guests in the Viking village feast on meals designed to appeal to the senses. Not only do the surroundings and décor add to diners’ experience, but dishes are served on shields, swords and clay pots to give an authentic feel to the dining experience. Catering to corporate parties and quiet romantic dinners alike, Viking Restaurant Harald has set menu packages for each occasion, hoping to allow customers to switch off and embrace their inner Vikings. Harald and Helga’s Love Package is ideal for couples; it includes a Love Drink and a number of shared dishes served by candlelight. The restaurant’s signature menu, the Chief’s Feast, is a dinner with a twist. Aimed at larger parties, the Chief’s Feast

provides diners with their own Viking characters and Viking clans. Guests are given all the props required to get into character, horn helmets and all, and have a number of tasks they have to complete during the dinner. The culmination of the feast includes Harald’s Viking Baptism, which involves eating a piece of fermented shark meat, an Icelandic delicacy.

Leave your worries at the door In true Viking spirit, Viking Restaurant Harald’s mission is to provide good-quality Nordic-inspired meals in a quirky and unforgettable setting. “We’re giving customers the chance to relax and let loose for a while: our clients are able to switch off and leave their everyday lives at the door when they come in,” says Verho. “The focus is on ensuring that diners enjoy themselves and have fun.” For those wanting to let their hair down and enjoy a fun evening while trying exciting foods made from fresh local produce, Viking Restaurant Harald offers customers a thrilling journey into the world of Vikings.

For more information, please visit:

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 19

Stories for life The typical learning process in schools requires students to sit down and listen passively to a teacher, gaining theoretical knowledge in artificial situations. At Epos Efterskole on Als in Denmark, however, students learn theory through practical fun and games as an essential part of the learning process. Teaching takes place within an active, narrative framework, helping students to connect more of their experiences to memory and fully engage with the academic material and each other. By Louise Older Steffensen | Photos: Epos Efterskole

“I think the best thing I’ve experienced so far was when a student told me they felt like they belonged at the school more than any other place in the galaxy,” says Mathias Granum, head of Epos. Granum spent three years working as an efterskole teacher and a role-play instructor before, this academic year, he realised his dream of setting up a school built on narrative learning. Although only 40 students were required for the school to be set up, Epos began the semester with a full house of 67 students, proving the demand for more engaging, active types of learning. “From early on,” Granum says, “I saw the benefits of role-play in enabling young people to traverse the roles and ‘types’ they’d been stuck with at school and just be themselves.” 20 | Issue 85 | February 2016

At the heart of Epos’ teaching philosophy lies the concept of gamification. The curriculum is the same as at other Danish schools, but teaching and learning takes place within a playful, narrative framework, encouraging students to engage all their senses and fully immerse themselves in the material. “We teach maths and Danish and all the standard subjects,” Granum adds, “but we include role-play and games as an essential part of our lessons.” Students may train their ability to solve maths equations, for example, through solving problems in specialised mathematical computer games. In language subjects, students can apply the vocabulary and grammar they learn through role-playing and board games where they take on a character and in-

teract with other students as tradesmen, politicians or other characters.

Fun feedback This type of fun learning allows students to make mistakes and learn from them without getting frustrated or losing confidence in themselves or their abilities. When everyone is fully on board with role-playing, it allows students to immerse themselves completely in the lesson without fear of being judged or getting things wrong. Feedback and corrections occur naturally as part of the game, leaving the emphasis on the interaction itself rather than getting it right or wrong. Gamification is also used for individual student development. “We encourage students to view their own progress as character development and set goals. While heroes in video games may level up their archery, our students build up experience in making speeches, which we call Obama Power, or setting up events, or diplomacy, for example.”

Scan Magazine | Education Profile | Efterskolen Epos

Left: Mathias Granum (front) carefully selected teachers who were knowledgeable and enthusiastic about narrative education. Top right: The beautifully restored buildings are surrounded by idyllic beaches, fields and forests. Bottom right: Student politicians at the 2036 Climate Conference.

Academic results and social skills One other school, Østerskov Efterskole, uses the same teaching techniques, and with over ten years of experience it has been an invaluable partner for Epos. An academic from Aalborg University has been monitoring Østerskov and researching the potential for role-play as an educational tool for years. She found that Østerskov’s teaching methods excel at stimulating students’ creativity, collaboration and communication skills and cater to a wide range of learning styles and needs. As part of the research, roleplay teaching was also tested at regular schools with excellent results. “The research also found that being actively engaged in the lessons helps students to memorise material much better,” Granum explains. “Many more connections are made to the relevant information when students have practical experience of it and can connect it to a particular scenario. And simulation games are a great way to practise the art of taking on another person’s perspective.”

Students take on many different types of characters and situations, helping to further empathy, understanding other points of view and enhancing debating abilities. The school hosts mock exams in the same spirit, with students taking on the role of teachers and censors, to help prepare for and demystify the finals.

Goodwill and gusto The teachers at Epos often participate in evening events with students and are fully committed to the school’s ethos of practical learning and engaging with the students. One teacher even moved to Als from England to be a part of Epos. “It really feels like a community here,” Granum enthuses, “and it’s not just the incredible teachers; the locals have been fantastic in helping us get settled in.” Young people who are interested in joining next year can come along and try out the Epos experience at the Fantasmos camps, which take place during holidays. These role-playing camps, run by Granum, were his inspiration for the school and give current and future students the chance to become friends before they even start.

For more information, please visit:

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 21

Scan Magazine | Culture Profile | Museet Ribes Vikinger

Above: Dressing up at the Viking Museum in Ribe. Photo: Sydvestjyske Museer. Middle: Ribe Cathedral. Photo: Folmer Iversen. Above right: The Viking Museum: Museet Ribes Vikinger. Photo: Sydvestjyske Museer. Below right: Ribe’s Art Museum. Photo: Visit Ribe. Bottom left: Mandø. Photo: Visit Ribe.

A city ripe with history Ribe, situated on the west coast of Denmark, encompasses a rich history, jawdropping nature and a vibrant cultural scene, making it the perfect place for an enthralling getaway. By Josefine Older Steffensen

Ribe, founded during the Viking Age, is Denmark’s oldest town. It became an important transport hub for mainland Europe, with rapid expansion booming during the Middle Ages – which still shows in the medieval architecture throughout the town.

History This period in history is depicted in the town’s Viking museum: Museet Ribes Vikinger. Here you can explore the daily life of the Vikings and the famous ships and battles that define the Viking Age. “It’s a fantastic day out. We encourage dressing up and having fun, and our guides are excellent at further explaining

Surroundings the Viking life,” says museum director and professor Flemming Just. In addition to the museum, there is a Viking Exhibition Centre where you can fully immerse yourself in the Viking way of life. The centre depicts Ribe as it looked during the Viking period. “The Cathedral is a good place to start in Ribe, as you can explore the town’s history,” explains Henrik Vej Kastrupsen, director of tourism. The cathedral was finished in 1250 and has been a focal point of the town ever since.

Culture and relaxation “Time slows down when you arrive in Ribe,” says Kastrupsen. Both he and Just suggest spending some time sitting in one of the cafés or wine bars, enjoying the surroundings and relaxing, watching life pass by. The town also hosts numerous festivals throughout the year, including jazz and

22 | Issue 85 | February 2016

wine festivals. Moreover, Ribe has an art museum, boasting paintings from Denmark’s famous Skagen painters as well as from the Golden Age period.

The Wadden Sea National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is right on Ribe’s doorstep. This means opportunities for fantastic days out: you can go on an oyster safari; drive on the ocean floor to Mandø, an island with 34 inhabitants that you can walk around in about an hour; or simply enjoy the picturesque views. “There’s a very special atmosphere in and around Ribe,” says Just. With Billund Airport only an hour away, Hamburg two hours away and excellent transport links to many cities in Denmark, Ribe is an accessible, enjoyable getaway. There are plenty of things to explore, whatever your interests and, as Just says: “You get a pure, unmitigated experience when you come to Ribe.” See what you can explore in Ribe: The Viking Museum: Museet Ribes Vikinger:

Scan Magazine | Special Feature | New Nordic Cuisine

Photo: Jakob Fridholm

Photo: Nicho Södling

New Nordic Cuisine: local gastronomy that reveals our identity In the last ten years, a new culinary movement has spread through the world’s top kitchens. And this time it is not the usual suspects of Spain, France or Italy that can claim this taste trend, but Copenhagen, Stockholm and places as far north as Lapland. By Stephanie Brink Harck

Experiencing its very own neorenaissance, New Nordic Cuisine has been making something of a comeback in recent years, the catalyst of which was the increasing popularity of a restaurant on the waterfront of Denmark, Christianshavn. The restaurant, called

Photo: Vastavalo Mustikassa

Noma, is a contraction of Nordic mad (‘mad’ being Danish for food). With panache and inventive thinking, this exclusive restaurant was built with the intention of reinventing Nordic cuisine, with the partnership of founder and Danish chef Claus Meyer and René Redzepi at its core. Their motivation? A simple belief that Scandinavians had become too fond of foreign, ‘exotic’ food. Of course, it is hardly surprising in a globalised world where a cornucopia of culinary cultures can be sampled in one city street. And honestly, who does not enjoy a big, juicy American burger or a mouthwatering Spanish tapas dish with honey-

dew melon? However, the flipside of the coin, according to Claus Meyer, is that Scandinavians have forgotten about the wonders of the ingredients from their own home soil and what traditional Nordic food looked and, more importantly, tasted like. To combat this, in November 2004, Claus Meyer and the Nordic Council of Ministers initiated a gathering of representatives of Nordic gastronomy. A number of top chefs, food writers and other culinary professionals from all over Scandinavia met to discuss what would be the best way to breathe new life into traditional and regional dishes. The result was the New Nordic Food Manifesto.

Nordic cuisine – say what? The manifesto consisted of ten points expressing the values on which a New Nordic Cuisine must be based if it was to make its mark on the world by virtue of its flavours and identity. One of the key Issue 85 | February 2016 | 23

Scan Magazine | Special Feature | New Nordic Cuisine

Photo: Tuukka Ervasti

points was to cook using ingredients with characteristics particular to the Nordic climate. Together, the ten points described New Nordic as an everyday cuisine that could inspire people in the northern hemisphere to eat both locally and seasonally, celebrating tradition while eating food from your own back garden. Yet despite this newfound patriotism for Nordic food, it does not mean food from other parts of the world should be opposed. Rather, it is about valuing local traditions from all the corners of the world, which is why old grain, Jerusalem artichokes and a wide selection of cabbage have found their way to the shelves in most Scandinavian supermarkets. Photo: Miriam Preis

24 | Issue 85 | February 2016

Photo: Simon Paulin

The New Nordic Cuisine Manifesto:

A plate of insects, please

1. To express the purity, freshness, simplicity and ethics we wish to associate to our region 2. To reflect the changes of the seasons in the meal we make 3. To base our cooking on ingredients and produce whose characteristics are particularly in our climates, landscapes and waters 4. To combine the demand for good taste with modern knowledge of health and wellbeing 5. To promote Nordic products and the variety of Nordic producers – and to spread the word about their underlying cultures 6. To promote animal welfare and a sound production process in our seas, on our farmland and in the wild 7. To develop potentially new applications of traditional Nordic food products 8. To combine the best in Nordic cookery and culinary traditions with impulses from abroad 9. To combine local self-sufficiency with regional sharing of high-quality products 10. To join forces with consumer representatives, other cooking craftsmen, agriculture, fishing, food, retail and wholesale industries, researchers, teachers, politicians and authorities on this project for the benefit and advantage of everyone on the Nordic countries

The manifesto’s philosophy very much pleases Jonas Astrup Pedersen, product development manager at the Nordic Food Lab in Copenhagen. “Food and identity are inseparable. Dealing with gastronomy as a consequence of the surrounding geography and the cultural history that has characterised the region through the ages – which New Nordic Cuisine does – is the same as trying to understand where we come from, what has shaped us, and who we want to become in the future,” he explains. “For that exact reason, I really want to exploit the edible potential of Scandinavia.” He and his colleagues therefore experiment with deliciousness and diversity for every single dish. So far this has, among other things, resulted in research into edible insects, vegetables, giblets and fish sauces. Pederson certainly had an appetite for it. “We have experimented with a lot of things. One of the things that surprised me was insects and jellyfish. It might not sound like it, but it really tastes delicious.”

Scandinavian food on the world map Fortunately, other countries can stomach it too. Insects may not be their fa-

Scan Magazine | Special Feature | New Nordic Cuisine

vourite dish, but New Nordic Cuisine is definitely growing in popularity. Noma, for example, has won the title Best Restaurant in the World, not once, but four times, in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. And Noma is not the only restaurant run by a New Nordic Cuisine pioneer collecting prizes and awards. The New York Times wrote in 2011 about the increasing popularity of Scandinavian food that “no one saw coming”. Impressed, they added: “The movement already includes chefs in Helsinki and Stockholm, farmers in Sweden’s remote Scandinavian mountains and hunters in Lapland, where some of the most brilliant chefs in the world recently feasted on smoked reindeer, ash-roasted beets and bear-leg broth.” A new Michelin guide, something that may well pave the way for Nordic Cuisine in the future, has also been approved for the best restaurants in the north, adding substance and a sense of being part of history. It is a paramount stamp of approval.

Photo: Conny Fridh

What does the future look like? Despite the popularity and increasing availability of these recently rediscovered Nordic ingredients, many of them still only exist, for the most part, on restaurant menus. According to sociological research by Arun Micheelsen, PhD student at the research centre OPUS in Denmark, it is not that Scandinavians do not like the food or do not want to cook it; they just want to eat a burger every once in a while too. “Up to a third of the participants in our study changed the recipes for New Nordic Cuisine even though they were given the ingredients in advance and told to follow the recipes. They still made a sauce just because it ‘suited the dish’,” Micheelsen said in 2013. Does this mean that New Nordic Food will not have the impact on society that researchers and Claus Meyer hoped for? “Nordic Cuisine is not just about cooking according to old recipes,” says Pederson. “It is about developing and adapting the cuisine to the times we live in. As long as culture and traditions are passed on, Nordic Food will live on.”

Photo: Nancy Bundt

Photo: CH / VisitNorway

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 25

Scan Magazine | Special Feature | The Nordic Cookbook

Between candour and nostalgia: a love letter to Nordic food He is the quirky northerner who found his own way to chef stardom, finding a home in a 24,000-acre estate now known as the world’s most remote restaurant. Magnus Nilsson’s The Nordic Cookbook paints a picture not just of a region rich in culinary traditions, but also of a fearless foodie with a sharp pen and a deeply admirable conviction. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Erik Olsson

“To write a book like this is not only impossible, it doesn’t make sense, I heard myself saying to the publisher who pitched me the idea. I don’t consider myself to be Nordic; I am, in fact, Swedish or possibly Jämtlandian. I think most other people living in the Nordic region feel the same. We identify ourselves with the country we are from, not with the region that place happens to be considered part of. We don’t like them becoming all lumped into one.” 26 | Issue 85 | February 2016

The first paragraph of Magnus Nilsson’s The Nordic Cookbook reveals a great deal about the master chef: firstly, that he can really write; secondly, that he is unapologetically frank; and, moreover, that he is not taking the task of writing a Nordic cookbook lightly. Doing so, he goes on to suggest, would be like writing a European cookbook covering the culinary traditions of Estonia, France and Portugal in one. As such, the task must be to explain not just how sim-

ilar Nordic cultures are, but also how they differ. In the remainder of the seven-page preface, the reader learns that the author fell into a rabbit hole of research, studying a total of 400 books on the subject of Nordic cuisine, including everything from a 1755 collection of housekeeping tips for women, to a brand new volume on Scandinavian baking. His conclusion? That of what has been published in English about Nordic cooking to date, “most of it really sucks”. A few web polls later, Nilsson realised that the Nordic nations had more in common than he had anticipated and set out to focus on these shared values. He went off on a two-year research ad-

Scan Magazine | Special Feature | The Nordic Cookbook

venture, travelling extensively throughout the Nordic countries and gathering around 11,000 articles and 8,000 photographs. The result, quite a few headaches and heated debates later, was The Nordic Cookbook. “This book is not about me and my work as a chef,” he insists – yet with every page, the reader gets closer to the New Nordic Cuisine pioneer that is Magnus Nilsson.

Finding Fäviken Growing up on the island of Frösön just south of the Arctic Circle, Nilsson studied at a local cookery college before moving to Paris via Stockholm, working at celebrated restaurants L’Arpège and L’Astrance. Disillusioned by the lack of fresh produce upon his return to Sweden, he decided to study oenology instead, which in 2008 brought him to Fäviken as a 24-year-old sommelier tasked with putting together a wine cellar. A three-month contract turned into a one-year contract, and the difficulty of finding a head chef brought him back to the kitchen – 600-odd kilometres north of Stockholm.

Photo: Magnus Nilsson

Fäviken Magasinet, known for ingredients farmed, foraged or hunted on the 24,000-acre estate, is now listed in White Guide and dubbed the 19th best restaurant in the world. Nilsson’s keenness on traditional farmhouse practices, including pickling, brining, curing and ageing, have earned him a reputation as Sweden’s answer to Denmark’s René Redzepi – and indeed, the long-haired Swede spoke at the Noma founder’s MAD Symposium back in 2011. Today, the 12-seat restaurant serves up dishes such as raw cow’s heart with marrow and flower petals and wild trout roe encased in dried pig’s blood.

Poetic nostalgia “This book is about documenting and telling you how it really is, rather than trying to curate something into what I dream an ideal, nostalgic world being,” writes an earnest Nilsson. Yet perhaps seen from the world’s most isolated restaurant, housed in an 18th century barn, reality gets a nostalgic hue. Giving a brief history of Nordic cuisine, the open

Photo: Magnus Nilsson

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 27

Scan Magazine | Special Feature | The Nordic Cookbook

“I am sitting on a bench coated by the fine drops of morning mist, surface tension keeping them almost perfectly round. Not that it would be seen of course; for someone sitting on the bench the little globes of evaporated sea water condensed onto the cold, dark planks of wood simply look like a thick layer of grey, iridescent velvet.”

Photo: Magnus Nilsson

cheese sandwich lauded as the defining item, The Nordic Cookbook reveals all about the Danish-Norwegian and Swedish-Finnish divide, explains the impact on produce of the varying landscape of the region, and explores the reasons why fresh, soft rye bread is the staple down south while northern Scandinavians rely on dried rye bread. The fresh-water fish chapter alone gives step-by-step guides on how to gut a round fish, how to fillet

Pork and Lingonberries

28 | Issue 85 | February 2016

and skin a round fish, how to bread and fry fish and how to shallow-fry it. In the salt-water fish chapter, the reader finds out how to make lutefisk, gravlax, rotten shark and stockfish. Later on, of course, there are recipes for meatballs, meatloaf, black pudding, blood sausage and blood pancakes. It is unmistakably Nordic. How it really is, present tense? Perhaps through nostalgia-tinted glasses.

The beginning of the mammals chapter is just one of the multitude examples of writing that is as poetic as it is conversational with observations as mundane as they are sharp. Real or nostalgic, The Nordic Cookbook is a food bible in its own right, interspersed with little masterpieces of writing, a generous dose of humour, and indisputable integrity and love of food. Traditional dishes such as ‘dopp i grytan’ (ham broth for dipping bread) meet modern favourites including taco quiche, complemented by simply stunning photographs of food as well as the environment it originates from. Local, seasonal and ingeniously imaginative, Nilsson’s babies – both the book and the restaurant – will undoubtedly be remembered for a long time.

