Islands in the Sun: Storytelling, Place & Terroir in Food Production on Nordic Islands

Tags: Hanne Pico Larsen, Susanne �terlund-P�tzsch, Islands in the Sun, entrepreneurs, Nordic countries, Finland, food entrepreneurs, New Nordic Cuisine, food production, food products, place branding, apple trees, Susanne, Nordic Council of Ministers, Hans Lund Hansen, Susanne Osterlund-Potzsch, place identity, Hanne, apple orchards, Larsen, Island Entrepreneurship Godfrey Baldacchino, Nordic island, Claus Meyer, Meyers Madhus, Tom O'Dell, Yrsa Lindqvist, Veuve Clicquot champagne, Susanne �terlund-P�tzsch Docent, food marketing, SLS, Sun Hanne Pico Larsen Assistant Professor Copenhagen Business School, French Champagne, beer bottles, Islands Hanne Pico Larsen, brown glass bottles, niche product, New Nordic Food, Pico Larsen
Content: Islands in the Sun: Storytelling, Place & Terroir in food production on Nordic Islands Hanne Pico Larsen and Susanne Osterlund-Potzsch Journal article (Publishers version) CITE: Islands in the Sun: Storytelling, Place & Terroir in Food Production on Nordic Islands. / Pico Larsen, Hanne; Osterlund-Potzsch, Susanne. In: Ethnologia Scandinavica, Vol. 45, 2015, p. 29-52. Link: Uploaded to [email protected]: May 2017
Islands in the Sun Storytelling, Place & Terroir in Food Production on Nordic Islands1 By Hanne Pico Larsen & Susanne Цsterlund-Pцtzsch
Еland has always had a special status as a group of islands between Finland and Sweden. A matter not always noted is that the Еlandic kitchen constitutes a unique food region in Finland (...) An explanation for this development can be found in a strong attachment to one's own soil, agriculture, the archipelago and the sea. Add a tradition of seafaring, trade and entrepreneurship and the result spells the food destination Еland (Kenneth Nars, Affдrsmagasinet Forum 27.9.2014 Food, as defined by Encyclopaedia Britannica, is "material consisting essentially of protein, carbohydrate, and fat used in the body of an organism to sustain growth, repair, and vital processes and to furnish energy" ( However, beyond nourishment food is also many other things, such as business, politics, entertainment ­ and a common ingredient in the construction of place identity. In this article, we propose that islands as bordered places constitute particularly illuminating examples of how food is constructed as local ­ that is place-specific ­ in the process of food production. Food production, here, is taken to cover the production of raw produce, as well as the production of refined food items (e.g. beer, jam and bread) and ready-made dishes. We will discuss how and to what effect food entrepreneurs on Nordic islands combine story-motifs in the form of images, tropes and stereotypes with present day trends in food production and consumption. Our premise is that stereotypes and characteristics pertaining to islands might yield benefits in this connection. Food entrepreneurs need to distinguish their product and make consumers relate to it. This tends to be done by using established motifs and images evoking a range of consumer values (such as au-
thenticity, artisanship, and heritage). Frequently, these motifs and images have strong moral values connected with them. The so-called New Nordic Food movement is, directly or indirectly, an influence on many food entrepreneurs. We will investigate to what degree the particular kind of storytelling intrinsic to the gourmet side of the New Nordic Cuisine is employed by island entrepreneurs and how food tourism has become an increasingly important niche intertwined with food production. Moreover, we aim to ascertain the various ways in which the themes of place and taste are interrelated, juxtaposed and constructed in this context. Ny Nordisk Mad II (New Nordic Food II) is a programme under the Nordic Council of Ministers intended to promote Nordic food in the region and beyond. The inspiration for the programme stems from the Manifesto of New Nordic Cuisine that was drawn up and signed by a group of twelve high-profile Nordic chefs in 2004. Apart from the ambition to encourage healthy eating in the Nordic countries, the NNF programme aims to promote Nordic food as an opportunity for marketing and branding.3 Consequently, the NNF website provides practical advice (even checklists) for how to plan a meeting, presentation or similar event with New Nordic Food catering. Among the tools recommended for the event are concepts, design, decoration ­ and storytelling. The NNF website states that stories and narratives are shared "in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and in order to instil moral values". After suggesting different types of stories that could fit the occasion, the NNF Ethnologia Scandinavica, Vol. 45, 2015
