Customer Review

96 of 101 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book about a unique place, difficult to find ingredients, October 17, 2012
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This review is from: Fäviken (Hardcover)
Faviken is a beautiful book about the very unique cuisine served at the remote restaurant of the same name in Sweden. Most of the book consists of text explaining the restaurant, about the meat, fish, and plants used. there are gorgeous pictures as well throughout the book. I appreciate the authors efforts in capturing the unique use of local, sustainable food, and think this would be inspiring to others around the world to do similar things.

As a cookbook however that Americans might want to cook from, even professionally trained chefs will have a problem with it. Not because the ingredients that do have units are given in metric (80g dry-aged blade of beef, cut into a loin), but because the ingredients themselves would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for most cooks to track down.

Here are some recipes from the book:
'A tiny slice of top blade from a retired dairy cow, dry aged for nine months, crispy reindeer lichen, fermented green gooseberries, fennel salt'
and
'Thrush with drying mushrooms, fresh cucumber, fermented fennel and cottage cheese'
and
Hazelhen, fresh lingonberries, which calls for '3 perfectly shot and matured hazelhens, taken out of the fridge plenty of time in advance, hearts and livers reserved' as well as '6 handfuls very fresh lingonberries, attached with some of the tiny leaves (not the big woody ones).

I started to rather desperately turn to the root vegetables section for something I could cook, and found general methods of preserving them, and the same for vegetables. Recipes in the vegetable section include 'Fermented juice of mushrooms and oats' and 'Vegetables cooked with autumn leaves', both leaves from this year and last year.

So while it is a beautiful book to read and look at, and I am sure dining at the restaurant would be amazing, I doubt that I will ever cook from it. I don't think there is a single recipe I want to jump in the kitchen and make. I would have to do too many substitutions. Still, it is going to be a good historical book documenting very local foraging and game that will no doubt inspire others.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 15, 2013 7:22:12 AM PST
Use it as inspiration. adapt the recipe concepts to your locally sourced cuisine. It is kind of the point of the book. Use local bird and local berries and I'm sure they will compliment each other as well. Be inspired and create using the technique and natural simplicity of the plating and visual concepts. Cooking is more fun that way. Start by researching unfamiliar ingredients so that you understand how and why they are used, then continue by using your knowledge of local ingredients to substitute and build on the concept. A cookbook from a locally sourced restaurant overseas will never fail present this challenge.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 8:15:50 AM PST
Cinnomin Brothers, yes, you are quite right! I have since found it to be very inspiring, and I really try to use local sustainable products whenever I can. The first time I make a recipe I usually try to follow it as exactly as possible, so I have an idea what sort of tastes I am supposed to be getting before I start tinkering with recipes. That led to some initial disappointment, but I am thankful to have the book and it inspires me more and more every time I look through it.
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Location: Hill Country, TX USA

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