Scan Magazine | Special Feature | The Nordic Cookbook

MUSHROOM SOUP: Svampsoppa (Sweden)

Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes Serves: 4 50 g/2 oz (3½ tablespoons) butter 1 onion or a couple of shallots, finely chopped 500 g/1 lb 2 oz mushrooms, cleaned and cut into suitably sized pieces 1 clove garlic, crushed 500 ml/17 fl oz (2 cups plus 1 tablespoon) light stock/broth (chicken, vegetable or why not mushroom if you have it?) 200 ml/7 fl oz (¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon) cream, whipped to soft peaks (optional) 1 quantity Beurre Manie salt and white pepper, to taste

Heat a large pot over a medium heat and add the butter and onion. When the butter is just about to start caramelizing, add the mushrooms. Cook them until cooked through and lightly golden in colour. Some mushrooms contain a lot of water, so let that reduce into the mushrooms as you fry them even if it looks like a lot. It contains a lot of flavour and should not be discarded. Add the garlic towards the end and fry it with the mushrooms for just a couple of minutes. Add the stock (broth) to the pot and bring to the boil. Add the cream if you are going to use it and simmer for a few minutes. Thicken to the desired texture with beurre manie. Don’t add it all at once, start with a spoonful, whisk it in, let simmer for a few minutes and add more until you are satisfied. Remember to not thicken the

soup too much at this stage if you are going to blend it. When the soup is perfectly seasoned and cooked, serve it. Either mix it a little bit or blend it until smooth. Adjust the seasoning one last time.

The Nordic Cookbook by Magnus Nilsson was published in 2015 by Phaidon. £29.95,

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 29


OF e TE EN S Sp TA ED A W S m he



Västerbottensost Photo: Paulina Holmgren / Västerbottensost

Food from Sweden means good food: safe, healthy, and great-tasting food We have farmers who know that high standards for animal welfare and the environment mean foods of high quality. As consumers we care more and more about what we eat. We do not just want safe and healthy food for our children – we want it for ourselves too. And any top chef today will tell you how vital quality is for taste. All this simply confirms that the way forward lies in the high quality and truly sustainable production of our food – both for the consumer of today and for the generations to come. There are more and more mouths to feed in the world. The UN predicts that by 2050 – so in one generation’s time – the world’s population will have risen by two billion to a total of 9.6 billion people. This means not just more consumers of 30 | Issue 85 | February 2016

food, but also increased sharing of the same resources. As part of this future, the Swedish government and I have great confidence in the roles our country’s food production and Sweden’s food industry will play. Competition in the food market is, of course, extremely fierce. But Sweden has unique conditions and advantages in producing quality products, as today’s consumers are becoming increasingly con-

scious. Our climate allows us to limit the use of chemicals. We have good access to those key resources of land and water, as well as to the key resource of welleducated and highly trained people working in agriculture: real professionals who are acutely aware of our responsibilities towards the environment and animals. Sweden is, for example, at the forefront globally in reducing the use of antibiotics for animals, and in understanding how that is linked to high standards in welfare. In the government, we see great potential in Swedish food, which is why we are taking a comprehensive and holistic ap-

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Sweden


Svenskt Butikskött Photo:

Photo: Staffan Erlandson

Svenskt Butikskött

proach to all these issues by developing an ambitious National Food Strategy. This will involve production throughout the food supply chain – for both primary produce and processed foods. It will be based on competitive primary production that can meet the demands for safe and healthy products. The potential is huge, in further processed products as well as in those with clear added value, such as organic products. In order to boost the production of Swedish food, we are also drawing attention to the export opportunities for small and medium-sized producers. We are confident that consumers in other parts of the world are willing to try more of Sweden’s foods. The perspective of the consumer is central to working with this strategy. The production and processing of food must match what consumers want, and even if these consumers are not a homogenous group with the same demands, we can see clear trends emerging – trends that are not always so different between Sweden and Italy, the US or China. Clearest of all is the increasing demand for safe and healthy food. Consumers also want to be better informed with information they see as relevant – from country of origin to calorie content. In Sweden, we also have

the Green Keyhole symbol as a label for healthy choices, adopted by several neighbouring countries and attracting interest in other parts of the world too. What is important is that the information is clear and enables consumers to make healthy choices. Because we must also remember that the health perspective is not just a choice: it is vital. So, besides giving consumers the tools to make healthy choices, research and innovation have key roles to play for new and even healthier products, just as they do in more sustainable production.

Photo: Kristian Pohl/Regeringskansliet

give more people the chance to discover Swedish food and Sweden as a true culinary destination. And we want to play a part in making global food production more sustainable. For truly good food – and great food – from Sweden. Sven-Erik Bucht, Sweden’s Minister for Rural Affairs

And we must not, of course, forget about taste. Taste is – and should be – a fundamental part of the food we choose – and of eating well. I am truly proud of the excellent cuisine that is thriving in Sweden with our world-ranking chefs and restaurants. And this culinary experience and expertise will of course inform and flavour our work with the National Food Strategy. I can also see great potential in developing tourism linked to our cuisine, food and culture, in hunting and fishing, and in nature-based ecotourism. Sweden has so much to offer in these areas. So with Sweden’s National Food Strategy we can both boost the production of great food and create more jobs throughout the entire chain of production. We want to

Photo: Solina Group

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 31

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Sweden

Marie Söderqvist, CEO of the Swedish Food Federation. Press photo

As I am writing this, I am sitting on a sunny beach in India. I have spent the past week attending a leadership course combining ayurvedic food with management. Ayurveda really means knowledge of life and is an ancient idea about food as medicine. By eating right, you keep diseases at bay. In addition, one should get a moderate amount of exercise, the physical activity in the Indian version being yoga. To put it simply, to achieve wellbeing one should eat lots of freshly cooked vegetables, fruit and berries, exercise moderately and make time for reflection. Indians have been saying this for 5,000 years now. The latest research on food and health says almost exactly the same thing. Eat colourful fruit, vegetables and berries, eat according to the seasons and get exercise, and you will improve your chances of staying healthy and living longer. This deep-rooted or ultramodern (depending on what way you look at it) food doctrine translates to Sweden quite easily. Enjoy all our Nordic, colourful vegetables, such as beets, asparagus, spinach, 32 | Issue 85 | February 2016

blueberries, lingonberries, strawberries and red and black currants, and the Scandinavian oat, considered to be the best in the world. If you do not wish to stick to a vegetarian ethos, Swedish meat is the most antibiotic-free meat in the whole world, and our chicken is free from salmonella. We could create an entire health creed based on the products produced in Sweden – and attempts have been made. When a test group had to live off Nordic food alone for one month, the participants became both healthier and lighter. All easily measurable values, such as weight, cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar, changed for the better after four weeks following a selected Nordic diet. We in the Nordic countries are simply very good at producing food. But we are not very good at spreading the word about it and conquering the world with it. While other countries establish their cuisines and products everywhere, we are still reasonably cautious in Swe-

Photo: Svenska LantChips

den. A bit too ’lagom’ (lagom is a nearuntranslatable Swedish word meaning just perfect, balanced or moderate, not too little and not too much). The Law of Jante, which deems individual success and achievement as unworthy and inappropriate, still has a firm hold on us, and we are afraid to boast to the world that we really are the best. Pretty much the best in the world when it comes to producing food. It is often said that less talking and more doing is a good aim or, as American films would have it, that one should walk the walk, not just talk the talk. But in Sweden, it is actually the complete opposite when it comes to food. We should start to talk more about our fantastic products, which are both tasty and healthy. Marie Söderqvist CEO, the Swedish Food Federation For more information, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Sweden

BLACK BEAN SPAGHETTI WITH ORANGE AND TOFU: Serves: 4 1 package of black bean spaghetti 1 package of natural tofu 2 oranges 2 tbsp of sweet chilli sauce 2–3 spring onions 1 clove of garlic 1 head of broccoli

Organic bean pasta revolutionising healthy eating

1 handful of coriander (or flat-leaf parsley)

Healthy and sustainable food does not have to be complicated. The Swedish company à la eco has changed the way we look at pasta by introducing organic bean pasta to a supermarket shelf near you.

Cut tofu into cubes. Press the juice from one orange and mix it with sweet chilli sauce, crushed garlic and a pinch of salt. Leave the tofu in the marinade for at least 30 minutes.

By Ellinor Thunberg | Photos: à la eco

“It has the wholesomeness of beans but is as easy to prepare as regular pasta,” says à la eco founder and CEO Lisbeth Arvidsson, referring to it as “the best fast food in the world”, for whenever you are in a hurry. The alternative pasta was introduced in 2012 and was an instant hit in the wellness community. “People were already used to pasta, but this is a healthier option,” the CEO says. The product range includes black bean spaghetti, soy bean fettuccine and fusilli made of red lentils, chickpeas or green peas. The ingredients list could not possibly be any shorter: organic beans, lentils or peas – and water – dried to make pasta. It is naturally free from gluten but packed full of protein and slow carbohydrates.

à la eco was founded ten years ago, initially working with all-organic hygiene products, such as their own organic cotton brand, and was born out of a passion for sustainable everyday choices. Arvidsson sums up her motivation: “What we choose to buy in our local shops affects people all over the world.”

Mung bean sprouts Salt, black pepper and a pinch of chilli powder (optional)

Divide the broccoli into smaller florets, peel the broccoli stem and slice it. Bring some lightly salted water to the boil and cook the broccoli, leaving it a little bit crunchy. Peel and slice the second orange. Keep the marinade, but lift out the tofu and fry until crisp and golden. Add chopped spring onion, coriander and bean sprouts and let it fry for a few minutes, saving some coriander and bean sprouts for decoration. Add the broccoli, the rest of the marinade and orange juice and briefly bring to a boil. Top it off with orange slices, fresh coriander and crispy bean sprouts.

For more information, please visit:

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 33

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Sweden

Anna Schreil, VP operations at Absolut Vodka.

Thirst for Swedish origin and innovation The world’s most iconic vodka is famous for its high quality and groundbreaking advertising campaigns. Sweden’s biggest food export is still locally produced and maintaining a focus on excellence, sustainability, innovation and design.

message: ‘One Source. One Community. One Superb Vodka.’

By Malin Norman | Photos: Absolut Vodka

Absolut Vodka has been supporting art from the very start, with the first collaboration in 1985 when Andy Warhol created a series of revolutionary ads for the brand. Thirty years later, its pledge to design continues as the company celebrates and supports artists, writers and institutions across the world, with partners including Versace, Lenny Kravitz and Swedish House Mafia. One of its initiatives is the biannual Absolut Art Award, given to artists and writers as a platform to pursue their dream projects and to make art more accessible to the public. Last year’s honours were given to artist Frances Stark and writer Mark Godfrey.

Absolut Vodka is the world’s fifth-largest premium spirits brand. Owned by Pernod Ricard since 2008, the Absolut Company is also responsible for the production, development and marketing of Malibu, Kahlúa, Wyborowa, Luksusowa and Our/ Vodka. The company produces an impressive 120 million bottles of Absolut Vodka per year and, with 600,000 bottles leaving the distillery every day, optimised workflows and logistics are a must. 99 per cent is exported, the majority of it to the USA, while other big export markets include Canada, Germany and Brazil. The vodka is produced in Åhus using only natural ingredients, and the bottles are made of glass from the region. “We 34 | Issue 85 | February 2016

have a long tradition of working with local farmers and glass manufacturers, and we recognise our responsibility as a large producer,” says Anna Schreil, VP operations. “Even though we have grown tremendously, we continue to make the same high-quality product according to the same craftsmanship principles, with a sense of pride and in harmony with the environment.” Absolut Vodka is a climate neutral company, and another example of its commitment to this stance is a recent revamp of the celebrated Absolut Vodka bottle design, emphasising its origins and with a lighter weight to reduce the climatic impact. Every bottle now comes with the

Art and creative spaces

The creativity does not end there as Absolut Vodka also works with music,

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Sweden

Absolut Vodka’s Creative Space project

Absolut Electrik.

Absolut Vodka’s distillery in Åhus.

fashion and digital media. Absolut Nights is a new global campaign with four unique interactive events with the themes Light, Dance Floor, Style and Persona taking place in New York, Johannesburg, Berlin and Sao Paulo. Related is also new limited edition Absolut Electrik with cutting-edge metallic bottles in cobalt blue and silver. The idea with the twin bottle release is to evoke a feeling of energy, flashing lights and pumping beats, capable of turning nights electric. Innovation is also encouraged internally, with projects such as Creative Space in the Stockholm head office, where a number of shipping containers were transformed into think tanks with teams competing in a three-day hackathon focused on new sustainable solutions for packaging and recycling. “This is a fantastic company to work for,” says Elin Wibell, senior corporate communications manager. “As one of the most famous products in the world, the brand is still intact. Absolut Vodka has great values

and continuously works to support art, fashion and music. It’s driven by innovation and campaigns, and opens doors for many people.”

Crafts and flavoured launches While the best seller is the original Absolut Vodka, representing 80 per cent of the total production, classic flavours Absolut Peppar, launched in 1986 as the first flavoured vodka, and Absolut Citron are also popular. Product development is an important area and dedicated sensory experts are constantly looking at current consumer trends and experimenting in their lab to develop new flavour combinations. The latest trend is crafts, with Oak by Absolut as an example of a new crafted product for consumers who like dark spirits. It is made of Absolut Vodka rested on Swedish and American oak barrels and selected Bourbon barrels, blended with Absolut Vodka that has rested on French and American oak chips with

different toasting degrees. This unique blend brings a new depth and character with hints of vanilla, caramel and toasted oak. Limited edition Absolut India is another new creation. The mango and pepper-flavoured vodka with artwork by young creative Shaheen Baig from Mumbai captures the diverse culture and vibrant colours of India, and the wellbalanced tropical flavour combination is perfect for mixing summer drinks. Among other recent releases is Absolut Elyx, made with single estate wheat from Råbelöf Castle not far from Åhus and manually distilled in a 1921 copper rectification still. As Wibell explains: “It’s a premium product distilled by hand, and the bottle looks similar to an exclusive perfume. This is the essence of what Absolut Vodka stands for.”

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Issue 85 | February 2016 | 35

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Sweden

Award-winning meat with a taste of summer A unique flora, more hours of sunshine than any other part of Sweden and charming villages dotted across the island make Gotland a treasured home away from home for many Swedes. With countless awards and accolades under its belt, including Taste Developer of the Year and Swedish Champions in the Organic Products category, Svenskt Butikskött has now encapsulated the taste of Gotland. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Svenskt Butikskött

“It’s hard to describe the feeling when you arrive here – the beautiful surroundings, the climate…” says Thomas Östlund, CEO of Svenskt Butikskött. “There are vast natural pastures for the animals to graze and there’s a long tradition of animal farming.” Östlund, whose father founded the company, grew up helping out with the family business during weekends and holi-

days before becoming a professional ice hockey player. It was never set in stone that he would return, but in 2004, after 20 years as a professional in Sweden and Switzerland, he took over from his father – a second but striking career. Back then the company had 20 employees and a turnover of 90 million SEK; today it employs 250 people and the turnover has reached a remarkable 900 million SEK. The secret, the CEO suggests, is in strong relationships and an insistence on continuously putting quality first. Today, Svenskt Butikskött is the main supplier of KRAV-labelled meat for Swedish supermarket brands Änglamark (COOP), Garant (AXFOOD) and I love eco (ICA).

Clean and natural The new initiative, Smak av Gotland (Taste of Gotland), is all about combining the company’s expertise in KRAV and organic meat with the remarkable conditions the island has to offer, in terms 36 | Issue 85 | February 2016

of not only nature but also culinary tradition. “The risk of infection is far lower here than on the mainland, and we don’t use any alternative fodder – it’s all very clean and natural,” says Östlund. “Plus there’s a strong food tradition and the island really comes to life with awardwinning restaurateurs during the summer months. We actually sponsor many of the professional culinary events, including the 2014 Bocuse d’Or.” In addition to top-quality meat, Smak av Gotland presents a website full of tips and inspiration, including recipes and a ‘meat school’, where you can be educated on various cuts and preparation methods. The customer is a conscious consumer, explains Östlund, welcoming the current vegetarian trend. “People may cut down on meat, but when they buy it they’ll be happy to spend more,” he says. “While it was all about price in the past, the emphasis is now on other values, such as quality, organic produce. We see it as a hugely positive development.” WHAT IS KRAV? The Swedish KRAV label demonstrates that a product has been produced under organic circumstances and according to exceptionally high standards of animal care, health, social responsibility and climate impact.

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Sweden

Dumplings, side dishes and tea make up the menu at Beijing8.

Say hello to the new fast food:

dumplings and tea Beijing8 is a slow fast food restaurant chain and retail concept where Swedish minimalism meets Chinese traditions. Dumplings and tea are served in an urban setting and the entire concept is wrapped in a minimalistic and clever design. By Ellinor Thunberg | Photos: Pelle Bergström/Garbergs Project

“It is quick, healthy, tasty and good value for money,” says co-owner and founder Mikael Ljunggren about the Beijing8 restaurant concept. The dumplings are made from natural ingredients by a futuristic Stockholm-based dumpling robot.

sible for customers to create their own Beijing8 dinner at home. “It is really easy. Our kids bring friends home and they prepare dumplings together,” says Ljunggren.

“I have worked with handmade dumplings in previous restaurants, where my chef would make around 200 per hour. But with our robot, we can now make around 6,000 per hour,” Ljunggren says.

The minimalistic packaging design was developed in collaboration with the design and concept agency Garbergs project in Stockholm. “Everything else is so simple. It is just dumplings, with sides and tea,” Ljunggren says about the choice to add a design dimension to the brand.

The streamlined production made it possible to launch the first dumpling fast food restaurant in Stockholm in 2011. Today the chain has several outlets in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Paris and Lyon as well as a popular retail concept for grocery stores. The latter makes it pos-

Not your regular take-away

The concept has won design awards and has been nominated in major international design competitions. “The idea is to keep it simple and showcase the new, cool China. We use Chinese colours like

yellow, red, pink and concrete. Not the black lacquered wood and red lanterns we’re used to,” he says.

Bright future ahead Ljunggren believes the global dumpling trend is here to stay, and Beijing8 plans to play a big part in the future development. “We knew right from the start that we wanted to be a global restaurant chain. Our perspective is international and we have worked abroad a lot before, we just happen to live in Stockholm now.” The expansion is well underway, with a new restaurant about to open up in Florence, Italy, and plans for additional Beijing8 restaurants in cities like Copenhagen, Helsinki and other locations in Sweden.

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Issue 85 | February 2016 | 37

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Sweden

The science of taste While simplicity is part of the charm when adding a stock cube to your casserole or sprinkling some spice mix over your curry, the process behind most food solutions is both long and complex. Solina Group marries expertise with passion to make cooking simple, healthy and enjoyable. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Solina Group

“There’s a lot to consider: different legislation about what can and can’t be included in food products, certain allergy requirements, sustainability, price…” says Susanne Rask, research and development manager at Solina Group. “Of course the most important thing is flavour, and having that feeling for what works.” Rask is a trained engineer and has spent her entire professional career in the food industry, working on taste sensations, deli meats, snacks and more. In January last year, she joined Solina Group. “I enjoy an incredible variety in what I do,” she says. “In my position, you need to know a little bit about a lot of things; you need to understand the law but also know everything about the production processes as well as how different ingredients work and interact.”

Strength in numbers Solina Group was technically founded in 38 | Issue 85 | February 2016

2012 through a merger between Savena Group and Sfinc Group, but the collective experience now comprised within the group counts to 40 years and an expertise covering areas such as cheese powder, food colouring, gelatine and stock, not to mention a foothold all over Europe. “This really is one of our greatest strengths,” Rask points out. “When a customer comes to us looking for help to develop a product, we already have a lot of the competence and contacts within the group. We cover something like 8,000 ingredients already, all our suppliers have been checked and approved and we’ve got experts within pretty much everything that concerns food. We can move fast.” Today the group works with the biggest and most loved brands in the food industry as well as small companies and new brands. Backed up by a huge network of chefs, cooks, flavourists, engineers, nutritionists and scientists, the com-

pany develops everything from stocks, marinades and seasonings to dry-curing products, texture improvers and a wide range of nutritional snacks and sports products. “You could say that we work locally, yet we utilise the international competence,” says Rask. “So we have development centres in all the countries and work locally with clients, which is crucial as each country and culture has its own taste preferences. Yet all our customers benefit from the wide knowledge base throughout the group.”

