Northern Europe, including Scandinavia, Ireland and the United Kingdom, has a mouthwatering supply of food and beverages. Fish and chips, Swedish meatballs and shepherd’s pie are just a sampling of the regional offerings, which are usually prepared on the hearty side to warm people up from the cold climate. Because of the surrounding bodies of water, fish is essential to most Northern European cuisines.
The food of Northern Europe is very eclectic. From beer battered fish and chips and Irish soda bread to chicken Kiev, chocolate fondant and crème brulee.
The northern European diet generally consists of a large serving of meat, poultry, or fish, accompanied by small side dishes of vegetables and starch. The traditional diet is high in protein, primarily from meat and dairy products. The diet tends to be low in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Immigrants from this region of the world brought this eating pattern to North America and it still influences the ‘‘meat and potatoes’’ American meal.
Common food choices associated within cultural group.
Grain group: barley, hops, oat, rice, rye, wheat products.
Vegetable group: artichokes, asparagus, beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, fennel, green peppers, kale, leeks, mushrooms, olives, onions, peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach, turnips, watercress.
Fruit group: apples, apricots, cherries, currants, gooseberries, grapes, lemons, melons, oranges, peaches, pears, plums, prunes, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries.
Milk, yogurt and cheese group: cheese (made from cow, sheep, goat milk), cream, milk, sour cream, yogurt.
Meat, fish, eggs and nuts group: beef, lamb, oxtail, pork, rabbit, veal and venison; chicken, duck, goose, pheasant, pigeon, quail, turkey; a variety of fish, legumes and nuts.
Fats and sweets group: butter, lard, margarine, olive oil, vegetable oil, salt pork; honey and sugar.