The manifesto laid out the region’s “authentic cuisine,” and claimed a creative space for Nordic chefs to showcase their talents, recipes and particular sensibility. Instead of the stringent French techniques hammered into aspiring chefs from around the world in culinary schools, new Nordic championed traditional food preparation methods such as “drying, smoking, pickling, curing, smoking with a larger goal of returning balance to the earth itself,” as the New York Times put it.

The manifesto was also a response to agricultural conditions in the region. Danish production of pork and butter for export had come to dominate the nation’s cuisine and had decimated the country’s once rich agricultural diversity. Even today, the country has five pigs per person—25 million animals.

New Nordic sought to diversify palates by reintroducing dishes made from the region’s locally native ingredients, such as foraged herbs, Limfjord oysters, cloudberries. Chefs got headlines for exotic components such as cricket paste, wild reindeer blood, and live ants (which apparently taste like lemongrass).

The new Nordic manifesto also sparked a global culinary movement, especially after Noma was crowned the “best restaurant in the world” four times. And it emboldened chefs from around the world to focus their attention on their region’s native ingredients, traditional dishes, and local producers.

“Some of the same chefs who had signed the manifesto had lived in France and previously prescribed to the notion of French cuisine as the cuisine. With the manifesto, they pitched these ideas out the window,” says DiPietro. “It wasn’t simply an improvement on the French, but a departure from the French. It was a return to the cupboard, woods, and shores of Scandinavia, and all its techniques, treasures, and forgotten ingredients. It was a redefinition of good taste in the northern hemisphere.”

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