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Sweden

Finding the right taste Typically, a client will approach Solina Group with an idea, either for the development of an existing product or for the creation of a brand new concept. “If it’s a completely new product, say a vegetarian sausage or something, it’s a very creative job, while adding to a range is all about matching an already-existing product,” Rask explains. “We adapt to the customer’s requirements in terms of E numbers, price point and other factors, and the rest is taste.” Taste, of course, is at the heart of Solina Group. “It’s a good thing that we’ve got the development centres where we can meet and work together, because taste is a funny one to communicate,” says Rask. “It’s not always that clear what one person means when they say something’s too hot.” Luckily everyone, from charcuterie experts to nutrition and fitness specialists, is a foodie – and passion goes a long way when it comes to finding the right taste, Rask insists. “Our goal is to be the biggest and the best in the food solutions industry. Quality, expertise and flexibility are what will take us there.”

SOLINA GROUP’S THREE AREAS OF EXPERTISE: - Taste and visual Including products such as culinary extracts, sauces, batters and seasonings. - Functional solutions Including brine, texture and stability improvers, preservation solutions and vegetarian applications. - Nutritional solutions Such as weight-management protein products, instant sport drinks and nutritional supplements.

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Issue 85 | February 2016 | 39

From grain to bottle, with an artist’s touch “From the steeping of the grain through to the malting, drying, milling and so on, we do everything here and bottle the finished product on our premises,” says Anja Molin, co-owner of Spirit of Hven, one of the world’s smallest pot still distilleries. But while the distillery’s size is humble, its reputation is anything but. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Spirit of Hven

Henric Molin, the other owner, is often described as a whisky geek. But perhaps that is one of the major strengths of this distillery. “He is obsessed with getting oak for the casks that grew in the right place and knows exactly where he wants to get the spices from. Everything is done manually, completely without machines, always in small quantities,” MoThe Molin family.

40 | Issue 85 | February 2016

lin explains. “Get the final product, and you can actually smell it.”

Small-scale preciseness The small-scale approach always was, and still is, a conscious aim, putting quality over quantity at all times. Precise control over the distillation has come to define the Spirit of Hven brand and fascinates its many fans across the globe, so much so that developing spirits for other brands has become part of their operations. “We are never going to be a huge distillery – that’s out of the question. And the small-scale approach is really palpable when you get here. You can feel that it’s a family-run business,” says Molin. “But what that means is that we simply don’t have the capacity to keep releasing whisky after whisky and give

all these products the marketing they deserve – so it makes perfect sense to create recipes for others.” A state-of-the-art laboratory means that spirits can be tested and analysed down to the tiniest detail, revealing everything about additives, ageing processes and every single ingredient in every bottle. “Our machine actually smells – yes, it really has a sense of smell,” Molin enthuses. “What we can do here is quite amazing, not to mention how important it is. Let’s not forget, this stuff is dangerous if you don’t know how to handle it!” You could forgive a multi-awardwinning spirits producer for wanting to keep all its delicious recipes to itself, but branching out makes perfect sense, insists Molin. “An artist is a creator, and developing new recipes is a way to keep creating. Henric is an artist in this field, and by developing recipes for other brands he can keep creating even when we’ve exceeded our capacity to release new whiskies.”

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Sweden

In addition to creating recipes to order and occasionally producing spirits for clients, Spirit of Hven offers testing and analysing facilities and even designs distilleries for other producers. “To have all this expertise despite being so small is quite extraordinary,” says Molin. “But of course, it’s all about our focus on quality – quantity means nothing.”

The beauty of local Sustainability is an integral part of the Spirit of Hven distillery, not just because of recent eco trends but simply because the operations depend on it. That extends to life as a whole in Backafallsbyn on the little island of Hven in Öresund between Sweden and Denmark, where Spirit of Hven, in addition to whisky, gin and spirit tastings and distillery tours, offers hotel accommodation, restaurant dining and conference facilities in a peaceful setting. Surreal in its beauty, the nature here also explains the rich agricultural heritage of the island, something that furthers the distillery’s mission to use local produce whenever possible. It may seem obvious, but it is rarely as tangible as here: sustainability, quality and loyalty to the locals

make an unbeatable cocktail. And the visitors love it.

World’s best whisky In December last year, the Spirit of Hven Sankt Claus whisky won the Whisky Advocate’s 22nd Annual World Whisky of the Year Award, receiving the ultimate proof that the work it is doing is nothing short of outstanding. “There are no words to describe how big this is,” says Molin. “It’s such an honour. Even Henric, who doesn’t usually care much about what anyone thinks, is delighted to have got this acknowledgement.” Although the Christmas-themed whisky is now completely out of stock, Spirit of Hven can rest assured that connoisseurs from all over the world will be at the ready when another batch is released.

SPIRIT OF HVEN PRODUCTS The Spirit of Hven distillery’s product selection includes oak matured and pot distilled… Single Malt Whisky Tycho´s Star Single Malt Whisky Seven Stars No.1-7 Single Malt Whisky Single Cask Sankt Claus Single Malt Whisky Single Cask Sankt Ibb Hven Organic Gin Hven Organic Navy Strengt Gin Hven Organic Vodka Hven Organic Aquavit Hven Organic Summer Spirit Hven Organic Winter Spirit

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With a world-class laboratory, near cult status reputation, and the best whisky in the world – where will the distillery go from here? “We will continue to improve and to put quality first,” says Molin determinedly. “Our visitors are one of our greatest resources. With tastings every day, we can make sure to continuously tweak our drinks until they’re just perfect.”

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 41

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Sweden

Irresistible fusions of sweet, sour and salty Family-owned Bubs Godis is passionate about fun and tasty sweets. Since 1992, the company has been making tempting confectionary in the form of packaged foam and gel candy and pick ‘n’ mix. With around 40 types of sweet, sour and salty flavours, there is something for every sweet tooth. By Malin Norman | Photos: Bubs Godis

Swedes love their pick ’n’ mix, as proved by having one of the highest candy consumptions in the world and an increase in sales year after year. The four Lindström family members – Bernt, Ulrik, Birgitta and Stefan (BUBS) – have turned their business into a strong competitor to the big producers, with a bagful of knowledge and a commitment to innovative products. Sure enough, the company is behind one of Sweden’s bestselling sweets. The two-flavoured Raspberry Liquorice Skull (Hallonlakritsskalle) has become an icon on social media with around 340,000 followers on Facebook. It was developed in 2001 as an experiment to combine sweet and liquorice in one piece of candy and quickly proved to be a huge success. 42 | Issue 85 | February 2016

Limited editions and collaborations such as the Loka Likes Candy campaign with flavoured mineral water have followed in addition to new exciting blends. “The Cool Raspberry Skull with sweet foam and a cover of sour strawberry sugar is amazing!” says CEO Henrik Elfwing.

Smarter candy Despite its small size, ambitious Bubs Godis produces an impressive 4,300 tonnes of sweets per year and its revenue reached close to 110 million SEK last year. The factory in Jönköping is one of the most modern in Scandinavia, with robots and automation in packaging. “We are proud to have been certified as one of few Fairtrade confectionary manufacturers,” Elfwing says about the focus

on sustainability. “We have managed to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide by nearly 1,200 tonnes per year, as well as the amount of waste, by organising sales of the ‘excellent but not perfect’ versions of our candy instead of throwing it away.” Another important area for the company, naturally, is new product development with upcoming launches such as a premium liquorice product available later in spring. And, as the first manufacturer in Sweden, all Bubs’ production of foam sweets will be gelatine-free to suit a more conscious consumer group. Not only Swedes can enjoy the delicious treats, as the candy is also available in other countries in Europe, the US and as far away as Thailand. Bubs will also take part in the ISM trade show in Cologne, Germany, which is the world’s largest event in the confectionary segment. For more information, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Sweden

Gluten-free for a healthy lifestyle

By Sara Wenkel | Photos: Semper AB

With a growing focus on a healthy lifestyle, more markets are seeing the benefits of gluten-free food and Semper, an expert in gluten-free products, is increasing its exports.

Wholesome eating and conscious choices when it comes to food are not just a trend or a New Year’s resolution at Semper. Semper is the Swedish expert in gluten-free food and introduced its first products to the market as early as 1991. “It all started with special products for people with coeliac disease, but today our wide range of great-tasting food attracts many different consumers keen on a healthy lifestyle,” says Diego Cabeza, export manager at Semper. Swedes have actually been able to indulge in Semper’s fine assortment ever since 1939, and Semper is today the leading Nordic brand within infant nutrition as well as gluten-free food. The development now continues as the interest in healthy and gluten-free products has been growing throughout the rest of the

world. As a confirmation of the brand’s success, Semper was named Food Exporter of the Year in 2015. “Our products are on demand in many different markets and our traditional Swedish crispbread from Dalarna has become particularly popular,” Cabeza explains. Semper’s bakery in Falun, Dalarna, only produces gluten-free products and the brand is now developing new, exciting crispbreads with ingredients such as chia seeds, teff and buckwheat. “In 2016, our bakery will continue to grow and we will keep launching more exciting products,” Cabeza concludes.

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Whisky made by Swedish pioneers

By Ellinor Thunberg | Photos: Mackmyra

At Mackmyra, mediocre does not cut it. Swedish flavours are distilled with gravity and the whisky is stored, for instance, on a mountain top 1,125 metres above sea level. Mackmyra’s unique Gravity Distillery, just outside Gävle in Sweden, measures 35 metres above the ground and is based on the principle of gravity, meaning that the whole process flows from the top down in an energy-efficient way. “If we are going to be around for the next 200 years, we really need to think about the consequences for the environment,” says Lisa Collins, export area manager at Mackmyra.

Characterised by Swedish oak The best-selling whisky, Svensk Ek (meaning ‘Swedish oak’), has a spicy character and notes of sandalwood, dried ginger, black pepper, roasted oak barrel and herbs. The oak barrels are made from Swedish oak, partly from trees planted hundreds of years ago on the island of Visingsö, originally intended for ships in the Swedish Royal Navy.

“Unrestrained by ancient whisky-making traditions, our aim is to learn from yet question old accepted truths, embrace innovation and go our own way,” says Collins. “In our opinion, whisky is about looking to the future. We are constantly striving to improve and explore.” Mackmyra’s latest warehouse location, on a mountain top in Lofsdalen, brings us back to the start in 1999. A group of friends enjoyed a mountain top whisky-tasting session that led to the question: why is there no Swedish whisky? Today, 17 years later, Mackmyra has taken care of that brilliantly, and you can expect to see much more from them in the future. For more information, please visit:

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 43

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Sweden

Photo: Johan Olsson

Photo: Hans Johansson

Photo: Johan Olsson

Photo: AXA

Krister Zackari, CEO of Lantmännen, the Swedish agricultural cooperative. Photo: Lantmännen.

From the Swedish countryside with love Oats and oatmeal are crucial ingredients in Swedish classics – from porridge to cinnamon buns and beyond. Explore the healthy grain by Swedish farmers of the agricultural cooperative, Lantmännen. By Ellinor Thunberg

“I eat oatmeal porridge every day,” says Krister Zackari, CEO of Lantmännen, adding that there is a lack of awareness of just how nutritious oatmeal is. Swedish oats are particularly rich in flavour and nutrients, thanks to the soil and milder climate in Scandinavia. “The long summer nights make the oats ripen slowly,” Zackari says. Oats are a comparatively new crop in Sweden, having been grown there since the late 18th century. “We eat plenty of oats in Sweden, but I believe we would feel better if we ate even more,” says Zackari. And it is not all about fibre. Oats offer several health benefits, thanks to its 44 | Issue 85 | February 2016

high content of betaglucans and antioxidants. Betaglucans from oats are proven to reduce cholesterol in the blood, helping to prevent heart disease.

From field to fork Lantmännen is an agricultural cooperative owned by 29,000 Swedish farmers. Well-known member brands include AXA, Kungsörnen, Sopps, GoGreen, Gooh, Finn Crisp and AMO, with provisions such as cereals, flour and pasta. The cooperative is northern Europe’s leading body in agriculture, machinery, bioenergy and food products. “Being owned by the farmers themselves makes us unique,” says the CEO. “We can take responsibility all the way from

field to fork, and we have a long-term focus on sustainability.” Lantmännen regularly ranks at the very top of the Scandinavian Sustainable Brand Index and works to help farmers develop cultivation in a more sustainable direction. This involves, for example, environmentally friendly fuels, optimisation and research. The climate target to reduce emissions by 40 per cent between 2009 and 2020 was reached six years “too early” in 2014. “We stand for good oats, in a double sense,” says Zackari, referring to requirements such as the no-sludge and no straw-shortening policy on the grains used for all food products. “Maybe even a treble sense – our AXA oats are healthy, sustainable and very tasty!”

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Sweden

Perfectly crispy, directly from the new potato hub Sweden’s most locally produced crisps are made by Bjäre Chips. Bang in the middle of Europe’s largest district for new potatoes, Bjäre Chips has easy access not only to tasty spuds but also the best oil and herbs right outside their doorstep. By Malin Norman | Photos: Staffan Andersson

The company was born in 2012 out of a former potato and vodka business, with the goal to make the best locally produced crisps in the country. “Sweden needs high-quality crisps!” insists CEO Göran Nordander. “Our goal is to sell tasty snacks made from the finest potatoes with the skin and starch intact, kettle fried in the best oil available, giving a delicious flavour of potatoes and added herbs.” The Bjäre peninsula is nothing short of perfect for the business. Located in Skåne, which is often described as Sweden’s food mecca, the area is the hub for new potatoes with ideal weather conditions and a long tradition of growing potatoes. In addition to its great setting, Bjäre Chips is also the proud owner of Sweden’s most modern kettle fryer for crisps. Each

batch can handle 35 kilogrammes of potatoes and 850 litres of oil, and the fryer is programmed with the ultimate time and temperature for each potato type. For its snacks, the company uses only natural and local ingredients, from potatoes and rapeseed oil to spice mixes. The range is currently available in five classic flavours: Lightly Salted, Sour Cream & Onion, Sour Cream & Dill, Cheddar and Salt & Vinegar, and will expand to include a barbeque flavour later this year due to popular consumer demand. In addition, Bjäre Chips also makes dip mixes to go with four of its crisp flavours.

Award-winning crispy treats Positive consumer feedback and awards have been pouring in from day one. For

instance, the Lightly Salted crisps were named the overall winner in an ATL taste test for its ‘explosion of flavours’. Blogger Chipskungen awarded Cheddar the best Swedish snack, and master chef Amir Kheirmand named Lightly Salted the best in test. Nordander is delighted with the company’s achievements. “We have worked very hard to develop a tasty high-quality product. Getting awards and appreciation from consumers is great!” The products are available in shops in southern Sweden, Stockholm, the Mälardalen region and Gotland. Many of Sweden’s best hotels serve Bjäre Chips, as does Braathens Regional Airlines. Moreover, visitors can devour the crisps and other treats at food fairs Passion for Food, 26-28 February in Göteborg, and Love Food in Malmö in October.

For more information, please visit:

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 45

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Sweden

Letting curiosity and honesty lead the way One of the pioneers of the now booming Swedish craft beer scene, Nils Oscar brewery and distillery is not only behind God Lager, the best-selling craft beer in Sweden – it has a brand new, state-of-the-art brewery and its very own malt house, and the future is looking bright. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Nils Oscar

When Karl-David Sundberg acquired a brewery and distillery, there was no doubt in his mind who it would be named after. His grandad, Nils Oscar Sundberg, was not only a charismatic, memorable entrepreneur whose wits and humour Karl-David highly admired; he was also widely known for many of the qualities his grandson wanted the brewery and distillery to represent. There is a great deal about Nils Oscar, the person, to aspire to. His face adorns the brewery’s labels, a classical-looking image that lends the brand a quality of solid craftsmanship – but there is also that unquenchable curiosity and entrepreneurial spirit. The company takes 46 | Issue 85 | February 2016

pride in the high-quality beverages this symbol represents. It is no exaggeration to say that Nils Oscar keeps the Swedish beer and spirit tradition alive, helping it to reach new heights. The company’s mission has always been to produce the best beer and spirits in the world – not very modest, but an attitude perfectly in line with the personality of Nils Oscar.

Momentum and growth A recent redesign of the distinctive labels is just a small part of a significant development phase, which has seen a brand new brewery erected along with a big marketing push. This year is likely

to involve plenty of new recruits as well as an increase in distribution, including exports. The brewery simply maxed out in terms of capacity – a luxury problem, of course. “With our new set-up, which is a brand new brewery of top capacity and quality, we can make multiple brews every day. We can now produce three to five times more beer than before,” says managing director Jonas Kandefelt. Another aspect of the current expansion is an increasing investment in organic products. “This is something that lies really close to our hearts,” Kandefelt continues. “It suits the current trend,

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Sweden

of course, but we are really passionate about working with the combination of food and drink, and our production of organic beer is a fundamental part of the bigger picture of conscious consumption, which is important.” Alongside organic products, Nils Oscar brewery and distillery also recently launched the first Swedish craft-brewed non-alcoholic beer, which has been greeted with great enthusiasm. Nils Oscar can be described as one of the early-day microbreweries pioneering the craft beer trend in Sweden, and the brand is now well-established in its home country. And just like Nils Oscar is expanding, the scene itself is virtually overflowing with craft beer enthusiasts and new breweries from all the way up north to way down south, arguably raising the question whether the scene should be referred to using the micro term at all. “It’s exploded,” Kandefelt agrees. “From just 35 breweries in Sweden a few years ago, there are now more than 200. There’s a momentum on the market benefitting everyone right now, but of course that also means that many of the really small breweries are choosing to expand and increase their capacity.” He pauses. “I don’t see it as a problem – microbreweries become small-ish breweries, but really all it means is that we get the chance to present our beer to a wider audience.”

When quality matters After all, the defining values of the craft beer scene have always revolved around the very same qualities that Nils Oscar Sundberg himself stood for all those years ago: honesty, fearlessness, curiosity and an entrepreneurial spirit. A proud member of The Association of Swedish Independent Microbreweries, with its feet firmly planted in the craft beer heritage, the Nils Oscar brewery and distillery can allow itself to grow while boasting the specialist equipment and expertise that comes with having done everything from scratch on-site for years. “We’ve got our own malt house, we can produce special malt, and we’ve got really passionate people who know everything there is to

know about malt,” says Kandefelt. “You just can’t buy that expertise.” But the benefits are plentiful and, no matter its size or the number of prestigious titles it is awarded, Nils Oscar will continue to focus on the raw ingredients and use exactly what is needed for the perfect taste – completely without concern for price. “We don’t compromise on quality. We know what we want the products to be like, and then it’s irrelevant how much it costs,” Kandefelt insists. With top-notch ingredients and a love for the craft combined with the greatest of staff, it is no wonder that Nils Oscar continues to make headlines. Between a statement of the value of organic produce and a view to grow and create more jobs, it is with positivity in spirit that Nils Oscar embraces a new year. Its spirits, liquors and beers are doing amazingly well – well enough, one should think, to impress a man as stubborn and hardworking as the brand’s inspiration himself.

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Issue 85 | February 2016 | 47

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Sweden

Västerbottensost is excellent in cooking and simply gives an outstanding taste to any type of food.