30 Hanne Pico Larsen & Susanne Цsterlund-Pцtzsch, Islands in the Sun
recommendation concludes that "in regards to the meal or food it's a good idea to tell a story that gives the meal some perspective. It can be a story describing the origins of the different courses or the produce used. [But] there is no limit to what stories can be told about the meal. The only rule is to make sure it enhances the guest's meal experience" ( Stories, evidently, can make eating more meaningful. What humans eat is about availability, but also, as demonstrated already back in the early days of food ethnography, about traditions, beliefs and narratives (Harris 1997). When it comes to eating, culture often takes precedence over pure nutritional needs. If a certain food item becomes associated with a particular discourse, its desirability might change. In the contemporary Western world, where consuming food entails an abundance of options and considerations for the majority of people, the stories and images connected with various foods are frequently decisive for the culinary choices made. Our interest concerns food stories connected with island, and how the "island-factor" (arguably) makes eating more meaningful. Our case studies are the Еland Islands and the apple orchards on the Danish island of Lilleш. Еland is an autonomous, Swedish-speaking region of Finland, consisting of an archipelago of approximately 6 500 islands and skerries. The population is around 28 600, whereof the majority lives on the main island. The Еlandic economy is dominated by shipping and tourism. Not least because of the semi-independent status, Еland has a strong sense of local identity. Lilleш is situated north of
Lolland in the south of Denmark. This literally small island (Lilleш means "little island") is just over eight square kilometres and has seven permanent inhabitants (in January 2014). In spite of its small size the island looms large in the awareness of Danish food lovers. It has a long tradition of growing apples, but in recent years the island has also become known for its affiliation with food entrepreneur Claus Meyer and restaurant Noma. Both Claus Meyer and Noma collaborate with farmers on the island in developing liquid delights such as juice, cider, vinegar and wine. However, due to its small size and few inhabitants, Lilleш is not a main tourist destination such as Еland. Instead the popular produce is exported. Within our study, we have conducted interviews with food entrepreneurs and people in different ways involved in food production on Еland and Lilleш. Those who we have talked to in their official capacity are quoted with their names. Apart from the fieldwork material from our two main case studies we will be drawing upon a broad material of literature, newspaper articles, brochures, and web sources pertaining to Nordic islands such as Bornholm, Цland, Fyn and Muhu. All of these islands have in common that they have been successful in marketing their placeness ("islandness") either in food production or as food destination, or both. Branding and the Taste of Place Storytelling is one of the most common strategies for strengthening brands, both internally and externally, to create strong bonds between brand and consumer, and ultimately to secure consumer loyalty. In the Western world, the market economy
Hanne Pico Larsen & Susanne Цsterlund-Pцtzsch, Islands in the Sun 31
increasingly builds on emotions and the pursuit of the ideal life. Hence, the need for good stories become more apparent, and storytelling has been turned into a popular tool for building brands: "as a concept, storytelling has won a decisive foothold in the debate on how brands of the future will be shaped" (Fog, Budtz, Munch & Blancette 2010:17, see also Hansen 2012). There is a multifaceted relationship between food and branding. On the one hand, branding strategies are employed in order to market and sell food items. On the other hand, food items and food production are increasingly used in the creation of brands. Both of these aspects appear in our case material on Nordic islands. An important part of the NNF programme is to "strengthen the region's competitive edge on the increasingly