Friday, August 25, 2006

Scandanavian Cooking

In my continuing mission to help alert others to the many fine TV shows not normally seen, I am reviewing Scandanavian Cooking. Now this show may actually be called New Scandanavian Cooking. But I am sure that there is no confusion as I doubt anyone ever watched Old Scandanavian Cooking.

But I digress. While there appear to be many hosts of the show, Tina Nordstrom is the best. She is a pretty blonde Swedish woman. Actually, she is more than pretty. She is downright HOT!
The recipes are only half the show.

When she is making a delicacy like (I swear I'm not making this up) smoked eel and eggs, Tina will go out eel fishing first. She'll catch a few eels with the other fisherman. For the sake of TV, she will then go to the smokehouse and get some smoked eels. It would take too long to smoke eels herself, but I am sure she is quite capable of doing that. I mean when she wanted some boar meat, she went out and hunted wild boar. This is a lady who is, to say the least, adventurous.

Then, for reasons only known to the show's producers and Ikea, Tina will build her prep area. If she needs a sink and countertop, she'll build it out of modular units. They fast forward ala Benny Hill and she quickly builds whatever structure she needs. She does her cooking outdoors. If it is winter (I think it is nearly always winter in Scandanavia) she will cook in the middle of a snowstorm and then eat her meal out there.
Part of the show is financed by Scandanavian travel and tourist bureaus, so they show a lot of the countryside. Apparently, the countryside is snow-covered most of the time. During its 15 minutes of summer, she does go out and have a picnic, or something summery to enjoy the Scandanavian summer. But these episodes are rare, as summer is so short in whatever the hell country she is visiting.
She uses ingredients that are nearly impossible to find outside of Scandanavia (where can one find lingonberries and clownberries?) and doesn't give any alternatives. So, if you want to try these recipes at home, good luck. The meals also run heavy towards fish as this appears to be the principle ingredients of every Scandanavian dish, even desserts. They also love dried cod. She must have 50 recipes for dried cod. Occasionally, she will use meat, but even then it is bizarre. One dish used reindeer or something like that. Like I'm going to find that at Stop and Shop.
I do recommend the show. Not for the recipes, but because the countryside is beautiful, and Tina is quite the show hostess.

I give it a 7.