Beloved cheese from a tiny dairy in northern Sweden Burträsk in the county of Västerbotten is home to one of Sweden’s finest national symbols – Västerbottensost®. This delicacy has been produced in the same way since 1872 when the dairy maid Ulrika Eleonora Lindström accidently created the cheese, which still today has a secret recipe only known to a precious few. By Sara Wenkel | Photos: Paulina Holmgren

Västerbottensost has, since the first time it was ever made, only grown in popularity and is today a much-loved, well-trusted piece of the Swedish culinary scene. In 1990, Norrmejerier, the dairy where Västerbottensost is produced, was appointed Royal Purveyor, and the cheese has been on the menu of royal weddings as well as Nobel Prize banquets. Västerbottensost has also become somewhat of a musthave feature on the Swedish seasonal smorgasbord for Midsummer, crayfish parties and Christmas. “One of the most popular ways of enjoying our cheese is by making a quiche with Västerbottensost,” says Helena Ahlgren, brand manager at Västerbottensost. “It is scrumptious to feast on as it is, or you can add some sour cream, fish roe, chopped red onion and dill.” 48 | Issue 85 | February 2016

A confirmation of the Swedes’ love for Västerbottensost was published only a few weeks ago as YouGov Brand Index released their annual list over the mostloved brands in Sweden. Västerbottensost was honoured with a very admirable seventh place, sharing the top with renowned international brands such as Apple, Google and BMW. “It is really flattering that the Swedish people have placed Västerbottensost on the top list alongside some of the biggest brands in the world,” says Ahlgren. “We believe the secret lies in Västerbottensost’s intriguing history and unique taste.”

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QUICHE WITH VÄSTERBOTTENSOST: Pastry: 125 g/4.5 oz butter 225g/8 oz plain flour 1 tbsp water Filling: 150 g/5 oz grated Västerbottensost 3 eggs 200 ml/7 fl oz double cream 1 pinch salt 1 pinch pepper Preheat the oven to 225°C/425°F/Gas 7. Mix the ingredients for the pastry. Chill the pastry for at least 1 hour. Use the pastry to line a pie dish, prick base with a fork and bake blind for approx. 10 min. Whisk eggs and cream, add cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the cheese mixture into the pastry case and bake for approx. 20 min, until the pie filling is set. Allow to cool.

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Sweden

A culinary slice of southwestern Sweden Sweden’s smallest dairy cooperative, Gäsene mejeri, is owned by 36 farmers and builds on more than 80 years of proud cheese making tradition. The dairy is at the heart of the cooperative, situated in a central location no more than a 25-minute drive away from the farms supplying the milk. This is the epitome of locally produced food. By Ellinor Thunberg | Photos: Gäsene mejeri

“The cheese tastes just like in the old days and we use the very same method as we always did,” says Martin Pardell, CEO of the dairy cooperative. All farms are located within 25 kilometres of the dairy in Ljung in the southwest of Sweden, which is the original location since 1931. The closest farm is only one kilometre away and today 25 out of 36 farms supply cow’s milk. “Our farmers are extremely proud of the dairy and what we do. They understand the connection between good milk and good cheese,” Pardell says.

the only dairy making the popular cheese from Swedish milk in Sweden. This popular product aside, they make an additional ten types of cheese of varying fat content and storage time.

Above: Cheese maker Roy Niklasson.

The flavour is deeply rooted in the walls of the dairy and, according to Pardell, this would change if the dairy moved as little as 50 metres away. “Cheese is a lot like fine wine and changes character depending on the milk, what the cows had to eat and the process,” he says.

A Swedish favourite The traditional Swedish farmer’s cheese (hushållsost) is the best seller and a national favourite. Gäsene mejeri is today

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Sweden

Crisps with a love of adventure Svenska LantChips has since 1991 challenged the perception of what makes a really good bag of crisps. The secret behind their success story, as CEO Robert Arnegård discloses, is the company’s love of adventure.

so that consumers in the end only pay for good-quality crisps and not needless transportation costs.”

By Sara Wenkel | Photos: Svenska LantChips

The love of adventure is not only found within the organisation of Svenska LantChips, but also amongst its consumers. Many of them love to ski, ice skate, go camping and enjoy an active lifestyle more generally. “We have produced smaller bags of crisps that are perfect as lunchtime snacks. We don’t think crisps should be associated too much with consuming big volumes on a Friday evening,” says Arnegård, who always brings a bag of crisps when he is out canoeing. “Our whole family is very active, and we often do sports together. The most important thing is to have a rich family life,” he concludes.

Co-founder Michael Hansen had come across a delicate but simple snack on his travels through the US, inspiring him to launch Svenska LantChips together with his wife, Signhild. The couple chose to venture into a world they knew very little about and where only a few key brands dominated the market, on top of it all during the big recession in the early ‘90s. The company’s CEO and Signhild’s brother, Robert Arnegård, describes what they did as “a love of adventure”, something he sees as one of the company’s real strengths. “Some people might call us naïve, but I think that by not scrutinising everything that could potentially go wrong we have had an advantage compared to

50 | Issue 85 | February 2016

our competitors,” he explains. “We have a culture of being very curious, and we are constantly questioning why we are doing things in a certain way.” This way of thinking has encouraged Svenska LantChips to always develop and renew itself. Svenska LantChips is run by a small organisation that enables the company to create smart solutions for its clients more easily. As an example, a recent collaboration with SAS saw Svenska LantChips design a box for organic crisps optimised for the aircraft sales trolleys. “We want to optimise and improve our products to make sure that our production is sustainable,” says Arnegård. “We are making sure to minimise the waste from our products

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A pecia T l NO AST Them RW E O e: AY F

The world’s fastest salt The currents in Saltstraumen can get as big as ten metres wide and two metres deep, with whirls rotating at a speed of up to 20 knots. Meet the people who brave these conditions to catch and refine the world’s fastest salt. By Vilde Holta Røssland | Photos: Tommy Andreassen

It all started with a crazy idea while Tore Hongset was cooking dinner one day. What if you could make salt from Saltstraumen, the strait with the strongest tidal current in the world? “I kind of forgot about the whole thing, but when I went to bed that same day I could not sleep. All I could think of was the idea that had popped into my head earlier,” says Hongset, the owner of Arctic Salt. There was only one problem: Hongset had no idea how to make salt. After a great deal of experimenting, some successful and some not, he nailed it, and the first salt flake from Saltstraumen was produced. Saltstraumen is a strait located near Bodø in the northern part of Norway. On a pier right next to it is Arctic Salt’s factory, with its

commodities right on their doorstep. Here they do everything from collecting the water to packing and sending the salt off to customers. Based north of the Arctic Circle, with the midnight sun doing its magic in the summer, one could say that Arctic Salt boasts one of Norway’s most beautiful work places.

out begins. As the salt content rises, salt crystals are formed at the surface. When the crystals are big enough, they break the water retina, sink to the bottom and are ready to be harvested. The salt flakes are dried in two stages to get them as dry as it is needed. The salt from Arctic Salt has a hint of humidity, giving it its own integrity. “We are really proud of our salt and the place it comes from,” says Hongset.

There is no doubt that the people making the salt are dedicated to their job. “We go in, by choice, to the world’s strongest tidal current to get the water we need to produce the salt we believe is the best, so you could say that we are doing it at the risk of our own lives,” Hongset says. The water is filtrated before the work of evaporating sufficient amounts of the fresh water to make the salt stand

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Issue 85 | February 2016 | 51

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Norway

Photo: Lyngen Reker AS.

Photo: Johan Wildhagen.

Photo: Marius Fiskum.

Photo: Lyngen Reker AS.

Prawns in northern winds When the wind comes in from the north, it is challenging to be out fishing on the Lyngenfjord. The weather is rough and the winds are cold, but this has not stopped Lyngen Reker AS from fishing for prawns for the last 70 years. By Vilde Holta Røssland

Founded by Bendix Olsen in the early 1950s, Lyngen Reker is one of Norway’s oldest prawn producers. Today, the third generation is running the business, with Karin Olsen in charge. “When my grandfather started the business back in the day, they peeled all the prawns by hand. As the business grew, they started using machines instead of people. Today, we have reverted to the more traditional ways; we hand peel most of our prawns, and only a small amount is peeled by machines,” Olsen says. Lyngen Reker’s production facilities are located way up north in Norway, 52 | Issue 85 | February 2016

surrounded by magnificent sceneries. “Some would claim that our location is too remote, but personally we think that we could not have had a better location, as this is where we get the best prawns,” Olsen says. Fresh prawns come in daily from local fishing boats, as long as the weather allows it, and there is great collaboration between the fishermen and the people working on land, ensuring that the prawns are as good as they can possibly get. “A good prawn should have nice texture, a naturally red colour and a taste that is sweet with just a little hint of salt,”

Olsen says. Late growth in arctic water gives the prawns from Lyngenfjord their characteristic taste. With the shell on, the fresh prawns are easily recognised as their spears are in good condition, and they have a fresh, red colour, which is not the case with prawns that have been frozen. White bread, mayonnaise and a little bit of lemon – the traditional way of serving prawns is popular, but prawns are a delicacy with several options in both warm and cold dishes, including salads and soups. If you are going to use prawns in warm dishes, remember not to let them boil; just heat them carefully in the dish right before serving. For more information, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Norway

Turning water into beer Everyone who has ever visited Lofoten with its majestic nature describes it as a little piece of heaven on earth. Imagine if you could bottle up the experiences of the midnight sun and epic fishing expeditions and take it home with you. For the past year, the Svolvær-based craft beer brewery Lofotpils has allowed you to do just that. By Andrea Bærland | Photos: Stein Liland

“We set our first batch in November and bottled our first bottle of Lofotpils in December 2014, along with a Christmas brew and, in 2015, our first full year of production, we went from zero to 118,000 litres of beer,” says the proud brewery manager, Thorvardur Gunnlaugsson. The brewery has employed a German master brewer and creates its beer according to the German tradition, with locally sourced water from Vestre Nøkkvann to give the beer a refreshing taste of the Lofot isles. “Most of the traditional Lofot dishes are made of local produce, and we wanted to make a beverage that reflects the area and complements its traditional meals,” Gunnlaugsson says. Lofotpils’ philosophy is to use the water as it is, without modification. “Beer consists of roughly 95 per cent water, so

it really is the water that gives the beer its character,” Gunnlaugsson explains. With that approach, it is not possible to make a good IPA with the local water in Svolvær but, as Gunnlaugsson points out, the majority of beer drinkers opt for lighter beers such as lager or pilsner, and the goal of Lofotpils is to provide the masses with a beverage they can enjoy. “We’re not about pushing alcohol, but giving people an enjoyable taste of Lofoten,” he says. During its first year in business, the craft beer brewery has expanded its product range to include an ale named after Møysalen, Lofoten and Vesterålen’s highest mountain, brewed on water sourced from the mountain. A beer paying heed to the iconic Trollfjorden is also in the works, naturally brewed with water from the fjord itself.

While the other ingredients, such as malt, required to make beer are currently being imported, Gunnlaugsson reveals that the brewery is working with local farmers to establish a local production of these ingredients. Even an aquavit, distilled from locally grown potatoes and flavoured using herbs growing on the isles, is in the planning stages for the enterprising brewery. “It is going to be a proper, well-travelled Northern-Norwegian aquavit, with the barrels transported by Hurtigruta’s MS Lofoten via the Barents Sea, crossing the polar circle following the old trade route on its way to Bergen before returning to Svolvær,” Gunnlaugsson enthuses. “We have had a brilliant first year of production and look forward to bringing a little taste of Lofoten to an even wider audience in the years to come.”

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Issue 85 | February 2016 | 53

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Norway

The start-up brewery hopes to expand both its production and its staff in 2016.

Big dreams for a small community When Bergen’s high-profile brewery owner, Steinar Knutsen, wanted to establish a new brewery on the island of Fedje outside Bergen, he teamed up with Tone Irgens and Devon Priemus. The couple had several years’ experience of brewing their own beer at home and describe the chance to turn their hobby into a livelihood as a dream come true.

With Fedje being a small community, with only 500 inhabitants, the start-up brewery has already made its mark. “Last summer we quite spontaneously arranged a beer festival, which attracted 900 guests. It was quite amazing,” Irgens says with a smile.

By Andrea Bærland | Photos: Northern & Co Bryggeri

“We set our first batch in July last year, and it has gone incredibly well – so well that we had to kick off 2016 by expanding to a larger brewery. This year we hope to get our products out across the country,” says Irgens, general manager of the brewery. Honouring the island that has captured their hearts, the team at Northern & Co named their golden ale Fedje, while the other beers have names inspired by nature such as Storm and Flora. The ginger ale, Flora, has proven to be particularly popular. Norwegians are accustomed to non-alcoholic ginger ale, but brew master Priemus – originally from New Zealand – has successfully 54 | Issue 85 | February 2016

introduced the western Norwegian bar scene to ginger ale the way it is done in his home country: with alcohol, and massive amounts of ginger. “It is very important for us to find a beer that everyone can like,” explains Irgens. “That’s why we have as many as 14 different types of beer.” And hopefully, Irgens adds, the brewery’s success will benefit the local community. “We hope to achieve more than just brewing great beer. While it is only two of us now, we probably have to hire two more people this year as the production increases. We hope to be able to provide the local economy with stable jobs.”

This year, on 13 August, Northern & Co are planning to repeat their success. Of the upcoming festival, Irgens says: “We have invited 15 other breweries, and there will be concerts and dancing in the evening. Because we don’t have any hotels on the island, festival-goers have to camp out in tent or huts. That way they’ll even get the true western Norwegian nature experience, which has inspired our products, alongside their pint.”

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Norway

Left: Stig Bareksten, chief distiller at OSS CRAFT Distillery, is the most renowned profile on Norway’s microdistillery scene. He wants to serve the world handmade spirits made on locally sourced produce from Bergen. Right: Gunnar Staalelsen, award-winning author and the man behind Varg Veum approved that the famous detective got his own aquavit from OSS CRAFT Distillery.

Norwegian microdistillery scene’s leading man He is known as Norway’s best distiller. Now Stig Bareksten wants to go even further and serve his handmade spirits including brandy, whisky and aquavit abroad. By Andrea Bærland | Photos: OSS Craft Distillery

Strategically located a stone’s throw away from Bergen Airport, Bareksten and his team have established a new microdistillery on Flesland that will be the epicenter of OSS CRAFT Distillery’s international efforts. For the new microdistillery, they will receive local produce – fruits, vegetables and bread. The entire process of fermentation and distillation, that will ultimately result in the characteristic taste of OSS CRAFT products, will take place on these premises. The flavours will be harvested from the nature surrounding the distillery. “We want to compete with the large, international brands. We’re an underdog, and can never reach the size of our competitors. But we can build a

faithful audience worldwide, because we can bring something new to the microdistillery scene,” says Bareksten. “We want to stand out on three things: taste, design and transparency. If the product looks appealing, and we inform the customers of our recipes, then we have a solid starting point if the flavour hits home.” Before Christmas, the distillery launched its own aquavit, named after the iconic private detective Varg Veum. Veum is the protagonist in the award-winning author Gunnar Staalelsen’s crime novels, well-known on the Nordic noir literary scene that has taken the world by storm in recent years. Naturally, the author tasted and approved the aquavit before the product was given Varg Veum’s name.

In the not too distant future, the distillery plans to launch whisky, stored in barrels on the shores of Fedje, Norway’s westernmost island just outside of Bergen. “We plan on launching new products throughout 2016. This will be an exciting year for us. We are extremely ambitious and have set our goals high, and we rely on good response from our customers,” says Bareksten. “We hope to, quite literally, build a strong brand around OSS CRAFT Distillery.”

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Issue 85 | February 2016 | 55

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Norway

Over the horizon At the end of the eighth century, the beginning of the Viking era, there were men who had a burning desire to head west towards the horizon to see what was beyond. Even though they were taught that the world was flat, and that they would fall off the face of the earth, they just had to get on their boats to explore the boundaries for themselves. By Andrea Bærland | Photos: Marta Øgaard

“We had a similar urge for adventure when we wanted to start a brewery. The thought of starting our own craft beer brewery was the dream that kept us awake at night,” says Thomas Sjue, co-founder and marketing manager at Austmann Bryggeri. And start a brewery they did, but naturally nobody with sound economic judgement wanted to take the gamble on three young men trying to start a brewery. “We visited all the banks. In our shortest meeting I didn’t even get the opportunity to taste my coffee before our proposal was declined,” Sjue says.

Three generous ladies The ever-generous bank of mum became the solution, and two mothers and an 56 | Issue 85 | February 2016

aunt put their houses up as collateral for the loans. “With three houses in the bag it was a totally different story. In total we borrowed 1.5 million NOK, which to us seemed like an enormous sum of money, and we intended to start a brewery with it,” Sjue says. “Everyone thought it was madness, and it definitely was. Most breweries buy equipment for far more than that, and we had to renovate the building as well.” But the guys at Austmann were careful with their money and managed to squeeze a fully-fledged brewery out of their cash. “Everything we could legally do ourselves, we did during the renovation period: everything from cleaning to putting down new floors, and it all happened during the coldest winter

Trondheim had seen in over 50 years,” Sjue recalls. In July 2013, Austmann Bryggeri was ready to start production and began with setting the first batch of Tre Gamle Damer, a Belgian pale ale honouring the three women who had made their brewery dreams come true. To this day, Tre Gamle Damer, their first of nearly 70 different brews, remains the brewery’s best seller. “It is a beer that is very typical for what we do. The fermentation process takes place in open tanks the old fashioned way rather than in closed tanks, which gives the beer a complex yet soft taste. Tre Gamle Damer is a light and easy-to-drink craft beer that everyone can enjoy,” Sjue explains.

A taste of the world But being Austmenn, the brewers also have a sense of adventure when it comes to their recipes. For instance, they have made a stout with fresh blueberries, as well as frequently using ingredients such as sea buckthorn and cocoa.

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Norway

Anders Cooper, Vinko Lien Sindelar and Thomas Sjue have made a major sweat equity investment into becoming Norway’s sixth-largest craft beer brewery.

Through a series called I Samme Båt (meaning ‘in the same boat’), Austmann cooperates with a number of renowned international breweries, including De Molen, Brussels Beer Project, Ø-brygg, Slottskællan and Kaapse Brouwers. Alongside the Dutch brewery De Molen, Austmann has made an imperial stout named Mannus & Blodøks with hints of dark chocolate, coffee and nuts, while the collaboration with the Brussels Beer Project resulted in an Aztec stout called La Shaman. La Shaman is made of cocoa beans, chipotle chilli and habanero and has a smoky, warming taste. “These brews are at the opposite end of the scale from Tre Gamle Damer, for those who really want to challenge their taste buds and explore something different,” Sjue says. The co-founder points out

that these collaborations are an important part of what Austmann is all about, and in the year ahead they have several exciting new co-releases coming up. “Again, it is what the Austmann concept is all about: setting sail and heading into the unknown to see what you can find. And the European craft beer scene is a very exciting place to be – it has grown into a bit of a creative collective over the past few years,” Sjue says.

Sixth place Since the first batch of Tre Gamle Damer was set on 2 July 2013 and up until the making of La Shaman, which hits the shelves this year, Austmann has grown at a phenomenal speed. During the first five months of operation, every Austmann beer was bottled by hand. “A bottling machine was something we felt we had to

put down a certain amount of sweat equity – which our entire operation is based on – to deserve. But after five months and 48,000 bottles we gave in and purchased one,” Sjue says. Today Austmann ranks as Norway’s sixth-largest craft beer brewery, and their growth has stagnated. “We’re at capacity, so we’ve reached out to investors to facilitate an expansion of our production, and so far we’ve had great luck,” Sjue explains. “For the Austmenn it was reach the shore or die. While it’s not exactly a life-or-death situation for us, it’s a great adventure and there’s no turning back now. The sky is the limit, as they say.” For more information, please visit:

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 57

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Norway

Revolutionary health snacks preserving nature Fittingly based on stunning Sommarøy outside Tromsø in Norway, the family-owned snack producer Havgull is ideally located for its main focus on healthy maritime snacks.

