Throughout our ‘Old Versus New’ theme of May, we’ve dug into the fascination of old times, and now the art of cooking has caught our eyes. A Danish cookbook author and a rawfood restaurant manager also share their views on why the 2010s have become the decade where more people are preoccupied by what they are putting in their mouths.
DANISH™ talked to Danish award-winning cookbook author Sif Orellana to explore her passion for cooking as it was done in her childhood home.
She explains: ‘I recall a time full of safety, cohesion and happiness. It evokes a sensation in me consisting of “hygge”, being well taken care of and having your taste buds spoiled with great food. I come to think of things like my mother’s and grandmothers’ hand blenders, graters and rolling pins.’
Sif is a mother of three boys, and there is one certain thing from her childhood that she wants to pass on to her own children.
She recalls: ‘My mother used to bake a lot when I was a child. But back then there was only the tradition of baking with wheat flour. I bake even more today than my mother did – but I tend to use coarser types of flour. I do this to enhance the quality and flavor of my baked goods. It has always been an ambition of mine to add a “scent” to my kids’ childhood and it is my hope that the smell of cardamom will send them down memory lane when they become older.’
Photo by Tia Borgsmidt
Sif Orellana with her son Noah
From old retro-gastronomy to ancient methods of cooking – rawfood, based on only natural ingredients‚ has blossomed in the last few years. Sif thinks that modern people are seeking this as part of a need to deviate from their busy daily habits.
‘I experience a lot of people needing to feel that they are taking responsibility for their own well-being in a time when everything is going on in fifth gear – this is where the feeling of good health can be absent. Rawfood has been marketed as one of the most efficient ways to boost your health and immune system, since your vitamin and mineral intake is optimised, and the amount of processed foods is reduced,’ says Sif.
DANISH™ also talked to Jannick Ricky Fritze, Manager at rawfood restaurant simpleRAW, based in Copenhagen. Jannick acknowledges that many modern people are busier than ever and that’s why they should have an alternative to the processed foods that have ruled grocery stores for years.
‘There’s an increased general focus on health these days – and what food can do for your health. We have three craftsmen coming in several times every week; their everyday life is stressful and tough as they are lifting lots of heavy stuff at work. That’s why they need a true energy boost and I feel that rawfood plays a big part in these hard-working people’s lives,’ he says.
There are lots of classic Danish dishes that don’t exactly have rawfood potential, according to Jannick. He says: ‘Traditional Danish food like gravy and roast pork hasn’t been replaced – because that is not necessary. But all Danish greens and fruits are “raw” already and there’s plenty of delicious Danish commodities like strawberries. They are about as good as it gets!’
Photo courtesy of simpleRAW
Jannick lives as a vegan, and he admits having cravings from his former way of eating at the very beginning of his new lifestyle. He explains: ‘I remember eating meatball burgers with my mother when I was younger. I missed that a lot at first. But this deprivation is manifested in a nostalgic feeling and the memories that come along. It is not only about how it tastes – it’s just a clear image from the past.’
When asked about the future of food in general, simpleRAW’s answer is clear; their goal is to inspire ordinary people to explore the world of food made from scratch. Jannick tells that the best way to do this is for people to have an experience of getting food they already know – in a new way.
He explains: ‘We have all kinds of dips, sauces and meat-like elements such as cashew dressings with falafel made from sesame. We like to take all-time classic snacks such as nachos and sour cream and onion chips and give them a new, raw spin.’
BONUS ‘OLD TIME’ RECIPE by Sif Orellana
In the past, Danish cooking traditions were to some extent rather limited. That may be why one of the dishes Sif remembers the most from her youth is an old French classic. Here, we present the recipe for her own rendition of one of her mother’s specialties – Coq au Vin. Enjoy!
Orellana’s Coq au Vin
For 4 people
Photo by Søren Gammelmark
150 g diced bacon in olive oil
250 g mushrooms
250 g shallots
4 big chicken fillets (or an entire cockerel)
2 tbsp wheat flour
½ l red wine (e.g. Cabernet Sauvignon)
2 tbsp liquid chicken bouillon (or 1 cube)
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
½ dl fresh thyme leaves (or 1 big tbsp dried)
2 bay leaves
½ tbsp rock salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 handful of coarsely chopped broadleaved parsley
How to make
Gently fry the bacon in a pot with some olive oil. Take it from the pot and put it on a plate. Clean the mushrooms and dice them into halves or quarters (depending on how big they are). Gently fry them for 4–5 minutes at high heat. Peel and halve the shallots in the meantime and let them fry for about 2 minutes along with the mushrooms. Take the mushrooms and shallots and put them on a plate. Fry the chicken fillets for about 3 minutes on each side. Add the flour and thoroughly stir. Add the bacon, shallots, mushrooms, wine, bouillon, garlic and spices to the pot. Cover the dish with a lid and let it simmer on a low heat for 30–40 minutes. Boil a pot full of rice in the meantime. Sprinkle some fresh parsley on the dish and serve along with the rice.
Consider making a bigger portion that’ll last for two days. This dish is just as delicious the day after and it is also well-suited to freezing.