Björk Album Released…and New Dreamy Swedish Music

I’ve always loved Scandinavian music. In fact, my infatuation with the Icelandic singer, Björk is what led me to travel to and explore the region and eventually settle there for a while. Big news from Björk is that she’s released her new album, Vulnicura, two weeks early on itunes.

The new album release coincides with a new exhibit at the MoMA in NYC starting March 8 that will chronicle her work “from more than 20 years of the artist’s daring and adventurous projects and her seven full-length albums.”

Another country that produces some great music and has had a long reputation of doing so – think ABBA, Ace of Base, Roxette – has an upcoming artist that’s gotten the attention to Flavorwire. The group, The Amazings’ third album Picture You will be released in February and the album’s single sounds a lot like the dreamy, soft, melodic-type music of other great Swedish bands like Kent.

Have a listen! Tak og Njuta (thanks and enjoy!)

H&M Teams with Nordic Surfing Brand

H&M has teamed up with Swedish Nordic surfing brand Nordicsurf to offer an exclusive line of clothing inspired by surfing culture in the Nordic region.

Nordsurf’s collection for H&M is based on sustainable and innovative design made with organic cotton and recycled polyester. The collection is available in the U.S.

Hugh’s Scandinavian Adventure

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall from the UK’s River Cottage has created a wonderful documentary on Denmark featuring New Nordic food, Danish architecture and sustainability, and the all-important concept of Danish “hygge.” It’s in English, and there are additional episodes on Norway & Sweden as he uncovers what all the hype is about with the recent phenomenon of “Scanimania” led by popularity of crime novels and TV programs including “Nordic Noir” and “The Killing.” Click on the link to watch.

NYT: New Nordic in the Twin Cities


Creamed peas on rye toast from Haute Dish 

The New York Times features a number of *new* New Nordic culinary initiatives popping up in the Twin Cities.

Read the article here: A Return to Nordic Roots

The Bachelor Farmer is not the only evidence that cooks in the Twin Cities are suddenly embracing Nordic heritage. A glossy new wing of the American Swedish Institute opened in July, with a cafe called Fika that serves top-quality Swedish treats like a smorgas (open sandwich) made from local ingredients, bakes its own sourdough rye bread daily and serves powerful coffee with kladdkaka (sticky chocolate cake) and thumbprint cookies, crusted with chopped almonds and filled with gooseberry, lingonberry or raspberry jam. Izzy’s, a playful, artisanal ice cream shop in St. Paul, has a flavor called Swedish Garden Party: elderflower ice cream with raspberry swirl and crumbled gingersnap cookies. At Haute Dish, a kitschy spot for reworked Midwestern classics, the chef Landon Schoenefeld has transformed the usual horseradish-spiked Scandinavian steak tartare into a composition of hot brioche toast, runny egg yolk, chilled raw beef and a shot of bloody mary.”

Copenhagen “Most Liveable City”

Monocle chooses Copenhagen as “most liveable city.” 

“World-conquering urban quality of life requires the trickiest of balancing acts between progress and preservation, stimulation and security, global and local. Perfection is unobtainable but Copenhagen is striking one of the best deals right now.” -Monocle Magazine 

See video featuring Copenhagen here:

Sweet Scandinavian Summer


Summer Scandinavian dessert prepared by Restaurant Mielcke & Hurtigkarl in Copenhagen

When I lived in Denmark, I would often see rhubarb growing in gardens and wild in open spaces. Around mid-summer when in season, stalks of rhubarb would start to appear in grocery stores and be presented in delectable dessert dishes. Many are familiar with mixing rhubarb with strawberries and nowhere in the world have I tasted better strawberries than in the Nordics. Norway is especially famed for their amazing berries due to the long growing season helping to bring out the natural sugars and tartness. Nordic berries are usually much smaller than is typical but they sure do pack a punch. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try a recipe with just rhubarb, has published a recipe for rhubarb and merengue that looks pretty tasty.

Another Scandinavian favorite is a simple tangy dessert called koldskål a “cold bowl” filled with buttermilk mixed with eggs, sugar, cream and vanilla and other dairy products such as yogurt or milk. The dish is topped with little vanilla wafers (like Nilla wafers) called “kammerjunkers” and is eaten like a cold dessert soup.

Then, finally, there is Rød Grød Med Fløde  or “red porridge with cream,” the most famous one-liner that Danes LOVE to ask foreigners to repeat because it’s so difficult to pronounce. If I had a dollar for every time a Dane asked me to say these words, well, you know the rest. As a dessert dish however, it’s quite smooth and easy to go down. Again, it mixes berries with dairy — strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb, cream and/or milk.

Give these (easy to make) summer treats  a try, and take your taste buds for a sweet (and sour) & sublime Scandinavian spin!

Reykjavík Revisited

Iceland Cinema Online is now featuring the movie, “Reykjavík Revisited,” a documentary film about the Icelandic music scene & its people produced by Slovak Jouranlists Juraj Kovácik and Juraj Kusnierik. “Reykjavík Revisited movie is a wild and colorful mosaic of their encounters with the lively Reykjavík music scene and its inhabitants, shot during and around the windy Iceland Airwaves 2012,” says Icelandic Cinema Online.  The film explores the many reasons for the breadth and depth of Icelandic music talent. Some cite the culture, the nature, the weather, a spirit of collaboration and the fact that Reykjavík is such a small, tight community. One person says perhaps it’s because Icelanders just like music and like to have fun. No matter what, this little country produces some pretty special tunes.

Reykjavík Revisited / Juro Kovácik / Icelandic Cinema Online.

Here are a few of the bands/musicians featured in the film:

Snorri Helgason




Of Monsters and Men

Apparat Organ Quartet 

FM Belfast 


Real Life Exp.

Real Life Exp., a short film about, “an atmospheric slice of teen life from up-and-coming Norwegian director Kristoffer Borgli,” courtesy of, an independent website of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, featuring music by Oslo DJ Lindstrøm.

Hafjell Ski Resort in Norway

This is Norway.

Winter in Copenhagen

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