With the ocean as its direct supplier, Kristjon Bergmundsson and Kristin Hafsteinsdottir have, since 2008, transformed locally caught haddock into delicious, healthy and protein-packed snacks. “All of our products are made of 100 per cent natural ingredients and, using a method dating back over one hundred years, we maintain the protein content and the Omega-3 acid from the fish, ensuring that the products contain over 80 per cent protein,” Bergmundsson explains. The small business primarily consists of the married couple from Iceland, who moved to Norway in 2006 after falling in love with the spectacular location and decided to use their passion for good and honest food to create a new product. “Inspired by the rich and powerful surrounding nature, and the frankness

By Didrik Ottesen | Photos: Havgull

and honesty of this coastal community of 400 people, we launched Havgull, or Gold of the Ocean, which is what it means,” Bergmundsson says. “Processing is minimal in order to secure the essence of nature and to concentrate it in the product. The key elements are simplicity and honesty; nature is what it is, and we are not to tamper with it, but to preserve it.” With growing popularity, Havgull is preparing a new product, combining the success from the previous products with new flavours to create dry sashimi. “It is very difficult to find an equivalent to the nutritional values of dry sashimi, a gluten-free, dairy-free, no-carb, protein-rich, tasty sushi snack,” Bergmundsson smiles. For more information, please visit:

Making their hobby their livelihood

By Vilde Holta Røssland

Why not transform your hobby into your work? That is exactly what Tone and Mathias Krüger, mother and son, did when they established Færder Mikrobryggeri. It all started a few years ago, when the Krügers found an interest in beer and started brewing their own. “The beer turned out pretty good, and all of our friends and family liked it. We brought in external people to taste it, and when the feedback was positive, we figured: why not go bigger? So we did,” says Mathias Krüger, brew master at Færder Mikrobryggeri. Færder Mikrobryggeri’s brew house with its 2,000-litre vessel system is located in Tønsberg, Vestfold. “When the idea of establishing our own microbrewery came up, we could see that there was an opening in the market to do so in Vestfold. Microbreweries were up and coming all over Norway, and we wanted in,” Krüger says. On top of being brewers, the Krügers were now entrepreneurs, having created their own workplace. 58 | Issue 85 | February 2016

“Compared to what are sometimes referred to as first and second-generation microbreweries, where the focus is more on niche beer, we see ourselves as a third-generation microbrewery, making beer widely available. We want to make beer that is not a meal in itself, but goes well with food, too,” Krüger says. The microbrewery, named after Færder Lighthouse, an important seamark way out in the Oslo fjord, makes beer associated with weather and wind, summer and sun, waves and the ocean. “We are perceived as a summer brewery by many, naturally because of our location, but also because of our beer. We have many bright and light beers, but we make dark beers, too,” Krüger assures. For more information, please visit:

Photo: Færder Mikrobryggeri

Photo: Thomas Xavier Floyd

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Norway

Photo: Ægir Bryggeri AS

Founders Aud Melås and Evan Lewis. Photo: Arnold Lan

A flavourful feat Spectacular Flåm in western Norway is not only the perfect place to dive into the deep blue Sognefjord; it is also the ideal spot to discover your inner lover of craft beer. Forget about the Norwegian half litre – at Ægir Brewery and Pub it is the half metre that counts.

opportunities for the eager explorer to try more than one dish and type of beer. Each holds five tasters, allowing guests to discover their own favourites.

By Stine Lise Wannebo | Photos: Thor Brødreskift

In addition to serving their crafted brews to guests at their pub, Ærgir Brewery ships its tempting beers to destinations across the country as well as abroad. The business has also grown to include Flåmsbrygga Hotel, Furukroa Café and Flåmstova Restaurant, all within metres of Ægir Brewery and Pub.

“We like to say that we have beer both with and in the food,” founder Evan Lewis laughs. He and his wife, Aud Melås, opened the doors to their own brew pub in 2007, naming it Ægir Brewery. The atmosphere rings true of the area’s ancient traditions, as food, drinks and even the architecture take you back to the time of the Vikings. Ægir Brewery’s majestic nine-metre-tall fireplace is truly a sight for Norse gods. At the heart of it all lies a love for combining the finest locally sourced ingredients with just the right beer. “It takes experience to know what brew enhances the flavours of the meal and

which beer would complement the ingredients in the best possible way,” Lewis explains. Over the past nine years, Ægir Brewery has created over 40 different beers, from a sweet chocolatey brew to a flavourful dark Scotch Ale. While the first goes particularly well with a rich chocolate fondant, the second is perfect for a generous portion of crispy smoked pork. It only takes one look at Ægir Brewery and Pub’s delicious menu to realise that one plate could never accommodate all the dishes you would like to sink your teeth into. The Viking plank and the half metre of beer are therefore supreme

“All we want is for our guests to open their eyes to a new and exciting way of drinking and tasting beer and to leave here with a new, enriching experience,” Lewis says. “And so far, I think we have succeeded at that.” For more information, please visit:

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 59

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Norway

With the many options of beers, it may be difficult to choose. Kinn Brewery helps you chose the right beer for your meal. Illustration by Oda Valle.

Brew master and founder Espen Lothe.

Beers for the foodie Kinn Brewery is already a favourite among beer lovers, being a best-selling label in Norway. However, brew master and founder Espen Lothe will not be content until he has won over even the fussiest of foodies with his offerings of a wide variety of beers suitable for a prawn curry and a mild cheese alike. By Helene Toftner | Photos: Kinn Bryggeri

The beer adventure began in Lothe’s kitchen several years ago, where he started out making beers for private consumption. As time went by, he decided to set up his own brewery in 2009. “I enjoyed producing something of my own, and it was amazing to realise how easy it was to design a beer exactly after my own taste buds,” Lothe says. It clearly was not only his own taste buds, but most of Norway’s, that he pleased. Already a top choice at bars as well as Vinmonopolet, the government-owned 60 | Issue 85 | February 2016

retailer with a monopoly on selling alcoholic beverages in Norway, Kinn Brewery produces English and Belgium beer types. The main difference from other microbreweries, however, lies in the focus on combining beers with food. “We take great pride in producing different beers that suit different kinds of foods, be it seafood, game or desserts,” Lothe says. “Beers are taking over more and more from wine as the go-to drink to have with food, at least among those with an interest in beer.” On their website and at the brewery, customers are advised

about recipes that go with the various flavours as well as how to cook them. “The two go hand in hand,” Lothe says. Although the typical Kinn customer is an urban man in his mid-30s, Lothe emphasises that they offer something for everyone. “The beers appeal to most people. They all have a rounded and harmonic flavour, which is easy on the tongue,” the brew master says. While the beer is readily available around Norway, you are recommended to pop by the charming brewery in Florø, a small town on the west coast of Norway, for a tasting session of the 29 different brews.

For more information, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Norway

Innovative brewing in the fruit village Inspired by American and Belgian beer, Lindheim Ølkompani stands out from other microbreweries with their sensational flavours and fascinating experiments. By Vilde Holta Røssland | Photos: Colin Eick

As third-generation fruit farmers at Lindheim farm, located in Gvarv in Telemark, Eivin Eilertsen and Ingeborg Lindheim wanted to be able to live off the family farm. But their fruit production was not enough. “We had a lot of fruit, and it was important to us to stay true to our farm’s traditions and keep the production going,” Eivin Eilertsen says. “But we also realised that we could not live off fruit alone. We had to do more, and that was when beer came into the picture.” And so they went from fruit farmers to beer brewers, and fruit is just as big a part of the farm today as it was 80 years ago. “Fruit is essential in almost all our beers. We use fruit from our own farm and, if we feel like mixing it up a little,

we go over to the neighbour and ask to use some of his. But, of course, we do make beers without fruit, too,” Eilertsen assures. In the old barn, there is now a new microbrewery, and on the first floor there is a showroom where a selection of the brews are served and beer tastings are arranged. The brewing community on the west coast of the United States has played a big part in the making of Lindheim Ølkompani, as Eilertsen and Lindheim have managed to build up a solid network of brewers on their travels across the pond. “We did not know anything about brewing, so our contacts in San Diego have been invaluable. They taught us everything we know,” Eilertsen says. Back in Norway the brew-

ing began and, in 2013, Lindheim Ølkompani was established. Only a year later, RateBeer, one of the world’s biggest beer websites, rated Lindheim Ølkompani as the fifth best new brewery in the world. American brewing has been a natural influence from the beginning. Belgian beer also plays a role as an inspiration, especially when it comes to the brewing process and the brewery’s latest experiment, spontaneous fermentation. “We use the natural yeast from the air at Lindheim instead of adding a clean yeast culture to our beer, giving it a unique taste,” Eilertsen explains. “The beer ferments and matures for at least a year in old oak barrels, which is quite exciting as we never really know how it will turn out.”

For more information, please visit:

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 61

Photo: Alexander Radsby/Perfect Fools AB

As tasty as it is versatile This year Norway’s cheesiest ambassador celebrates 60 years. It is a jubilee that will be marked across the globe, no doubt with scrumptious grilled cheese sandwiches Down Under and deliciously cheesy puff pastry swirls across the pond. It has been over 50 years since Jarlsberg® started sharing its nutty full-bodied flavour with the rest of the world. By Stine Lise Wannebo | Photos: Isidor Åstrøm / Studio Isidor

There is one particular cheese that springs to mind when talking about fine round holes, and that is Jarlsberg. For 60 years, these famed holes, along with the yellow colour and distinct mature flavour, have spread to make the cheese an international celebrity. Exactly how these holes are made is one of Norway’s best guarded secrets, and so is the original Jarlsberg recipe. Countless family 62 | Issue 85 | February 2016

meals across the globe have been spent pondering the mysteries of those perfectly shaped holes. Yet no one has been able to replicate the success of Norway’s most treasured cheese.

A delicious adventure Jarlsberg was created at the Agricultural University of Norway in 1956. The purpose of the experiment, led by pro-

fessor Ole Martin Ystgaard, was to create an entirely new brand of cheese based on long-forgotten traditions and the latest in modern technology. Little did they know about the tasty adventure they had just embarked on. “The innovative spirit of Jarlsberg has lasted all these years,” Rikke Dobloug says proudly. She is Jarlsberg’s very own international brand manager and knows everything there is to know about the brand’s journey beyond the borders of Norway. “Jarlsberg was never just a sandwich topping,” she explains.

Hot or cold There are few cheeses that are as adaptable as Jarlsberg. In the course of

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Norway

60 years, the dense and edgy, yet sweet, cheese has proven just how versatile it is. Jarlsberg has appeared in a number of remarkable settings and is clearly just as appetising in Hollywood blockbusters as it is on a beautiful cheese platter. For some, a deliciously tender burger is not complete without a slice of Jarlsberg, while others love to enhance their summer salads with a sprinkle of flavourful Norwegian cheese cubes. “Hot or cold, snack or main ingredient, there are probably a million ways to devour this cheese,” Dobloug laughs.

Sharing a piece of the good life In 1960, the round and nutty cheese entered the Australian market, and only five years later the cheese was introduced in the United States. Since then, Jarlsberg has evolved into the ultimate Aussie family treat, a natural companion on all outings into the Australian wilderness. But no country in the world sells as much Jarlsberg as the US. Not only do Americans like to take the opportunity to share a pair of irresistible latenight sandwiches with their friends; they also tend to make sure to have plenty of Jarlsberg-flavoured crisps and cheese

sticks in the cupboard. It is clear that Jarlsberg is in a league of its own.

Norwegian at heart Over 27,000 tonnes of Jarlsberg is sold worldwide every year. And even if innovation is the key to the international success of the celebrated cheese, Jarlsberg is made in much the same way today as it was 60 years ago. Along with a whole range of other excellent fresh dairy products, Jarlsberg is produced by a cooperative of Norwegian dairy farmers called TINE SA. Scattered along the lengthy belt of Norwegian mainland, farmers work diligently to produce perhaps the world’s best milk. And it is from this milk that Jarlsberg is created. Naturally, not every tonne of this luscious, dense cheese is made on Norwegian soil, but the principles are still the same. “The key to Jarlsberg’s success lies in the secret recipe and the hundreds of people who take great pride in delivering consistently high-quality cheese and only the finest full-bodied taste,” Dobloug says.

quick online search results in thousands of recipes on how to easily cook the most dashing of dishes with Jarlsberg as the primary ingredient. From healthy green pies to sweet colourful tarts, there is no lack of imagination among the world’s Jarlsberg lovers. And it does not have to be laborious either. Cultured canapés at an elegant garden party or a wedge of Jarlsberg on the barbecue wrapped in a single blanket of Parma ham – the choice is yours. Just do not think that you will be allowed to eat it all on your own. For more information, please visit:

For every occasion There is no right or wrong way to enjoy Jarlsberg, that fact is indisputable. A

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 63

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Norway

Artisan distilling and farm life – a perfect match By making liquor on the family farm with products from both their own orchard and other local producers, Jann Vestby and Synnøve Vik Bergstad have managed to combine their old and new professions: chemical engineers, farmers and artisan distillers.

After completing their studies at the university in Trondheim, chemical engineers Jann Vestby and Synnøve Vik Bergstad had settled down in Oslo when they were asked if they wanted to move back to Vik Bergstad’s hometown, Sandane in Nordfjord, and take over the family farm. “Making liquor was the first thing that came to our mind when trying to figure out what to do at the old fruit farm. That way, we could make use of our qualification,” says Vestby, general manager

of Gardsbrenneriet AS. The farm had a small apple orchard and, with traditions dating back over 100 years, it was important to keep the history of the farm going in the new business. While awaiting permission to start producing liquor, Vik Bergstad and Vestby started making apple juice and planted 2,500 new apple trees. In 2015, the liquor series Attåt was launched with three products: liqueur, brandy and vodka. ‘Attåt’ is a Norwegian expression meaning ‘to go with’, and Gardsbrenneriet’s products go perfectly with both good food and good company, with new and exciting products in the pipeline in the coming years. “We will produce liquor based on other fruits and berries, and we will expand our product range, making aquavit, gin and whisky, to mention some,” says Vestby.

By Vilde Holta Røssland Photos: Gardsbrenneriet AS

For more information, please visit:


A taste of Italy – made in Christiansfeld A slice of carpaccio from Skare Food might taste like a bite of Italy, but the high-quality charcuterie product, which is exported to 21 countries, is actually produced in the small town of Christiansfeld in Denmark. With a wide selection of first-class cured meats and sausages, Skare Food has managed to reach quality-conscious foodies all over the world. Even in Italy, a country known for its discerning attitude to food and cured meats in particular, Skare Food has made its way into the supermarkets. “It might seem a bit strange that we can produce and export southern European products to Italy and Spain with such success. On the other hand, a good

product is sellable everywhere,” says director Lars F. Andersen. The success of Skare Food’s product range, which includes roast beef, carpaccio and other high-quality beef, pork and poultry charcuterie products, is a result of many years of innovation and product development. Heading up the kitchen are two chefs and a sausage specialist, who use their combined skills to create new, tasty products. One of the defining quali-



TA cial T DE S hem e: NM TE O AR F K

By Signe Hansen Photos: Skare Food

ties of the products is that they include as little preservatives and artificial ingredients as possible, explains Andersen. “For instance, we produce a selection of organic meat cuttings as well as products without any phosphates which, it has turned out, are not good for your health.” Andersen has been at the helm of Skare Food since 2001. In the years since he joined the company, it has grown from 20 to 120 employees.

Skare Food’s high-quality carpaccio is exported to 21 countries.

For more information, please visit:


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Scan Business Keynote 66 | Business Calendar 67 | Special Theme: Enterprise Denmark 68 | Conferences of the Month 78




I am an English speaker – ? By Steve Flinders

but I realise that it is the speakers who make a language, not the grammarians, and that notions of correctness are finally determined by usage. Can you imagine trying to clamp down on Chinese T-shirts with slogans such as ‘Everybody likes to be freedom’ and ‘Sexuality is flow’? Indeed, I wish English would borrow more than it does. We should take ‘to responsibilise’ (a person) and ‘to animate’ (a meeting) from French. The northern European red thread is a handy idea for a line of argument (but not ‘handy’ for mobile phone) and the Scandinavians’ nearest leader is much nicer than the English boss. Ordering a Ceasar salad the other day (yes, that is how it is often spelt in Malta) started me thinking about my language. I should confess straight away to being something of a language nerd: when my wife and I go to London flower markets, she looks at the flowers and I look at the misplaced apostrophes. And being a nerd does not mean being a pedant: I don’t want some kind of Canute-like academy, as in France, trying to pretend that English could be driven by rules. I do feel a twinge when I hear ‘a big amount of people’, rather than ‘a big number’, 66 | Issue 85 | February 2016

I also advocate KISS – Keeping It Short and Simple – so I would ban ‘utilise’ since ‘use’ is shorter, and ‘we have the possibility to’ if ‘we can’ does just as well.

On the other hand, I worry about Eurospeak - what I call Desperanto. For me, my social partners are the people I go to the pub with, not employers and unions; and if I ever use the EU ‘actorness’ to describe ‘the quality of being an actor’, you can lock me in a library full of misplaced apostrophes and throw away the key’s.

Scan Magazine | Business | Calendar

Scandinavian Business Calendar

By Vilde Holta Røssland

Highlights of Scandinavian business events Many opportunities await this month to gain knowledge on issues affecting Scandinavia and useful advice for your own endeavours. Meet Jan Häggström The Swedish Chamber of Commerce is presenting you with the opportunity to meet and listen to Jan Häggström, Handelsbanken’s Group Chief Economist. Mr. Häggström will offer insight into the global economic outlook, focusing on the UK and Sweden. Time and date: 17 Feb, 6pm–9pm Venue: 1 Kingsway, West End, London WC2B

Annual Tax event with SEB Arranged by the Norwegian Chamber of Commerce, this event will focus on UK and Norwegian tax rules. Helena Whitmore of SEB will present an update on developments in UK tax relevant to the international community.

Time and date: 24 Feb, 6pm–9.30pm Venue: SEB, 1 Carter Lane, London EC4V 5ER

Nordic drinks at KuPP Members and friends of the Norwegian, Finnish and Danish Chambers of Commerce in the UK gather for Nordic Drinks every last Thursday of the month. This time the Nordic Drinks will be at KuPP, a restaurant combining Scandinavian and British traditions. The event is free of charge but requires registration. Time and date: 25 Feb, 6pm–8pm Venue: KuPP, Unit 53, Merchant Square, Paddington, Greater London W2 1AS www.

