Sharing Food and Moments with Loved Ones.
You’ll know by now that at Also Home we take huge inspiration from Scandinavia and Japan in our homewares, something we like to call ‘Scandinese’. Having travelled at length, I love to learn about how locals live their lives and today I want to share with you just a few of the ‘traditions’ on sharing food, drinks and moments from two very different places…
A region of Northern Europe that includes countries of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. Home to Hygge and snow-covered caps, the Northern Lights and of course, Lego. But what about food?
Let’s start with a drink. In Iceland, it’s all about Coca Cola – with more consumed per capita than any other country, you’ll always find someone to ‘Share a Coke’ with. If you fancy something alcoholic then try ‘brännvin’, a liquor distilled from fermented grain or potatoes. In other words, Vodka. Vodka and Coke it is then?
For the more traditional Scandinavian’s it’s still all about a warming cup or glass of Glogg.
And to eat. In Scandinavia you can expect to enjoy sharing food in the form of a Smörgåsbord. A selection of small dishes, both warm and cold, starting with fish, moving on to cold meats, warm dishes and to finish, cheese. Popular dishes include, pickled herring served with rye and crispbread, beetroot and apple salad, meatballs, pâtés, and different types of cured and smoked salmon.
A Smörgåsbord is a social affair and can take hours to get through, picking away as new dishes are served on pretty hand painted plates and large platters.
What about life at home? Let’s hit the brakes here. Traditions in Scandinavia are enough to make us Brits green with envy. Pregnant women in Finland get a state-provided starter kit, whilst in Sweden, Dads are allowed two months paternity leave – the most generous paternity leave in the world. In Denmark, offices rarely stay open after 5 p.m. and working at weekends is unheard of. This is the time that families eat together! It’s no wonder Copenhagen is the world’s happiest country!
An island nation in the Pacific Ocean packed with cities, palaces, national parks and many stunning shrines and temples to explore. It’s a country I get excited to visit every single time. And the food, oh – the food is to die for.
It’s all about Sushi in Japan and as one of my favourite things to eat, I can tell you nothing beats it, as much as we can try in the UK.
There is so much choice when it comes to Sushi in Japan, much more than Crab Handrolls and crispy Tempura that grace those conveyer belts in the UK. Prepared before your very eyes, eating in Japan is an experience and sharing food together is very much part of the culture. Piles of Sashimi, Yakatori and Udon are served in black ceramic bowls upon lacquer trays with chopsticks, of course; you’ll be spoilt for choice. Rice is also a popular dish in Japan.
Home life is very different in Japan than Scandinavia. The Japanese very rarely eat meals together. With such a huge population, accommodation is small and compact – there is little room to entertain and so most eat out in one of the thousands of restaurants and bars.
With such a shortage of physical personal space, I find it incredible that the Japanese manage to switch off, you’ll often spot someone reading a book or sleeping, even though they are surrounded by people and don’t be surprised to see businessmen in their cars sleeping too! A much faster pace of life than those in Scandinavia!
Which would suit your lifestyle? The city streets of Tokyo or the mountains of Norway?