The first Christmas at ScandiKitchen, over a decade ago, was a revelation to my husband Jonas and I.
We didn’t quite appreciate what it meant to run a cafe and shop that could provide all the foods that our fellow Scandinavians in London were missing.
The emotional impact it had on our customers was overwhelming. No matter where you’re from, when the call of home pulls at your heartstrings, only something genuine can relieve the ache. Food reconnects us in the form of scents, tastes and deep memories of years gone by. In one bite, you’re back home – if only for a moment.
By the First Sunday of Advent, we’re ready not only to provide relief from homesickness, but also to teach anyone who will listen about the joy we Scandinavians find in Christmas. It may be dark and bitterly cold outside, but our hearts are some of the warmest you’ll ever find.
Our homes are lit by candles, we offer home-baked goods and spiced wines to everyone, and we let people into our usually reserved personal worlds.
Everything in Scandinavia starts to smell of cinnamon and ginger, and we long for any sign of snowflakes to make us huddle up even more in our cocoons of Christmas hygge.
Scandinavians embrace this season with such authenticity that I think people from elsewhere find it hard not to be swept along. Scandinavia is so very big, and our food culture varied, but I have tried to balance tradition with a few new things, and hope you find inspiration to create a taste of Scandinavian Christmas.