Nordic Business Forum The Nordic Business Forum is an annual joint event arranged by the Nordic Chambers of Commerce in London. This year the forum will take a closer look at Anglo-Nordic trade relations, aiming to map out corporate opportunities in uncertain times. The event will shed light and elaborate on what experiences and plans there are from a governmental, financial, industrial and analytical point of view. Time and date: 1 March, 5.30pm–9pm Venue: HSBC, 78 St. James’s Street, London SW1A 1JB



Charlottehaven | Hjørringgade 12C | DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø

Contact +45 3527 1520


SE I i PR RK ec p R S TE MA N E EN D m he

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Fantastic with plastic Specialised in developing and manufacturing advanced plastics for technical purposes, Unika produces no less than 50 to 80 million plastic items every year. Thanks to a wealth of experience and know-how, the Danish company has managed to keep expanding and creating new jobs in an industry that has seen many competitors cut down or outsource production. By Signe Hansen | Photos: Unika

Manufacturing everything from technical micro-elements of less than 0.5 grammes to specifically developed plastic parts for design items, Unika

68 | Issue 85 | February 2016

has become a name that equals quality and reliability in the world of injection mould plastics. The company’s continuous growth in both their workforce and production has earned it several business nominations including two as Gazelle Company of the Year by the Danish financial newspaper Børsen. Director Bo Johansen, who took over the company from his father Ejvind Johansen in 1997, ascribes the success to an unswaying focus on quality from idea to product: “It’s simply because of our extensive expertise and the quality of our products. We make sure all our employees understand that everything has to be 100 per cent satisfactory – we always follow a product all

the way through and have never had to give up on a job. I believe that’s the reason none of our clients have ever wanted to take their business elsewhere.” That these are not just the words of a proud director is proved by Unika’s impressive client roster, which includes some of Denmark’s largest and most successful companies, such as Grundfos, Arla and Lindberg. A life in plastics Having grown up in the world of plastic manufacturing, his father’s company located at the family farm in Højbjerg, Johansen trained at the nearby Grundfos. So did his brother, Steen Johansen, who is today chairman of the board and manager of the tools department. “It’s been an exciting process to be part of everything from the very beginning. As it’s always been a family business, it was natural for me and my brother to take part from a very early age, and then, lat-

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Enterprise Denmark

er on, we developed our different areas of interest; I was more into the injection moulding while my brother specialised in the tools,” Bo Johansen explains. In 2002, Unika moved to a 4,000-square-metre site in Ans, where the company today houses 120 employees, 40 injection mould machines and 25 tools machines. All Unika’s tools are re-examined on their Zeiss measuring machine and a measurement report is produced to guarantee that all measurements specified for control match the requirements. Furthermore, Unika is ISO 9001 certified, meaning that specific quality requirements are assessed and confirmed independently by third-party certification bodies. “Throughout the years, we have worked to improve and heighten the quality of all our work, and that has resulted in a collection of extremely precise, energy efficient and reliable machines,” Johansen stresses. From idea to product The fact that Unika has one of Denmark’s best-equipped tools departments on site is key to the success of the company. The department develops production equipment, as well as restoring spare parts for them, for injection mould plastics. This means that the process, from idea to finished product, is reduced and the risk of misunderstandings and subsequent adaptations is significantly diminished. “The biggest advantage of having our own tools department is that it minimises the risk of time loss and inefficiency for the client. If they have the tool produced somewhere else and then send it to an injection moulding, they risk a lot of back and forwards between the two if something does not work. Because we are involved from the prototype phase, we have the drawings for everything, so if something does not work we can fix it immediately and it will never become a problem that our client has to deal with,” says Johansen. All machines are controlled by high-tech robots but also a continuously growing workforce of specialised employees, something that, according to Johansen,

is what really sets the company apart from the many that have chosen to move production to lower costs. “We never had any intentions of moving anywhere else – when you have a highly specialised production like ours, it is alfa omega that that you have skilled, experienced and well-trained employees. So when, during the financial crisis, everybody else moved their production to China, we stayed, and I believe that the fact that we keep growing and never loose clients shows that we made the right choice.” For more information, please visit:

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 69

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Enterprise Denmark

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life To most people, a job is an essential part of their identity, just like having the right employee is a crucial element for a company. That is why the recruitment agency TEMP-TEAM has made it their ambition to create the perfect match. By Nicolai Lisberg | Photos: Juhler Group

A challenging and interesting job can be the crucial difference between working just to pay the bills or working for personal fulfilment and development. But for people over 50 in particular, it can be difficult to find a new job. “Most companies look for young recruits, so more senior job seekers often loose contact with the job market. We try to get them back to work by getting them a temporary position, which is a very effective way of creating a flexible connection to the job market. Moreover, it is an excellent opportunity to get a permanent position later on, if that is what they want,” says Erik Juhler, the founder and CEO of TEMPTEAM, which is a part of Juhler Group. 70 | Issue 85 | February 2016

The recruitment agency also helps young people to find work and has for this purpose created the brand TALENT-TEAM. By working closely with the universities and educational institutions they aim to help less experienced job seekers enter the job market as well. “The feeling of not being able to find a job after years of studying is simply awful,” says Juhler. “In Norway and Denmark, we have been very successful with finding jobs for graduates.”

pore. The company deals with more than 1,200 permanent and 1,200 temporary placements on average every year. The reason for the success is simple: “We make a big effort to get to know the companies for whom we are recruiting. Of course we look at all the practical things to make sure that all the requirements are met, but we also visit the companies to understand their needs,” explains Juhler. “Chemistry is one of the most important things in terms of getting a good match, so we also conduct a lot of interviews with the candidates and collect references from previous employers to make sure they’re a good fit for the company.”

Finding the perfect match TEMP-TEAM has many years of experience and is, in addition to Scandinavia, also established in the UK and Singa-

For more information, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Enterprise Denmark

Top left: CEO Magdalena Bahrami.

Get the job done – ethically Many Scandinavian businesses are struggling to find good, qualified workmen in the numbers that they need. With more and more young Scandinavians going into the service sector, foreign temporary workers are crucial to the Danish economy. While stories of exploitation may be plentiful in the media, the Danish company BlueCollar is out to change that perception, holding both its clients and its European workers to the highest recruitment standards to ensure fairness all round. By Louise Older Steffensen | Photos: BlueCollar

“We guarantee 100 per cent correct recruitment procedures,” says CEO Magdalena Bahrami. “The temporary workers we employ are fully qualified, experienced and have an excellent track record, and they will be paid the same and given exactly the same rights as their Danish colleagues.” BlueCollar’s business is based solely on meeting an unfulfilled demand in Denmark – not on exploiting employees. The company is a member of Danish industry regulators Dansk Industri and Vikarbranchen. “The workers we employ are people just like you and me,” Magdalena Bahrami says. “They need to feel comfortable thousands of miles from their families and not just have their basic needs fulfilled, but also have hobbies and feel

integrated.” BlueCollar pays for sick days and helps employees find good accommodation close to relevant leisure facilities. The migrants all speak English but are offered free Danish courses if employed on a longer-term basis. “If you don’t care about the wellbeing of your workforce as human beings, then you won’t get the best from them either,” Magdalena Bahrami insists. “We employ coordinators who keep in contact with our employees,” she continues. “A coordinator goes along on the first day of work and, after that, they visit workers and help out with queries.” BlueCollar specialises in recruitment from Romania and Poland, where they have their own offices. They have both Polish and Romanian-speaking coor-

dinators, ensuring that language is no barrier. The workers remain employed by them, and many have expressed their surprise and relief in the excellent treatment they receive. BlueCollar’s worker rapport is a huge bonus for Danish companies too, as it means they benefit from a large pool of committed, hard-working talents who are ready to move. BlueCollar takes care of all aspects of hiring, integration and finalisation administration, leaving companies worry-free and able to focus on getting their work done alongside their new colleagues. “We work with several large and well-known companies within a number of industries including food production, transport and all areas of construction, placing smiths, electricians, welders and CNC operators,” says Magdalena Bahrami. “It’s important to broadcast that foreign recruitment can be a win-win situation.”

For more information, please visit:

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 71

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Enterprise Denmark 1. Esbjerg Erhvervsudvikling “A university degree can be very beneficial, especially when you need to approach a situation from many different angles,” says Randi Høxbroe from Esbjerg Erhvervsudvikling about hiring Troels Larsen, a philosopher.



2. Harald Nyborg “It was a bit of a gamble. None of the other purchasing assistants have a university degree,” says purchasing manager Heidi Ryberg, who hired global business engineer Camilla Bruhn Nielsen. 3. Sten & Grus “We have to take the risk of hiring people who are wiser than we are, as tasks are completed faster and to a high standard. Knowledge stimulates growth and development,” says manager Jette Rohde.



4. Karlsens Krydderier Mia Bentsen, who has a master’s degree, was Karlsens Krydderier’s first academic. She went on to optimise their marketing and communications efforts.

Grow your business with academics The world of business and the world of academics can often seem disconnected. However, Akademikerkampagnen combines these worlds to efficiently utilise the knowledge and out-of-the-box thinking that an academic can bring to businesses, ultimately helping small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) achieve their goals. By Josefine Older Steffensen | Photos: Akademikerkampagnen

“We’ve found that the SMEs that employ academics tend to enjoy greater growth,” says Louise Bruun Rosenbaum, head consultant at Akademikerkampagnen. The academics, freshly equipped with everything from a bachelor’s degree to a PhD, benefit companies by bringing new thought processes and knowledge. The process Akademikerkampagnen gets in touch with SMEs across Denmark to discuss what their goals are. The organisation then translates these goals into a job position that will help to further the company, subsequently matching up the company with the correct person for the job. “We’re trying to build bridges between the business and academia where they 72 | Issue 85 | February 2016

can benefit from each other,” says Rosenbaum. More importantly, the consultants at Akademikerkampagnen are excellent at translating a business’s goals into something concrete, so that their plans are efficiently realised. Breaking traditions An anthropologist at a marine consultancy or an economist at a hotel might not seem like the obvious choices, yet Akademikerkampagnen have had successes with exactly those matches. “The people we find are not always what companies would look for at first,” explains Rosenbaum. “Instead, they’re people who we know can deliver and who can benefit the company by bringing their expertise from other fields.”

Companies that have worked with Akademikerkampagnen are very positive about the experience, and many come back to discover more innovative ways in which academics can help them. “The jobs that we create in the companies are jobs that are needed, but which might be difficult to put into words and descriptions,” says Rosenbaum. What Akademikerkampagnen does so well is break down the walls between these two different worlds, helping SMEs to achieve their goals and academics to apply their skills and knowledge in a beneficial and advancing way. If you or your business are looking for new ways to achieve your goals, Akademikerkampagnen is an excellent place to start.

For more information, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Enterprise Denmark

Made for business Avedøre Holme, situated in Hvidovre Kommune, is one of the most attractive business areas in the Öresund region. Home of more than 300 Danish and international companies, the large business community thrives thanks to an advantageous location within 15 minutes of central Copenhagen and Copenhagen Airport, as well as a municipality that strives to ensure all businesses get the service and support they need to succeed. By Signe Hansen | Photos: Hvidovre Kommune

An important part of Hvidovre municipality’s strategy to further the environment for businesses is a one-point-of-access policy, which prevents businesses having to chase different departments. One of the companies that appreciates the business-friendly environment and the advantages of Avedøre Holme’s location is Bombardier, an international airplane and train producer. “When we have visitors from outside Denmark, they see our location as being right in Copenhagen. Being so close to the capital, motorway and airport, Avedøre Holme is a unique area for businesses, the like of which we haven’t seen in other countries. If you go to Sweden, for instance, you have to go several hun-

dred kilometres outside Stockholm to find a similar area,” says director Peter Sonne. “We’ve experienced a very proactive approach from the municipality of Hvidovre. Besides, there are many businesses in the area which we cooperate with in one way or another, and that has many advantages in the everyday running of things.” Constructed in a wetland area more than 50 years ago, Avedøre Holme has been the home to industries of all kinds for decades. Among them, many have been subject to special environmental requirements, which means that Hvidovre Kommune has built up an extensive expertise in consulting businesses on such demands. The consulting is just one part

of the local authority’s extensive work to promote a business-friendly environment in the municipality. Mayor Helle Adelborg explains: “We believe that network, collaborations and not least dialogue are the way forward when it comes to industrial development in an urban area like Hvidovre. That’s why we have established two networks for companies of all sizes. Here we identify shared development potential and problem solving. As a mayor, it is nice to see that the businesses show commitment and take part in the local community.”

For more information, please visit:

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 73

Fifteen hundred shades of lime For many years, lime mortar has been considered a building material of the past, something used almost exclusively for renovations of historic buildings. But the ancient material has many advantages for modern products: it is flexible, sustainable, easily recyclable and promotes a healthy indoor environment. This is why Danish mortar specialist KALK is passionate about reintroducing lime mortar to the construction world of today. By Signe Hansen | Photos: KALK

KALK and its lime products have been pivotal to the renovation of some of Denmark’s most iconic historic buildings,

74 | Issue 85 | February 2016

including Amalienborg and Kronborg. Owner and manager Rasmus Jørgensen believes that the time has now come to take advantage of lime’s many distinctive qualities in new constructions. “Renovation has been our niche for many years, but we are now entering a new phase where we are looking at transferring lime mortar’s original qualities into today’s way of constructing. When, in the late 20th century, lime mortar was replaced by other materials it was because, at that time, it was all about

speed and height. When building like that in complete brick walls, lime mortar was not the best choice. But today, almost all buildings are created with a supporting concrete wall, insulation and then a brick facing and, in that kind of construction, lime mortar has many advantages. For one, it creates a more flexible masonry that will cooperate with the rest of the house. This means that the mortar joint is able to adapt to shifting ground or other changing conditions, which will make it easier to avoid cracks in the adherence zone as well as in the plastering. It becomes a more sustainable building, and lime mortar makes it possible to separate bricks and mortar and reuse both if and when the building has to be deconstructed.” Another advantage of lime is that it creates a masonry with a breathable wall

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Enterprise Denmark

that will allow moisture to freely move through it and evaporate from its surface. This in turn creates a house with a self-regulating indoor environment and fewer problems with moisture and mould. Lime enthusiasts Rasmus Jørgensen is the second generation of the Jørgensen family to run KALK. The company was founded by his father, Michael Kjøng Jørgensen, in 1976 after he, during the renovation of the local church, realised that traditional high-quality lime-based products were being forgotten. With KALK, he reintroduced the Scandinavian market to lime slaked in the traditional, natural way and stored in pits. With this also came the introduction of many other products for renovation, such as hydraulic lime, pure earth colours and good suitable sand. “I remember how, when I was a boy, I used to hide in the car when my dad stopped at an old church to go examine the mortar. But today I’m the one who is doing that and embarrassing my children. A lot of people might think, ‘how hard can it be?’ It’s just lime and sand – but it is really a very extensive field and once you start getting into it you become a bit obsessed,”

says Rasmussen, explaining that this is why one of his mortars is named after one of history’s first lime mortar enthusiasts, Vitruvius, an architect for Caesar. KALK, which is located in Heddinge, currently manufactures a wide range of lime products for plastering, pointing and bricklaying, as well as a selection of no less than 1,500 colours of lime for whitewashing. Cradle 2 Cradle As KALK’s products are based on lime, which is a raw material, some of the components are biodegradable and therefore already part of the biological circuit through which they can be returned to nature. But KALK wants to do even more: to make lime mortar constructions a sustainable choice, the company has become the world’s first Cradle 2 Cradle (C2C) certified supplier of lime products. “We want to contribute to changing the throwaway culture that the construction industry is currently in. Therefore, we have increased our focus on sustainability and gone one step further and had our entire product line C2C certified. With a C2C certification of our products we can

document all constituent parts of them, making it easier to recycle them,” says Jørgensen. “Our vision is for the products to become part of a technical cycle where they are renovated, reused or improved, so that they can be incorporated into new products. This way, there’s no need to take in as much of the lime in the subsoil. We hope to close this resource circuit by year 2030 so that all of the products used in masonry construction can be reused. That way, the lime can become part of a never-ending cycle, where the raw materials maintain the quality and create value far beyond the individual product’s lifetime.”

For more information, please visit:

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 75

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Enterprise Denmark

Manufacturing growth in the Zealand region Growth. It is the word on everyone’s lips. But at the Growth Factories in Denmark, it is more than just chit-chat – they know how to translate the word into practice. By Sanne Wass | Photos: Vækstfabrikkerne

It is no coincidence that its name is Vækstfabrikkerne, Danish for Growth Factories. Since its inception in 2010, Vækstfabrikkerne has helped more than 500 entrepreneurs and small companies in Denmark’s Zealand region grow. The initiative, funded by the region’s municipalities and the European Social Fund, today consists of 13 business incubators. Entrepreneurs enter a 1.5 to three-year growth programme of mentoring, networking activities, workshops, meetings with growth consultants, and an educational course in entrepreneurship in cooperation with Danish universities. “We are a launch pad for entrepreneurs,” explains Søren Berg Jørgensen, project manager at Vækstfabrikkerne. “The idea is that entrepreneurs enter our programme, grow bigger, and then move on.” And the results are unmistak76 | Issue 85 | February 2016

able: more than half of the companies completing the programme experience a growth of 20 per cent or more. 86 per cent of the start-ups survive, compared to a normal survival rate of just 50 per cent. And the entrepreneurs from Vækstfabrikkerne expect to create more than 350 jobs in the next three years. “One of the companies, SoundBoks, started out as simply four young guys when they first came here. But after just one year they had to move out as they had expanded so quickly, and now they have more than ten employees,” Jørgensen says. But, he explains, one of the most important engines for growth is something the companies create themselves: “Of course you have the courses, workshops, mentoring and so on. But the key is the business network they build with each other. What’s special about

the incubators is that you share a workspace and exchange knowledge with like-minded entrepreneurs. It means you gain greater entrepreneurial confidence and faith in yourself.” The success story does not end in the Zealand region; Vækstfabrikkerne is, in 2016, expanding to include Sweden, Norway, England, Germany and Holland. In collaboration with 28 international partners, they aim to offer internationalisation programmes to small companies wishing to examine their opportunities for export or establish partnerships abroad. “A big challenge for creating growth is that our companies aren’t thinking internationally enough. Denmark is a small market, so if you really want to grow you have to go beyond our national borders,” Jørgensen insists. “We want to help them take that step.”

For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Conference of the Month | Norway

In the storehouse at Smakfulle Rom hangs several ‘fenalår’, a salted, dried and cured leg of lamb from the local area.

Conference of the Month, Norway

Everything you need in a beautiful rebuilt barn No more than a 20-minute drive out of Oslo, you will find Smakfulle Rom Conference Hotel. In rural surroundings with fields all around, peace is part of the package here. Smakfulle Rom also runs one of Norway’s biggest climbing parks, Høyt & Lavt Sørum Aktivitetspark, adding a little bit of fun to the whole experience.

their group’s size, and they can even opt to spend the night, with 15 bedrooms and room for 22 people. Each bedroom boasts its own colour, style and furnishing, giving them all that personal touch.

By Vilde Holta Røssland | Photos: Smakfulle Rom

Stine and Hans-Ove Kirkeby own and run Asak Farm, located in Sørum, Akershus, with one of Norway’s biggest pig farms. After moving the pigs into a new and modern pig barn a few years ago, Stine Kirkeby wanted to use the empty barn to create something they could live off and run from home. The idea of a conference hotel came up, and after years of planning, Smakfulle Rom has now become a reality. Something for everyone What better place to gather for a conference than someplace peaceful and quiet, but not too far away from the city? With all key facilities and a consistently 78 | Issue 85 | February 2016

high standard, Smakfulle Rom is a conference hotel built exactly for that purpose. The style is rustic but modern, and the atmosphere at the hotel is warm and comfortable. The programme is customised to the customer’s needs, and there are plenty of activities to add to the conference, including team building, a trip to the activity park and cooking classes, to mention just some. There is room for up to 120 people at a conference at Smakfulle Rom. With new and exclusive facilities, you can be sure that you will have anything you need available at all times. Smaller groups will find conference rooms suitable to

“We do not want to be the typical impersonal hotel,” says Hege Kvervavik, marketing manager at Smakfulle Rom. “We want our guests to sit down, have a good time, send food around the table, talk to each other, talk about the hotel and talk about how their rooms were different from each other. We want our guests to feel good when they’re here.” The real flavours With great facilities and a talented staff, Smakfulle Rom prides itself on a kitchen others find hard to match. Chef LarsErik Undrum is in charge, and with experience from Bagatelle and Pascal, to mention a few, the restaurant is in good hands.

Scan Magazine | Conference of the Month | Norway

“There is a thought behind every meal. We want to bring out the true flavours, and there is always a story behind the ingredients we chose to combine,” Undrum says. A great deal of the products used are from local producers, and some are made in the kitchen at Smakfulle Rom. “We hope that, in a few years, we will be making even more right here at the hotel, and maybe we will even brew our own beer.” When visiting Smakfulle Rom, you will in other words get a real taste of Norwegian farm life: a shared meal around the table, food made with love, passion and thoroughness, and the smell of freshly baked bread in the morning.

a café in the activity park, giving you the opportunity to have your lunch while enjoying a change of scenery. Having Norway’s biggest climbing park just a stone’s throw away is just one of the things that make Smakfulle Rom special. Smakfulle Rom is an exceptional place with an exceptional offer. “I don’t think you can find many conference hotels like ours,” Kvervavik says. Smakfulle Rom is a conference hotel with personality and charm. With its short distance to Oslo, its rural and peaceful surroundings, high-quality facilities and a wide range of activities on offer, Smakfulle Rom has something for everyone.

