Nordic: A Photographic Essay of Landscapes, Food, and People is an absolutely gorgeous book. From the cloth cover with its embossed text to the stunning photography inside, reading this book has brought me a lot of joy. Magnus Nilsson has a very engaging conversational writing style. It might be because I've seen and heard him on television programs like Mind of Chef or Chef's Table, but while I read I felt like I was sitting across the table from him as he shared the culture of the Nordic countries. After finishing this, it makes me want to read his other books: The Nordic Cookbook, and Fäviken.
On my Grandfather's side our family is from Denmark, and this book left me with a drive to explore my ancestors' heritage further. Even more so, I feel a passionate longing to discover the answer to a question I have been asking myself for some time: "What is my culture"? What does it mean to be the daughter of the daughter of the daughter of the daughter of an immigrant? What does it mean to be a naturalized transplant? What is my experience of life in a home that has a different heritage from the people in my family who came here so many years ago? What is my Canada? My British Columbia? What could it look like to me to synthesize all of that into my own new, real, vibrant culture? These are the questions that drive me as I forage, garden, shop markets, cook, and create. I am thankful to Nilsson for following his passion so keenly and fanning the flame in me to do the same.