Pickling Pine Shoots

Pickling Pine Shoots

NUR's Head Chef makes some culinary discoveries in Sweden

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Foodie  Foodie Your Guide to Good Taste  on 30 Jun '16

Nurdin Topham of NUR is travelling his way around foraging for culinary inspiration and currently finds himself exploring the greenery of a biodynamic farm in Sweden. We press him for information about all his discoveries:

What are some of the things you have uncovered during your time in Scandinavia? 

This is not my first time in Scandinavia, but every time I am here I get excited by wild plants growing in the forests and on the beaches. This time, I have come earlier in the year so it's nice to appreciate a different variety of seasonal crops and wild plants. I am always fascinated by understanding what the specific regions use to grow and the old methods of preserving food. Here in Småland in Sweden, where my wife Salma's family lives, people have a long tradition of pickling.

What will you be bringing back to HK with you, both knowledge and produce-wise?

I picked some beautiful pine shoots, which I pickled. The flavour is fantastic, I am very interested in trees as a source of food and inspiration. 

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What are some of the eating highlights of your trip there?

Baest, Relae and Manfreds - plant-focused, innovative and delicious.

Salma's mum's Indian curry (Salma's family are originally from India) is made with Scandinavian pumpkin, with dried fenugreek leaves served with homemade chapati and Swedish Västerbotten cheese.

Fäviken in Sweden I am sure will be another highlight, I have a reservation there for the 20th of July. 

Do you feel Hong Kong has any similarities to the things you are experiencing over there on the food scene?

Not really. Scandinavia is kind of the polar opposite to Hong Kong. A lot of land to grow food, space is accessible and growth is organic. But then again, thats why young Scandis end up travelling the world more than others as they  need to experience the hustle and bustle a place like Hong Kong can offer.

Where are you off to next? 

Scotland - visiting my chef friend Ben Reade and Sashana Souza Zanella who opened Edinburgh Food Studio - a game changer in Scotland. You must go and visit if you are ever up there. 



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