Take a break

Smakfulle Rom Conference Hotel:

Along with building the conference hotel, an activity park became part of the plan. In August 2015, Høyt & Lavt Sørum Aktivitetspark (Sørum Activity Park) was ready and, with over 10,000 visitors during the very first short season it was open, it has now been extended to offer visitors even more fun. As part of the kitchen in the main building, there is also

Modern facilities Room for 120 people 15 hotel rooms with 22 beds

For more information, please visit:

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 79

Conference of the Month, Denmark

Voted Denmark’s best 11 times Sometimes a change of scenery can inspire new thoughts and processes. At Gl. Skovridergaard and Vejlsøhus, both venues and hotels in Silkeborg, Denmark, your meetings and conferences are in good hands.

atorium, helping to restore the health of those suffering from the disease. This was its function until 1958, when the disease was eradicated in Denmark.

By Josefine Older Steffensen | Photos: Ferskvandscenteret, Vejlsøhus and Gl. Skovridergaard

Gl. Skovridergaard This beautiful building has a rich history, being the second oldest in Silkeborg. The building has been through a great deal, initially built with the intention of creating a teacher training college around

1798. Since then it has been the residence of the chief forest officers looking after the surrounding forests, with royalty occasionally visiting. It was later used as a sanatorium in the early 20th century. After the decline of health resorts in the 1970s, the building was used as a training centre by a bank. In April 2015, the building entered a new chapter when it was taken over by Ferskvandscenteret, giving it a new lease of life through extensive renovation of all the rooms. Vejlsøhus The newer Vejlsøhus originally opened its doors in 1903 as a tuberculosis san-

80 | Issue 85 | February 2016

It was used as a health institution until 1987, when the council took over the running of the building and the surrounding park, allowing Ferskvandscenteret to use the buildings to create a conference centre, hotel and AQUA aquarium and zoo. Ferskvandscenteret Ferskvandscenteret is a centre focused on the environment and in particular the local water environment. Gl. Skovridergaard and Vejlsøhus are run by Ferskvandscenteret as conference centres and hotels that everyone can use. They also host events related to the water environment.

Scan Magazine | Conference of the Month | Denmark

Conferences and meetings “We can accommodate everyone and their requirements,” says Thomas Simonsen, manager of both Gl. Skovridergaard and Vejlsøhus. The two centres are situated just 200 metres from each other, both enjoying the same outstanding scenery and close proximity to the city centre. The centres offer overnight stays and fantastic facilities with everything a conference could need. “Gl. Skovridergaard is slightly more luxurious, the conferencing facilities boasting five stars and the hotel four,” Simonsen explains. “Vejlsøhus has a four-star conference facility and a three-star hotel.” The capacity between the two centres ranges from two to 300, so for most businesses there is plenty of space. Gl. Skovridergaard has 65 hotel rooms while Vejlsøhus has 49 rooms, providing plenty of space for conference guests who want to stay the night. Both centres can also accommodate lunches and dinners. The food is focused on organic, local produce, giving you the chance to try the best the land has to offer. The surrounding area The phenomenal forests and lakes that surround the centres allow guests to relax and immerse themselves in the local environment. “We provide plenty of opportunities for people to enjoy the surroundings. Whether you want to have lunch outside, spend some time sailing on the lakes or go ant-picking and foraging with one of NOMAs suppliers, we can do it all,” says Simonsen. “Getting outside in the fresh air tends to contribute to more efficient meetings.” If you choose to host at Vejlsøhus, you can also easily access AQUA, an aquarium and zoo where you can, almost literally, submerge yourself in a freshwater lake and discover more about the local wildlife. The centres are easily accessible with a newly opened motorway and excellent

transport links from many major Danish cities, making it easy for companies to get together in one place. Devil is in the detail What sets Gl. Skovridergaard and Vejlsøhus apart from similar centres is the attention to detail. “We’re friendly and try to help out as much as we can as and when we’re needed,” says Simonsen. “People come back because they know we can make anything happen.”

Between them, the conference centres have been voted the Best in Denmark 11 times, based on reviews. Both centres have earned their mark of excellence numerous times and provide the perfect setting for conferences and meetings.

Gl. Skovridergaard offers eyeglass spray in the meeting rooms, ensuring clear visibility for all. At Vejlsøhus you can hire a mountain bike or a pair of running shoes. These details make the centres stand out. Both can accommodate those looking for a luxurious stay as well as those hoping for an active getaway. These are places where the whole company can come together for a meeting or a weekend away, in addition to private customers being able to make use of the hotel and its generous surroundings. When booking, you can now also get Best Western Rewards, making your stay even more fulfilling.

For more information, please visit: or

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 81

At Delicatessen you can find tapas for all palates – from the classics to menu novices.

Restaurant of the Month, Norway

Delightful delicacies in Oslo’s urban hotspots Merging Spanish delicacies, that have a central place in the hearts of Norwegians, with an inventive take on social dining, Delicatessen has been a popular place to gather in Oslo for some time now. Add its three locations, offering informal and urban culinary atmospheres in the city’s most prominent areas, and the success seems obvious.

taurant initially did,” he says. “Frequent trips to southern Europe had acquainted Norwegians with finger food-style dishes, but in the beginning it wasn’t obvious that we were going to succeed. This was, at the time, quite the novel concept.”

By Julie Lindén | Photos:

To owner Rodrigo Belda, however, success requires tenacious maintenance – something he ensures by visiting the restaurants daily. “I have an electric car. It’s easier on the conscience when I spend my days driving between eateries,” he laughs with a gentle nod to the line-up of restaurants under his ownership, as we sit down for coffee at Delicatessen Grünerløkka. That Belda is a hands-on type of owner is evident. “If the dishes need washing, I’ll do them. Helping out where it’s needed is a matter of course to me.” A course straight to culinary triumph, one might add. 82 | Issue 85 | February 2016

King of the tapas throne since 1999 A chef at heart, Belda’s engrossed way of addressing his life’s work may not come as a surprise. In 2000, six months into his employment as the head chef of Delicatessen, Belda saw room for improvement. The ‘little-bit-of-everything’-style menu could benefit from a niche, he believed. What emerged was – after some labouring with Norwegian palates – an aim to become a favoured meet-up location with a laid-back atmosphere and flavourful tapas. “The original menu did include tapas, but I believed we ought to focus more narrowly on tapas than the res-

The result of the bold move was a list of classic tapas, such as manchego, aioli, albondigas and pimientos de padron, weaved together with brand new takes on social sharing menus. The Spanish was combined with the Norwegian, creating dishes such as spicy Dijon chicken wings of Norwegian farm chicken, and sirloin of deer. Add a full Spanish wine list, and even the commonly non-daring Norwegian palate was thrilled. And, as the Aker Brygge branch was recently named Oslo’s best tapas restaurant in 2015 by national newspaper Aftenposten, Delicatessen holds an undisputed place on Oslo’s – and even Norway’s – tapas throne.

Scan Magazine | Restaurant of the Month | Norway

“I think such accolades tell us we’ve been able to keep a good and steady level of quality throughout the years, where all components come together really well,” says the owner. “We’re often complimented on atmosphere as well, which is rewarding as it means we’ve been able to create a full-bodied experience.” A tablecloth-free ambiance Delicatessen, which has branches at Aker Brygge (in elegant settings by the harbour) and Majorstuen (the vibrant shopping district), as well as the original at Grünerløkka (the bohemian, trendy neighbourhood), greets customers with a warm and modern ambiance. Here, Belda found it important to mix southern European charm and friendliness with a Scandinavian cool, resulting in rustic-industrial but clean-cut interiors. Oh, and open kitchens – and tables without white linen. “We’re said to have been the first Oslo restaurant to drop the white tablecloths for good,” says Belda, smiling, adding that he always starts out by hand drawing the interior decoration

plans himself. “I think that sends an important signal about what really matters past our doorstep. It’s all about the food, wine – the service; not the fancy tableware or designer furniture. It may sound like a cliché, but we just want you to feel at home.” Relatively small and adorned with Latin-European wall paintings and sturdy, small tables, the Grünerløkka tapas venue has been compared to a Spanish kerbside bar more than once, and one can see why. For those keen on delighting in their albondigas amid a slightly larger space, the Aker Brygge branch offers both room, comfort and impeccable dishes made for sharing. All this can be found right by the Oslofjord. Delicatessen Majorstuen serves as a perfect lunchtime pit stop during your shopping spree, or a great option for a lighter evening meal. No matter where you choose to get your slice of the characteristic Norwegian-Spanish delicacies, Belda

hopes you dare to try something new. “When I visit the restaurants I always ask for the tapas of the week. It’s a great way of dining; you’re forced to step out of your comfort zone – the surprise itself is the seasoning you’re after.” Belda never loses his hunger for trying out new things in the kitchen, and wants the restaurants to develop by continuous use of imagination. “Bringing in unexpected produce, using the ‘un-cool’ foods in new ways to change people’s perception, slowly affecting their attitude to new dishes by listing classics alongside new additions to the menu – that’s what we do best.” For more information, please visit: Grünerløkka branch: Majorstuen branch: Aker Brygge branch: Delicatessen also offers catering. Please contact the relevant branch for more information.

Delicatessen Grünerløkka offers a cosy, rustic and laid-back atmosphere that attracts scores of regulars.

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 83

Scan Magazine | Restaurant of the Month | Finland

Grotesk’s mission is to share its deep passion for good-quality food and wines with its customers. Photo: Huumetukka.

Restaurant of the Month, Finland

For meat and wine lovers Setting its sights on transforming Finland’s culinary landscape, Grotesk is determined to share its deep passion for good-quality food and wines with its customers. Contrary to what its name might suggest, Grotesk is a cool and cosy restaurant that boasts some of the most affordable wines in Helsinki. And meat. Lots of meat.

quality meat and we choose our suppliers carefully so that we’re able to offer the very best to our customers,” Hickman says.

By Ndéla Faye

Grotesk also boasts a street level cocktail bar, which serves a selection of handcrafted cocktails and spirits, where even the ice is sculpted by hand out of a bigger block.

Grotesk is not your typical steak house – it offers diners an alternative restaurant experience. Run by food and beverage

Photo: Paul Hickman.

84 | Issue 85 | February 2016

director Paul Hickman and head chef Eemeli Nurminen, Grotesk is located in the heart of Helsinki’s city centre. The restaurant’s aim is to change Finland’s food culture. “We focus on providing great service, a chilled-out atmosphere and excellent, good-quality food,” says Hickman. You cannot find your average peppered steak on the menu; Grotesk offers a wide selection of meat dishes, including some of the world’s finest meats, aged in a dry-ageing beef cabinet that sits in the middle of the restaurant. Non-meat eaters need not worry: there are plenty of fish and vegetarian dishes available on the menu. “Our speciality is

A wine revolution In addition to serving good-quality food made from the finest ingredients, Grotesk offers exquisite wines at affordable prices, as the restaurant uses a fixed margin on all their wines. “Alcohol tends to be expensive in most restaurants in Helsinki, which discourages people from going out as much. We’re trying to change that. We decided to revolutionise wine pricing in Finland by moving to a fixed margin price, which lowers expen-

Scan Magazine | Restaurant of the Month | Finland

sive wines’ prices by up to 100 euros,” Hickman explains. Grotesk have added 20 euros plus VAT on every 0.75 litre of wine, which allows diners to enjoy high-quality wines at affordable prices. “This means that we are not making a huge profit, but wine sales have sharply increased, and customers are able to enjoy wines at considerably lower prices than at other restaurants in Helsinki.” Transforming Finland’s culinary landscape Far from the formal restaurant experience, the atmosphere at Grotesk is casual and relaxed. “We’re trying to change people’s restaurant experience: there’s often a tendency to only eat out to mark special occasions in Finland. We’re hoping to encourage people to come out with their friends, chill out and enjoy great food and drink on any given day,” Hickman says. “We’ve invited the world’s most famous butcher, Dario Ceccini, to join us for a few weeks. He was featured on Anthony Bourdain’s TV show No Reservations, and I’m sure his visit will be interesting. And you won’t hear any elevator music here – we like to mix it up: we play anything from gangster rap to Eye of the Tiger here,” he continues, chuckling. Grotesk wants to encourage social eating, with meals that arrive on a large

dish placed in the middle of the table that diners are able to share. “We’re trying to make people see that going to a restaurant is about having fun, great company and great conversations,” says the director. “We’re pushing people to try a new kind of restaurant experience, while enjoying great food and wine.” A mysterious cellar bar Grotesk’s latest addition, Mr. Fox, is a hidden speakeasy bar, open since December 2015. Mr. Fox is located in Grotesk’s old coal cellar. There are no signs to direct customers to it: guests have to ask staff for directions – and the only way to get there is by going through the staff area and into a private courtyard. Inspired by Fantastic Mr. Fox, the secret bar is home to Mr. Fox’s fox hole, complete with a kitchen and living room. Mr. Fox travels the world monthly, and his travels inspire the bar’s cocktail menu.

Food and drink director Paul Hickman. Photo: Huumetukka.

Grotesk is a quirky restaurant for foodies and wine lovers. From its handcrafted cocktails to the finest quality meats, Grotesk’s passion and dedication shine through in both the service and the meals. What more could you ask for? For more information, please visit:

Photo: Paul Hickman.

Photo: Grotesk.

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 85

Scan Magazine | Restaurant of the Month | Denmark

Restaurant of the Month, Denmark

Aarhus’s gateway to Morocco A new favourite among locals, students and tourists, Mogador is not only a tea salon brewing a wide range of organic luxury teas, a boutique selling exquisite Moroccan products and a restaurant serving authentic Moroccan cuisine, but it also serves as Aarhus’s gateway to Morocco. By Stephanie Lovell | Photos: Søren Gammelmark Photography

During the day, Mogador primarily serves as a tea salon where locals and visitors alike come to sip on organic luxury teas from around the world, including deliciously flavoursome Moroccan mint tea, and savour delicate Moroccan pastries and Belgian chocolates. They might then browse the boutique and take home a beautiful pashmina or some organic argan oil, imported directly from a fair-trade cooperative in Morocco. Towards the evening, Mogador gradually turns into a restaurant serving organically grown and locally sourced foods, cooked according to traditional Moroccan recipes and spiced to perfection. “I learned how to cook from my Moroccan mother and have spent a lot of time travelling around the country,” says Mo86 | Issue 85 | February 2016

hammed Simouri, owner of Mogador. Moroccan by heritage but raised in Belgium, Simouri is starting to introduce some European elements to the menu. Alongside tagines and tabbouleh, you can now tuck into Belgian favourites such as moules-frites and steak-frites, washed down with a fine Belgian beer. The wine list includes Moroccan wine from the Val d’Argan vineyard near Essaouira, which was formerly known as Mogador – the city after which the restaurant is named. “All our meat is sourced from a local farmer, whose cattle graze in the Mols Bjerge National Park. Even though our food is almost entirely organic, we manage to keep our prices relatively low,” says Simouri. “We often attract people who are interested in vegan food because

they like that we prepare fresh, local food using argan oil, without any butter or cream.” If you like what you taste and find yourself inspired to visit Morocco, Mogador can help you plan your trip through its travel service. “I grew up with a European mentality, so I understand the needs of visitors to Morocco,” says Simouri. “As a qualified surfing instructor, I specialise in surfing and meditation retreats. However, we can tailor your itinerary to suit your wishes – it’s a bit like à-la-carte travel. We want to open the door to Morocco for all our customers.”

Owner Mohammed Simouri.

For more information, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Attraction of the Month | Norway

Telemarken offers a stunning view over the Telemark Photo: Norsjø Hotel

Photo: Mona Beate Kasin

Photo: Live Skinnes

Photo: Mona Beate Kasin

Attraction of the Month, Norway

The fruit village tempting all your senses Let your taste buds loose at the fruit village of Gvarv, home of the world’s northernmost vineyard and Norway’s prize-winning apple juice. The picturesque village in eastern Norway is attracting visitors from near and far for a mix of cultural and tasty experiences, not to mention the stunning blossom in May. By Helene Toftner

Fruktbygda, translated as ‘the fruit village’, is located in an unusually mild area of eastern Norway, creating the perfect conditions for apples, berries and other fruits to flourish. With its many fruit gardens, calling it the garden of Norway is apt. And while the name in itself sounds tempting enough, the various attractions on offer are, if possible, more so, including Lerkekåsa Vineyard and Gallery where you can spend the evening sampling wines before spending the night in a massive 7,600-litre oak barrel. Other attractions include the award-winning apple juice producer Nyhuus Farm, the

Telemark Canal with the traditional M/S Telemarken, and fruit farms where visitors can pick their own produce. “It’s all about the good experiences, with a focus on tasty, sensuous attractions,” says Halvor Holtskog, owner of the charming Nyhuus Farm and Gallery Nyhuus. For those who feel the need to work up a sweat after indulging in lovely food and perhaps a visit to the local brewery, Lindheim Ølkompani, kayaking and fishing opportunities are only around the corner. “Many come here by bike, as we’re right on a lovely cycling route through

Telemark,” Holtskog explains. For the culturally minded, the village boasts an impressive line-up for their chamber music festival, folk music festival, rock music festival and numerous art exhibitions throughout the summer. “The highlight for many is the Apple Festival in the autumn,” says Holtskog. Situated just two hours from Oslo, Gvarv is easily reached by car or train. It is a popular stop-over destination for travellers on their way to Rjukan and Notodden, recently awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status, and into the Hardangervidda National Park.

