Sweden has cooked up something truly unique that allows people to interact with nature in a healthy, appetizing way. The Edible Country is a do-it-yourself fine dining initiative where select tables and cooking kits have been placed in handpicked natural locales throughout the backcountry for visitors to experience cooking in a breathtaking Swedish landscape without the traditional walls of a formal restaurant. The ingredients are sourced from the surrounding nature, making the decadent menu one that changes with the seasons.
The Uninhabited Sweden
There are seven reservable tables in this outdoor DIY experience where the adventurous food lover can prepare, eat and enjoy their meals out in the open from May through September. The Edible Country event might include catching and cooking your own fish or picking your own berries within the 100 million acres of land that makes this the world’s largest gourmet eatery. But you won’t need to roam aimlessly through the wild. Each menu comes with explicit instructions on where to find the ingredients for the dish and how to cook them properly.
Seasons… and Menus Change
Seasonal menus ensure that all ingredients are readily available in nature. Four of Sweden’s Michelin-starred chefs collaborated to create a healthy plan of dining to fit the needs of all would-be food foragers. Wild fruits and berries are a staple in many of the menus along with other earthly delights such as honey, mushrooms, and acorns. With highly processed foods becoming a staple for many people, healthy options such as fresh fish should catch your eye. Swedish fish, such as Perch, is another common menu item that fish-lovers will enjoy both catching and eating.
“For me, Swedish nature has always been my biggest source of inspiration when cooking. The hours I have spent in the forest have turned into the realization that cooking outdoors, with the ingredients right in front of me, is the core of Swedish cuisine,” said Chef Niklas Ekstedt. “The Edible Country is a symbol of how easy, close and uncomplicated food can and should be.”
Cooking with a menu created solely from nature brings a person closer to the land and sea. Each of the nine dishes represents a seasonal part of Sweden.
“My earliest food memory is from the Scanian (Skåne) nature where I spent lots of time with my family, learning which plants you could eat and which to stay clear of. Through my cooking I can share a bit of the landscape that I love with people from all over the world. It’s really amazing,” said Titti Qvarnström, Michelin Star Chef.
With The Edible Country, Sweden looks to boost both the health of its residents and visitors and its economy. These distinctive dishes share a special characteristic that very few restaurants can laud—all the ingredients are found and cooked by the customer. It is truly an experience for anyone who loves the outdoors and hopes to become more in touch with nature.