aggressive global food market" ( about-nnf-ii/om/) as well as to encourage the use of Nordic food as a tool for promotion. The values singled out in the very first paragraph of the New Nordic Cuisine manifesto, "to express the purity, freshness, simplicity and ethics we wish to associate to our region" (, are cornerstones of the NNF Programme and are frequently suggested being characteristic of the Nordic region as such, thus simultaneously evoking Nordic as a brand. However, combined food and branding projects are not a new concept in the Nordic countries. For example, long before the New Nordic Cuisine manifesto of 2004, the regional development project Skдrgеrdssmak ("A flavour of the Archipelago") used food as a tool for regional
branding and regional development initiatives. Skдrgеrdssmak was developed as a regional-political project financed by EU's Interreg IIIA (IIA)4 and the national governments in Finland and Sweden between the years 1996 and 2006. The Skдrgеrdssmak-area extends across national borders and comprises the greater Stockholm archipelago, the Еland Islands and the archipelago of Southwest Finland. The incentive for initiating the project was to develop local industry and commerce but also to promote regional identity. The plan was implemented by introducing a quality label (i.e. the trademark white wave on a blue background) to be used by the project participants of restaurants, food and raw produce suppliers, artisans and local grocery shops that fulfilled the requirements. The programme on the whole was deemed as very successful (Gripenberg 2006:6, 23). Consequently, after the Interreg IIIA programme ended, Skдrgеrdssmak was continued by being turned into a commercial limited company in 2007. In her study of regional food projects, Susanne Heldt Cassel names regional branding as the most prominent aspect of the Skдrgеrdssmak project. Promoting the Swedish-Еlandic-Finnish archipelago as one region was in line with EU's regional politics and the overarching idea of European integration. However, there are also many examples of regional food projects that have different aims, such as creating local networks (Heldt Cassel 2003:58, 77, 151). Regional food culture has become a favoured strategy to promote economic and rural growth in regions suffering recession (see Tellstrцm, Gustavsson & Mossberg 2006:131). Since the initiation
32 Hanne Pico Larsen & Susanne Цsterlund-Pцtzsch, Islands in the Sun
of the Skдrgеrdssmak project in 1996, the interest in the connection between food and place has reached new heights. Today, "local food" is a catchphrase heavily employed in a wide range of contexts, of which the NNF movement is but one example. While the Skдrgеrdssmak project was marketing the archipelago as a setting in which to experience extraordinary food sensations, the branding message today contains an even stronger intertwining of food and place. "The taste of..." has become a ubiquitous slogan applied to specific localities as well as more unspecific larger regions, in both cases indicating a literal consumption of place. The idea of "taste of place" is well established in haute cuisine through the French concept of terroir. A product's terroir is affected by everything from the composition of the soil to the local climate, in other words, everything that can be said to add to a distinctive taste and flavour. The American anthropologist Amy B. Trubek has described terroir as a story, a narrative, about a product's unique background. These narratives not only lend the product a sense of authenticity but also help the consumer to localize the product geographically and within a system of values and ideals (Trubek 2008). Traditionally connected with French wine production to secure and regulate distinct regional tradition, know-how, soil complexion and quality (see e.g. Hшyrup & Munk 2007), the concept of terroir is presently used for a wide range of products as a stamp of quality (see e.g. Schousboe 2014). The elite chefs adhering to the New Nordic Cuisine frequently refer to terroir in the Nordic context, pointing to the advantages of the Nordic conditions ­