For more information and inspiration, please visit:

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 87

Attraction of the Month, Denmark

Bringing the history of medieval Denmark to life Located in the ruins of Vordingborg, Denmark’s largest medieval castle, the new Danish Castle Centre (Danmarks Borgcenter) explores the history of Denmark’s medieval castles, kings and epic battles. The centre, which opened two years ago, has become an immediate success with both families and history enthusiasts from all parts of Denmark and abroad. By Signe Hansen | Photos: Museum Sydøstdanmark

Located just an hour from Copenhagen, the Danish Castle Centre offers visitors a unique chance to explore the medieval history of Denmark through the ruins and constructions of the time, historic artefacts and an engaging trilingual iPad guide. The centre, which is the result of almost ten years of planning, fundraising and research, has received both top ratings and reviews in the national Danish press and impressive visitor numbers. “What began ten years ago as the dream of a small, local muse88 | Issue 85 | February 2016

um quickly gathered pace. It’s been a huge project, recreating the moats, designing the iPad guide and building the centre,” Lasse Grosby Hallqvist from the centre explains. “We have had amazing feedback – people are really positively surprised. Even our older visitors, who might initially be a bit intimidated by the iPad-based concept, end up having a great experience.” The iPad guide, which is weather resistant, can be used both indoors and out-

side, and is available in Danish, English and German. Historic constructions The first Vordingborg, a small timber fortress, was built by Valdemar the Great in the 1160s. The building became the beginning of many years of construction which culminated in the 1360s when Gåsetårnet, which is today Denmark’s only fully preserved medieval castle tower, was built and Vordingborg extended to its full magnitude with nine towers, moats and a 770-metre long outer wall. Because the king often resided at the castle, some of the most significant events in Danish history took place there. “What visitors see on the site are the ruins of the castle wall which circles the entire site and, of course, Gåsetårnet, the best-preserved medieval tower of the

Scan Magazine | Attraction of the Month | Denmark

north. We have used those historic settings to explore the history of the Danish kings, the battles of power and the general history of medieval fortresses,” explains Hallqvist. Gåsetårnet, meaning ‘the goose tower’, was named after the goose that sits on top of its spire. It has been one of Denmark’s most popular historical attractions since the late 19th century and is still open for visitors who can enjoy the view of the green surroundings from 36 metres above ground. Explore more Inside the newly built exhibition centre, which is partly underground, visitors are met by an equally impressive sight. Built with raw building materials, the dramatic architecture of the 1,200-square-metre building resembles the character of the castle ruins, creating an extraordinarily atmospheric experience. The centre’s interactive iPad brings the place and the story of the artefacts to life, with en-

gaging stories and films for children, and visual guides about daily life in the medieval period, while also offering historical facts and interviews with different experts for the adult visitors keen on more in-depth information. For instance, it brings to life the history of the battles between the Church and the King, linking it to films about the significance of both in modern day society. “The content of the guide has been tailor-made for our exhibition, and it’s impossible to get lost or make a mistake. It helps visualise what the castle looked like and which functions the different parts had,” explains Hallqvist, adding: “It’s great for the experienced museum visitors but also for families with children.” During the summer, visitors with children can also enjoy free play sessions with medieval-inspired toys such as swords, stilts and much more in the great outdoors. All in all, there is more

than enough at the Danish Castle Centre to keep visitors busy for a full day. In the centre’s restaurant, which is located in a beautiful old timber-framed house adjacent to the exhibition building, guests can enjoy a break and lunch, coffee or dinner made from locally sourced produce, some of which is grown in the centre’s medieval kitchen garden. For more information, please visit:

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 89

Scan Magazine | Attraction of the Month | Iceland

Attraction of the Month, Iceland

Iceland’s premier whale watching company places sustainable development at its heart Offering marine wildlife tours and sailing adventures in northern Iceland and beyond, North Sailing always keeps respect for the environment at the core of its company ethos. Embark on one of their environmentally friendly ships, and you will get up close to nature without disturbing the wildlife. By Stephanie Lovell | Photos: North Sailing

When plastic and steel became the materials of choice for Icelandic fishing vessels, traditional oak ships were destined for nothing but the scrap heap. Determined to save these pieces of cultural heritage, two brothers from Húsavík endeavoured to restore an old oak ship and discover a new purpose for it. In no time, they were using it to take tourists around Skjálfandi Bay where, more often than not, they would spot a whale or two along the way. Experience the natural wonders of the north Over the 20 years since it was founded, North Sailing has firmly established itself as Iceland’s premier whale watching company, offering a variety of breath-taking tours throughout the year. “Húsavík is one of the best places to go whale watching, because you can spot so 90 | Issue 85 | February 2016

many different species in Skjálfandi Bay,” says Guðbjartur Ellert Jónsson, managing director at North Sailing. Many of North Sailing’s trips combine whale watching with on-land activities, such as horse riding and skiing. “You can even venture beyond Iceland on our sailing expedition of Greenland, which is a fantastic opportunity to experience incredible natural beauty in remote surroundings,” says Jónsson. On these once-in-a-lifetime trips, which take place between July and September, up to 12 passengers embark on a traditionally rigged sailing ship and spend seven days sailing around the stunning Scoresby Sund fjord. Carbon-free whale watching North Sailing’s environmental policy, based on sustainable development, has

not only brought the company numerous awards, such as the Environmental Award from the Icelandic Tourist Board twice, but is also having a positive impact on the local community. The company works closely with the University of Iceland Húsavík Research Centre and the Húsavík Whale Museum, as well as a local land conservation society. “From the outset, we have striven to make our equipment as environmentally friendly as possible,” says Jónsson. “Since 2012, we have been working towards running our ships on electricity from renewable energy instead of fossil fuel, which enables us to sail without making any noise or sending vibrations into the whales’ habitat, so we disturb them as little as possible.”

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Scan Magazine | Humour | Columns


By Mette Lisby

Or is our planet is having a Tycho Brahe day? Or rather a string of days, qualifying as a Tycho Brahe month? Take a look around: it is as though the world is coming off its hinges! Oil prices are at their lowest! Donald Trump is at his highest with voters! And – at the time of writing this article – Leicester is leading the Premiere League! You see? Totally unhinged. It is like one of those American TV series where the survivors of some catastrophe that killed off most of the human race – except for some conveniently beautiful, young, fit characters – sit around the fireplace pondering: ‘When did things in the old world start to go wrong?’ This would be the moment they refer to, the moment when everything was turned upside-down and stopped making sense. At the moment, I find myself in a constant haze of disbelief. You know when pieces of reality pop up like something you remember from your drunken escapades, thinking ‘did that really happen?’ – except I wasn’t drunk, sadly, and all of this is really happening, even more sadly. Like the fact that we as a society are discussing the meaning of the word ‘no’ – which ap-

parently, when coming from a woman, is quite an ambiguous statement. Since when does ‘no’ have that many nuances? It is not like there are fifty shades of no. Throw in the melting ice caps, climate change, an unstable world economy and, yes, Donald Trump again. Because his popularity is mind-boggling and defying all reason. Even an endorsement from Sarah Palin did not hurt him. It is as if he has superpowers making him immune to what would have hurt anybody else. And actually, he does look like something out of Marvel’s Universe of comic-book heroes: ‘Donald Trump: The Stupidifyer!’ See? It sure seems like a prolonged Tycho Brahe day. But while Tycho Brahe supposedly died as a result of a busted bladder, we can only hope Donald Trump will go down in history as a case of an inflamed appendix – it feels like a severe emergency, but it is relatively easy to remove – and once gone, we will all live very well without it.

Early London days After we first moved to the UK, I spent a lot of time loitering about in central London. To some native parents, the capital might not seem like the best place to let your 15-yearold roam, but I wasn’t a young person looking for trouble, I was a tourist. When I made a Swedish friend in the city – a girl who had landed a job as a kind of luxury house sitter – I had even more reason to spend all my money on train tickets to go to see her. We thought ourselves too young to drink, so we found other forms of entertainment. Admittedly, we spent a lot of time inside the kinds of establishments where we could have done normal teenage things (like get drunk). But that was not for us; rather, we took to inventing elaborate stories that we told other (drunk and normal) people in an effort to make life interesting. For example, there is a certain number of by now middle-aged men in the capital who may better remember me as Greenpeace activist Lisa

Mette Lisby is Denmark’s leading female comedian. She invites you to laugh along with her monthly humour columns. Since her stand-up debut in 1992, Mette has hosted the Danish version of Have I Got News For You and Room 101.

By Maria Smedstad

Svensson, and my friend as an exotic, young phrenologist psychic. In hindsight, it was pretty weird. But, miraculously, we avoided getting into trouble. Eventually I ran out of money, my friend moved back to Sweden and I had to resort to more normal teenage activities, like getting a job and hanging out in fields. Luckily – after a somewhat slow start – I got the hang of this too and my real integration into British society began. Maria Smedstad moved to the UK from Sweden in 1994. She received a degree in Illustration in 2001, before settling in the capital as a freelance cartoonist, creating the autobiographical cartoon Em. Maria writes a column on the trials and tribulations of life as a Swede in the UK.

Issue 85 | February 2016 | 91

Scan Magazine | Experience of the Month | Norway

Photo: Crister Haug.

Experience of the Month, Norway

Explore the traditions of northern Norway’s indigenous Sámis Did you know that the indigenous people of northern Norway, Finland, Sweden and Russia are called Sámi, traditionally a nomadic people, most of who live off reindeer herding? While herding remains important, some have opened their homes to visitors keen to explore this centuries-old traditions.

spectacular costumes, characterised by colourful embroideries, bands and jewellery. “These are used mainly for ceremonial purposes, like weddings and baptisms,” Turi Oskal says.

By Helene Toftner

Tromsø Arctic Reindeer Experience is one tourist attraction that masters the combination of maintaining the original livelihood while introducing visitors from around the world to everything from the feeding of reindeer to reindeer sledding and snowmobiling in the mountains. Tromsø Arctic Reindeer Experience is only 30 minutes away from the buzzing city of Tromsø, yet it feels a thousand miles away from civilisation due to its beautiful location on the white plains overlooking the sea and the surrounding mountains. Add hundreds of reindeer, and it starts to resemble a scene from 92 | Issue 85 | February 2016

Disney’s Frozen. “Showing people from around the world our day-to-day life, our Sámi culture and history, is great,” says reindeer herder Johan Isak Turi Oskal. Joiks and traditional costumes Many visitors have barely heard of the Sámi, the indigenous people who have inhabited these lands for centuries, before arriving in Norway. Traditionally a nomadic people moving across northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia with their reindeer, around 2,600 still today make their living from reindeer husbandry in Norway alone. Visitors are often particularly fascinated by their

Another compelling feature is the joik, a traditional Sámi singing style. While visitors may have difficulties distinguishing between the different tunes, getting your very own joik is a real honour and a sign that someone really cares for you. The type of joik someone makes for you would say a lot about their appreciation of you and how they view you. A quick online search provides rave reviews of the experience, with “amazing” and “authentic” being recurrent descriptions so, with a little help from Innovation Norway, Tromsø Arctic Reindeer Experience has certainly managed to win their audiences over.

Scan Magazine | Experience of the Month | Norway

Above: A visitor feeding the reindeer. Photo: Piia Kemppinen. Top right: Johan Isak Turi Oskal in a traditional Sámi costume. Photo: John Pitt.

Thousands of reindeer While showcasing the Sámi way of life is crucial to Turi Oskal, he emphasises that the most important thing remains the welfare of the reindeer and the continuation of traditions. “Many visitors are surprised to find that most of us working here are actually reindeer herders, and it is not just a typical tourist attraction but rather a look at our way of life,” he says. With thousands of reindeer in the mountains and around 200 reindeer down at the plains, people are in for an authentic Sámi experience. Visitors can partake in the feeding of the reindeer, reindeer sledding, herding and not least sharing a traditional meal while listening in on the fascinating history of the Sámi people. “We never reveal how many reindeer we actually have, however,” says Turi Oskal and smiles. “That would be like telling someone your salary.” Snowmobile adventure in the mountains The mountain reindeer snowmobile safari is a must-try for the adventurous traveller. It is a full-day experience allowing visitors to join the reindeer herders on a typical day in the mountains, including feeding of and tending to the animals.

“This trip is hugely popular as it offers something completely authentic, taking people out of their comfort zones,” Turi Oskal says. “Due to popular demand, we have now extended this up until early May.” Northern lights ahead This season provides the perfect opportunity to spend an evening in a lavvo, a traditional Sámi tent, under a magical natural lights display. “We would love to be able to offer visitors the chance to experience the dancing northern lights while on a sledding trip with the reindeer, and we are working to get this up and running ahead of next winter,” Turi Oskal says. According to Sámi tradition, the mystical northern lights emanate from the souls of the dead and must be treated with immense respect. “Regardless of what you believe, the lights are a magical fixture on many visitors’ bucket lists of things to see in their lives.” Norwegian Air flies directly from London Gatwick to Tromsø twice a week during the winter months. There are also direct flights from Stockholm and Helsinki, and numerous daily connecting flights via Oslo.

Dressing warm is crucial for reindeer herder Johan Isak Turi Oskal. Photo: Piia Kemppinen.

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Issue 85 | February 2016 | 93

Scan Magazine | Culture | Scandic Grand Central & Vasateatern

Photo: Åke E:son Lindman.

Helena Söderberg, director of Scandic Grand Central.

Stockholm’s brand new, ancient stage for culture and events A spacious hotel with a modern yet quirky touch, Scandic Grand Central has long had a reputation for being a cultural hub where clubs and live music thrive. This year, the central Stockholm hotel takes another step towards cultural elite status as it opens its doors to one of Sweden’s oldest theatres: Vasateatern. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Scandic Hotels

Vasateatern, also known simply as Vasan, dates back to the late 1800s and boasts a beautifully ornamented auditorium as well as a past of welcoming legendary theatre directors such as Gösta Ekman and modern-day stars including Mikael Persbrandt and Suzanne Reuter. Its foyer is already a part of Scandic Grand Central, lending it that inspiring kind of atmosphere alongside high-ceiling vaults and peaceful lighting. This September, the extension to and reopening of Vasateatern will allow the hotel to add a conferencing and banqueting space for up to 1,000 seated guests to its list of impressive features. As the theatre is a listed building, it is being renovated under the supervision of antiquarian expertise to ensure that all the antiquarian values are kept intact. “We’ve got great ambitions for Vasateatern,” says Frank Fiskers, CEO of Scandic 94 | Issue 85 | February 2016

Hotels. “We want to create a completely new type of meeting space and a stage for culture and entertainment, while also contributing to the management and refinement of a piece of really valuable Swedish cultural heritage.” Behind the programming of the cultural hub are two of Sweden’s most distinguished behind-the-scenes theatre heads, My Blomberg and Mikael Jernberg, who can between them list names and shows such as Orup, Henrik Schyffert, Kristina från Duvemåla and Mamma Mia from their previous experience. Alongside the premiere of the revamped theatre comes the world premiere of lauded magician Joe Labero’s new show, A Magic World. The show, premiering on 13 October, is a celebration of the myths of the 1800s while also boasting specially composed music, card tricks and some truly epic magic tricks.

“Vasateatern is a piece of Stockholm’s cultural heritage that’s been sorely missed by many,” says Helena Söderberg, director of Scandic Grand Central. “Now that the theatre is being integrated into the hotel, it means that you can head straight from the event back to the hotel for a complete experience.”

Scandic Hotels and KLP The renovation of Vasateatern is a collaborative venture between Scandic Hotels and KLP. Scandic is the Nordic market leader in the hotel industry with a total of 230 hotels, 42,000 rooms and 14,000 staff, and was also named Best Hotel Brand in the Nordics in 2014. KLP is one of the largest Nordic life assurance providers, and its subsidiary, KLP Eiendom, is one of the largest property companies in the Nordic countries.

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Scan Magazine | Culture | Scandinavian Music

Scandinavian music

By Karl Batterbee

as the soundtrack to a low-budget cult For some time now, the 18-year-old film from the ‘80s. Check out their What Norwegian producer Alan Walker has been sitting at the top of the charts in Are You Waiting For EP from last year too. Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland Norwegian pop genius and former with his current smash Faded. A vocal Scan Magazine cover star Margaret Bergedit of Fade, his instrumental club hit er has finally been released from the restraints of her previous record label. Now from 2014, this new track is a stunning, on her own label, she has just put out her dancefloor-friendly concoction of downfirst single: Apologize, a beautiful electro beat despair and uplifting euphoria, and a formula that is expected to take him and ballad in which she explains away her the song, with fellow Norwegian up-andwrongdoings (whether to a put-upon lovcomer Iselin Solheim on vocals, outside er or her thirsty fans is down to our own of Scandinavia in the coming months. UK interpretation). It is the gorgeous sound radio is already starting to take notice afof a new era dawning, and has been ter his success in the Nordics. long overdue. Finnish duo Coska launched onto It is a mere month into the year, the pop scene in mid-2015, when they and it is therefore time to start thinking released the brilliant Sunstruck. This about the Eurovision Song Contest. And no territory gets pop fans thinking about year they continue in the tradition of Eurovision like Scandinavia does. An earreleasing brilliant pop music with the ly contender for the biggest Eurovision new single Jupiter. It is a bombastic highlight is a song that sounds like if Sia and dramatic electro track, and another were ever to pen a track for the contest. It one-listen-and-you’re-in kind of affair: a is 09:34 super kitsch throwback that would work Heart Shaped 2_0_3C_Online_Advert_half_page_Layout 2 07/05/2015 Page 1 Hole by Simone, current-

ly the bookies’ favourite to win the Danish Melodi Grand Prix this month. It is an absolute jaw-dropper of a tune, that amazing first chorus you hear merely a prelude to the dual-chorused monster that reveals itself less than a minute later. If the Danes do not choose this song to represent them, they do not deserve to win the Eurovision and should quite frankly sit out another year in the semi-finals. Now – who fancies another trip to Copenhagen in May 2017?

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Scan Magazine | Culture | Scandinavian Culture Calendar

Von Hertzen Brothers. Photo: Ville Akseli.

Anna Larsson. Photo: Anna Thorbjรถrnsson.

From the series Boys, 2015. Photo: Kaisa Rautaheimo

Scan Magazine | Culture | Scandinavian Culture Calendar

Silje Nergaard. Photo: Mathias Bothor

Scandinavian Culture Calendar – Where to go, what to see? It’s all happening here! Along the Coast. Gude and his students around 1870. (19 Feb-8 May) The exhibition shows how Norwegian painter Hans Gude’s perception of the landscape changed during the 1860s in line with the development of plein air painting, and how he in turn passed these lessons on to students such as Frits Thaulow, Christian Krohg and Kitty Kielland. Tue, Wed & Fri 10am-6pm, Thu 10am-7pm, Sat & Sun 11am-5pm. The National Gallery, Universitetsgata 13, Oslo.

Frøkedal on tour (25-29 Feb) Norwegian folk-pop singer-songwriter

By Sara Schedin

Frøkedal is touring the UK this month with her new album, Hold on Dreamer.

the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, EH8.

Anna Larsson in Suor Angelica (25 Feb - 15 March)

Silje Nergaard (3 March)

Swedish contralto Anna Larsson plays the princess in this tragic story by Puccini of maternal love and loss. Royal Opera House, London, WC2E.

Norwegian jazz vocalist and songwriter Silje Nergaard is back in London and will be playing songs from her 2015 album, Chain of Days. Pizza Express Jazz Club, London, W1D.

Helena Juntunen and John Storgårds (27 Feb) An evening of music by Hafliði Hallgrímsson and Vaughan Williams conducted by John Storgårds, featuring fellow Finn soprano Helena Juntunen and

Phantasm (7 March) The award-winning consort of viols, Phantasm, with members from Finland, Britain and the US, joins forces with Issue 85 | February 2016 | 97

Scan Magazine | Culture | Scandinavian Culture Calendar

Hans Gude, Innseilingen til Christiania, 1874. Photo: Nasjonalmuseet/Jaques Lathion.

close colleagues Jonathan Rees and Liam Byrne to explore fabulous fantasias and In Nomines. Wigmore Hall, London, W1U.

Enslaved in London (17-19 March) Norwegian extreme metal band Enslaved are out with a new album, In Times, and will be making three appearances in London next month.

Von Hertzen Brothers on tour (17-24 March) Finnish rockers Von Hertzen Brothers are back in the UK with their latest album, New Day Rising.

Hilma af Klint. Group IX/SUW, No. 17. The Swan, No. 17, 1914-5, Oil on canvas. 150.5 x 151 cm. Photo: Courtesy of Stiftelsen Hilma af Klints Verk.

Kaisa Rautaheimo (Until 27 March) Finnish photographer Kaisa Rautaheimo’s exhibition Boys captures moments from the lives of young Finnish men living on the outskirts of today’s success-driven society. The documentary photographs tell a story of detachment, being an outsider, and the search for meaning in a time where many do not know what to want from life. Tue-Sun 11am6pm, Wed 11am-8pm. The Finnish Museum of Photography, Tallberginkatu 1 G, Helsinki.

Hilma af Klint: Painting the Unseen (3 March-15 May) An exhibition featuring works by the pioneering Swedish artist Hilma af Klint. TueSun 10am-6pm. Serpentine Gallery, London, W2. 98 | Issue 85 | February 2016

Frøkedal. Photo: Julia Nagelstad

Your Shortcut to Scandinavia Bergen


Oslo Stockholm Bromma

SWEDEN Aalborg






London City

GERMANY Brussels






S n a cks

Me al s


Pap ers




fo n i e Mor visi

Trollhättan Vänersborg Two cities. One destination.

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COME ALONG ON AN EXCITING ELK SAFARI On the plateau of Halle- & Hunneberg, through West Sweden’s most attractive landscapes. On the plateau of Västra Götaland, you can experience magnificent views and grandiose nature. Internationally, the mountain is known for its elks and the Royal Hunt. We enjoy light refreshments in front of an open fire in a Laplanders cot, and visit the Royal Hunt Museum Elk Hill.

GO BIKING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF CARL LINNAEUS Enjoy the beautiful scenery along the Linnaeus bike path, where you will be biking in the footsteps of the Flower King. Two overnight stays including breakfast in country estate-like environments at Ronnums Herrgård and Albert Hotel & Kök.