What is Scandinavia?

Scandinavia consist of the three countries Sweden, Norway and Denmark in northern Europe. With our around 20 million habitants, we are not so many people, but we are quite well known. For what? Some people would associate us with the Vikings during the late 8th to late 11th centuries. Other people would say our beautiful nature, northern light, our dark winter time, winter sports, design and interior, IKEA, music artists and beautiful girls. I don’t know what you think when you hear Scandinavia, but it might be something of the mentioned words above. I, as a Swede, can mention much much more if you ask me what Scandinavia is to me.


Something that has made Scandinavia even more well known is the food. In Denmark we have for years had the awarded “The best restaurant in the world” – Noma. We have a lot of famous chefs from all three countries, famous for how they present the Scandinavian cuisine and get awarded with stars in the Michelin Guide.

Another prominent association we in Scandinavia have, is our design and interior. We know that the Swedish phenomenon IKEA might be one of the most famous. But we have so much more than that. Scandinavian design emerged in the early 20th century and is distinguish for being simple, minimalistic and functional.

Swedish design is consider minimalist with an emphasis on functionality and simple clean lines. This is specially presented within furnitures. But Sweden is also famous for crafts, such as glass and handcrafts. 

Danish design is a style of functionalistic design and architecture. With a combination of simplicity and functionalism, many furnitures and houses have today become iconic, such as the Arne Jacobsen’s Egg chair and Poul Henningsen’s PH-lamp. Today Danish design is also famous for ceramics, glass and textiles.

Norwegian design is strong minimalistic. Famous design items are lamps and furnitures. Norway, where you find a fantastic nature, design with natural forms is important quality. 

I will include Scandinavian design in my food presentations to give you a better understanding to Scandinavian design and how that is also linked to the Scandinavian food I present – Healthy, Simple, Elegant!

Scandinavian thinking around food

Did you know that the Scandinavian people are one of the happiest people in the world? Of course this is due to a lot of different parameters, but actually what we eat and that we are eating together are also important factors. “You are what we eat” — happy food, happy people.

In the Scandinavian countries, we have a common sense around food. We love to eat to get energy, but what is even more important is that our food is something we want our stomach to enjoy (delicious) but also our mind (sustainable ingredients, who we eat together with, how it looks on the plate and on the table). We have a lot of traditional food in the Scandinavian cuisine, but we are very open to new food cultures and modernising our own food — as long as it stays healthy and simple. 

Go to recipes and find a Scandinavian dish you would like to prepare tonight!