such as many hours of daylight ­ for various food produce (Hermansen 2012; Meyer & Ehler 2006). In this context, the concept, "local food" is closely related to and sometimes overlapping with terroir. The notion of place-related food covers a plethora of concerns ranging from taste, nutrition and health to patriotism, politics, ecology, and ethics (see e.g. Amilien, Torjusen & Vittersш 2005; Hermansen 2012; Bendix & Fenske 2014). As pointed out by Lucy R. Lippard, "the lure of the local is that undertone to modern life that connects it to the past we know so little and the future we are aimlessly concocting" (Lippard 1997:7). In the context of food, "local" has more or less become synonymous with reliability and good taste (in both respects of the word). Despite the fact that the interest in local food is often described as a recent fad, this culinary trend can be traced back to the introduction of Nouvelle Cuisine in France in the 1960s (Jцnsson 2013:56). The strong emphasis in Nouvelle Cuisine on fresh and locally produced foods was picked up by Scandinavian chefs, and place-specificity soon came to signal quality. To the point, ethnologist Hеkan Jцnsson quips, that "reading a menu in a fine-dining restaurant in Sweden has gradually turned into a geography lesson" (ibid.:59н60). Emphasizing the local yields results in food branding and tends to attract urban consumers who associate the label of "local food" with authenticity (Tellstrцm, Gustavsson & Mossberg 2006:135f., 138, 140). However, the formula of authenticity-through-locality involves a great deal of flexibility. Obvious constructions such as New Nordic Food, representing a huge
Hanne Pico Larsen & Susanne Цsterlund-Pцtzsch, Islands in the Sun 33
geographical area comprising all of Scandinavia including Iceland and Finland, can thus stand for "local food" (Skaarup 2013: 50). Not even geographical proximity is needed for a perceived closeness in food production. As observed by Jon Thor Pйtursson, even food that has travelled across the globe can gain the badge of locality and trustworthiness if convincingly personalized (Pйtursson 2013). Brand humanization is a vital part of branding strategy. Marketing scholars Anne-Marie Hede and Torgeir Watne suggest that creating a sense of place encourages consumers to connect emotionally with a brand. Stories drawing upon traditional folk motifs has proved to be an efficient means to promote the consumer's proclivity to relate to the place-consciousness of a region (Hede & Watne 2013: 207f., 211, 218). In the next section we aim to investigate how a focus on place and traditional motifs regarding islands has been employed in this context. The Island Advantage Islands, as well as rural areas, are often marginalized and suffer both political and economic disadvantages and distress when people move away due to unemployment, the attraction of urban centres and other reasons (Lyck 2014). However, in recent years, some of the stereotypes and characteristics connected with islands seem to present a place branding advantage to food entrepreneurs. Indeed, not all places are created equal, and even a cursory look at food marketed through place connections demonstrates that some places are more compelling than others (see e.g. Burstedt 2002). Certain places and conditions seem to lend them-
selves more easily to the building of terroir-stories (Trubek 2008:123). Interestingly, regions like islands and rural areas, perceived as marginalized and disadvantaged, often take a central role in food storytelling. In this study, we look in particular at how Nordic islands have used their "islandness" to turn a seemingly unfavourable situation into an asset in both tourism and product branding. Islands, as pointed out by John Gillis, are perceived as remote, and remote places are often associated with a quality of pastness regardless of their actual history. Consequently, islands are also regarded as older, more isolated, and more rooted than other places (Gillis 2001). Performing islandness is closely tied to heritage production, notes Owe Ronstrцm in his study of heritage processes on the island of Gotland. When island heritage is being produced for tourism, island "qualities" such as remoteness, a slower pace of life and authenticity tend to be emphasized (Ronstrцm 2008:2, 7, 15). The Nordic countries, especially the area stretching from the east coast of Sweden through the Еlandic archipelago to the West Coast of Finland, have among the greatest density of islands in the world (Ronstrцm 2009). Questions regarding branding, identity and economic survival are naturally vital to the island communities of the Baltic Sea. The present day interest in artisan and small-scale food production has created new income opportunities for farmers and entrepreneurs in marginalized areas (Bonow & Rytkцnen 2013:81). It should come as no surprise that the stereotypes of island heritage production merge with the tropes of the successful New Nor-
34 Hanne Pico Larsen & Susanne Цsterlund-Pцtzsch, Islands in the Sun
dic Cuisine. However, the level of how deliberately and consciously this connection is made and turned into a terroir-narrative among the island food entrepreneurs obviously varies. One example of a conscious performance of islandness, is the apple orchards of the Danish island Lilleш. The owner of the orchard is Claus Meyer, one of the most influential food entrepreneurs in Denmark and co-founder of the world famous restaurant Noma in Copenhagen. Meyer was until recently also the owner of several other food related businesses such as Meyers Madhus and Meyer's bakeries as well as the commercial production of fruit juices and vinegars made from Lilleшapples.5 As one of the early and high profile advocates of the New Nordic Cuisine, Meyer is well familiar with the vocabulary of the gastronomic world and the description of the island orchards from Meyer's own webpages is a textbook example of a terroir-story: The island Lilleш has a unique micro climate and is one the smallest islands in Denmark. It is situated in the sea surrounded by the islands of Zealand, Mшn, Falster and Lolland. Since the 1930ties fruit farming has been the main activity of the island which today has more than 25 apple cultivars. There is no irrigation on the island which leads to a smaller yield compared to the traditional orchards. Plenty of night dew, the salty sea air and the smaller yield contribute to giving the fruits a great intense taste. The fruit trees are normally cut down when they are 15 years old, but on this island many of the trees are both 20 and 60 years old which gives them a first class quality of taste. Unique for Lilleш is also its vineyard. Hansen's vineyard produces top quality wines for Noma ( In this presentation, the island conditions are not only attested to yield high quality
products, but to constitute a unique combination of micro factors that suggest, what we have elsewhere referred to as, a Nordic island superterroir (Larsen & Цsterlund-Pцtzsch 2013). The island landscape together with the perception of islands as somehow more genuine, remote, natural, and even older, than the mainland, serves as the ingredients for a perfect terroir-narrative. The island format condenses, exotifies and lends authenticity ­ in this perspective even a commercial venture such as large scale growing of apple trees seems closer to traditional forging than modern-day industries. In fact, island stereotypes seem to go hand in hand with a "taste of place"-branding. Similarly, when the Finnish food-critic Kenneth Nars describes the local food on the Еland islands in his food guide to Еland (Еlдndsk matguide. Vдgvisare till еlдndska smakupplevelser, 2009), he singles out the islandness of Еland as decisive: "As all islands, Еland has due to its isolation been able to preserve its food culture in a different way than on the mainland. But at the same time the Еlandic seafarers have throughout history brought impressions, ideas and flavours with them from countries far away. On Еland, food culture has always been a mix of traditional Еlandic and foreign impressions" (Nars 2009). The island paradox of simultaneously being isolated and well connected is in other words seen as characteristic of the Еlandic cuisine. In the same vein, assumed island qualities of authenticity, a slower pace of life and a sense of history all go to support claims of a terroir-product. From a brand-building perspective there is plenty to draw upon in terms of
Hanne Pico Larsen & Susanne Цsterlund-Pцtzsch, Islands in the Sun 35
perceived island lifestyle and island nostalgia to appeal to a large set of (urban) consumers (cf. Trubek 2008:16, 212f., 236). However, there are other, and very concrete, ways in which the island-factor can play a significant part in food branding. Locality is frequently used as a framework for food projects. Nevertheless, defining what actually is local is often problematic. What counts as local is ultimately socially constructed and fluid (Шstrup Backe 2013: 60). In this case, the clear-cut borders of islands are beneficial. Lena Brenner, developer at the Еlandic Agricultural Centre and Chair of the NNF steering committee, describes the island frame as helpful in arranging local food events such as the Еlandic harvest festival: Yes, I do believe it is a huge advantage. I'm in contact with many similar food projects and events on both the Swedish and the Finnish side. And the biggest problem they have, and constantly complain about, is where to draw the line. What is locally produced? When you've drawn a border there is always someone on the other side of it that also wants to come along. This issue always comes up, they say they are a bit jealous of Еland because it is so crystal clear here ­ the border is Еland. You don't need to discuss it because it is obvious and natural (Interview with Lena Brenner SLS 2014:31). As noted above, food is often used for marketing place and seems to be a particularly common strategy for marketing islands. Ronstrцm describes how the wellknown Gotlandic saffron pancake is perceived as a typical and traditional local dish, although it was in fact a fairly uncommon food until the 1970s. The saffron pancake simply fit the bill for a local delicacy. The dish consequently became "islanded" and part of the Gotland brand ­
standing for uniqueness, island magic and island terroir (Ronstrцm 2012:254f.). On the other hand, connecting a food item to an island might make the product itself more recognisable. The fact that Lilleшapples stem from an island ­ a clearly distinguishable area ­ has greatly benefitted their marketing, as Lilleш fruit grower and vineyard owner Hans Lund Hansen testifies (interview 14.8.2012). Even disadvantages and challenges can have positive consequences. In 2006, Lilleш was flooded and a large part of the island's orchards were badly damaged. However, the media coverage secured nationwide sympathy, which, Hans Lund Hansen recounts, resulted in more attention and interest in the apples from the small island. Narratives of David vs. Goliath and the unlikely winner's success against the odds are common in folk culture and tend to raise sympathy. Consequently, a brand biography of disadvantage and struggle can give rise to an "underdog effect" of increased brand loyalty among consumers (Paharia, Keinan, Avery & Schor 2011:775f.). The relative smallness and vulnerability of islands put into contrast with large-scale national actors may thus have valuable marketing effects for the perceived underdog. Island Entrepreneurship Godfrey Baldacchino, scholar of island studies, ponders the problem of how to bring about the transformation from smallness and isolation to becoming a powerful centre for sustainable growth and prosperity. He answers the question by pointing to the branding of niche products. The marketing strategy in this case involves branding goods and services as belonging specifically to a distinct loca-
36 Hanne Pico Larsen & Susanne Цsterlund-Pцtzsch, Islands in the Sun
Apple orchard at Lilleш, Denmark, 2013. Photo: Morten Sшrensen.
tion. He identifies breweries as a particularly suitable niche for many small island jurisdictions around the globe (Baldacchino 2010:62, 64). Hede and Watne also single out microbreweries as successful in using a sense of place for their brand narratives. Microbreweries are contrasted with national and international mass brewery brands to the advantage of the former. Increasingly, beer consumers are turning away from national beer brands because of their homogeneity (Hede & Watne 2013:212f.). Microbreweries, for the connoisseurs as well as the general beer-drinking public, have come to represent character, craftsmanship and tradition as well as innovation and novelty. Moreover, beer produced on small islands is often tied to place by the use of local ingre-
dients (Baldacchino 2010:66), which further enhances the uniqueness of the product. As a case in point, the Еlandic microbrewery Stallhagen has, despite some initial struggles, thus far been a success story. In 2013, Finnish newspapers reported that the demand for Stallhagen beer was greater than the brewery's production capacity (Еlandstidningen 8.1.2013, Hbl 3.10.2013). Stallhagen beer is mainly sold on the local Еlandic market, but is also exported to the Finnish mainland and Sweden. Stallhagen's main profile is as a microbrewery making "Hand-made Slow Beer" using natural raw products. Apart from the use of local ingredients, there are also several further references to a "sense of place" in their production. For example,
Hanne Pico Larsen & Susanne Цsterlund-Pцtzsch, Islands in the Sun 37
Еlandic apples used as decoration underscoring the maritime theme typical for islands, 2012. Photo: Tobias Pцtzsch.
the Stallhagen III lager has an Еlandic flag on its label and the webpage presentation of the beer provides the history of the flag as well as a description of the beer. The brewery produces the annual seasonal beer Stallhagen Skцrdefest in time for the popular Еlandic harvest festival. The autonomous island community and its local practices are decidedly part of the brand narrative for the brewery. Let us take a few further examples from other Еlandic food producers that emphasize local conditions in their brand stories. The Еlandic dairy, ЕCA (Еlands centralandelslag), describes their loca-
tion as a boon for manufacturing milk products: In the dairy we refine milk from the unpolluted Еlandic nature into delicious and healthy products. We know our farmers well and the milk we receive is always of the very best quality. Moreover, as the transportation distances are short the milk is very fresh when it arrives at the dairy. With such excellent conditions it feels natural to us to be especially careful in manufacturing our products. We are eager to preserve the knowledge we have inherited from the tradition of Еlandic dairy production going back hundreds of years. Since we are a small dairy, we can let the craftsmanship of our staff contribute to the taste as well as the feeling of our products6 (
38 Hanne Pico Larsen & Susanne Цsterlund-Pцtzsch, Islands in the Sun
The expected food marketing catchwords of unpolluted, delicious, healthy, high quality and craftsmanship are all there, but the text also makes references to stereotypical island qualities such as smallness and well preserved ancient traditions.7 The smallness of the place, here, does not only provide the advantage of short distances resulting in fresher milk, but also in the close personal relationships ("we know our farmers well") presumably characterizing a close-knit traditional community. The portrayed island conditions evoke both trustworthiness and nostalgia. Here, it is not just the flavour and quality of the product that matters ­ but to an almost equal degree all the practices surrounding the food. Apple farming is one of the dominant agricultural niches on Еland. The conditions on Еland are generally advantageous for apple orchards and certain varieties of apple trees that do not grow well in the rest of Finland can be found here. During the last number of years, Еlandic orchards have produced over sixty per cent of the total Finnish apple harvest (http:// Many of the Еlandic apple growers also produce various apple-based products. In the presentations of some of the largest producers, an emphasis on the "sundrenchedness" of the Еlandic apples is a common denominator: Peders Aplagеrd is the southernmost apple orchard in Finland. We are located in the archipelago community of Kцkar. Kцkar is one of the places in the Nordic countries that have the most hour of sun per year. This fact gives us thoroughly sundrenched and aromatic apples that we take pride in8 ( A taste of the Sun. Good taste from a farm with a long history. For thirteen generations fruit has
been grown on the Karl-Ers farm in Tjudц on the North of Еland. Now we continue this heritage and carefully look after our orchards and the environment. Karl-Ers is one of the largest orchards in Finland (...). Our products get their flavour from the many hours of sun on Еland and are refined with knowledgeable sensitivity9 (http:// Еland is the apple orchard of Finland. The climate is favourable with many hours of sun and an autumn that lingers. In many villages the apple trees are plentiful and here the apples are allowed to ripen on the branches in the agreeable archipelago air. Grannas Apples is one of the larger orchards on Еland and we are located in the village Vдstantrдsk in Finstrцm. Every year we pick large quantities of apples by hand from our trees. Some are sold as they are and others are squeezed into a delicious and natural juice10 ( There is no mentioning of the term terroir in these texts, neither can any elaborate taste of place-story be found. Nevertheless, the basic ingredients of linking a product to a place and its specific conditions are clearly stated, as are the references to cultural tradition. Both Karl-Ers and Grannas Apples mention that they are quite large orchards, but they also point out that they continue a heritage (KarlErs) and that they pick their apples by hand (Grannas). The simple combining of tradition, sun and the island conditions, taken together, still paints a convincing island terroir story. In all the examples above, the entrepreneurs and companies are of course describing the realities "as they are": Еland is indeed a small island enjoying a typical sea climate with mild autumns and a statistically high number of sun hours in a Nordic perspective. Our point was to draw attention to how these facts very smoothly become motifs in taste of
Hanne Pico Larsen & Susanne Цsterlund-Pцtzsch, Islands in the Sun 39
place-storytelling. Whereas these stories tend to be fairly subtle, or perhaps incidental in the case of smaller entrepreneurs, the detailed terroir-narratives are ample among gourmet restaurants. An example of this can be found on the Danish island of Bornholm, situated off the Swedish southeast coast ­ and a recent hotspot of gourmet cuisine.11 On the welcoming page of the local restaurant Kadeau, we get yet another description of a powerful connection to place: In the very periphery of Denmark, on the south coast of the small island of Bornholm, Kadeau is set in an updated beach pavilion ­ the only neighbours being the forest, the beach and the sea. We love food and wine with a sense of terroir, and therefore we source the best local produce and through old as well as new cooking techniques we turn that produce into modern gastronomy. But really it's all about the forest and the beach. The sky and the sea. Our love of Bornholm and our love of food ( The periphery becomes the centre and the old and the new meet in Kadeau's sense of place story. The theme of exploring terroir features heavily in other island gourmet restaurants' statements as well. At Restaurant Alexander on the Estonian island of Muhu, the concept of a common Nordic Island cuisine is developed ­ the underlying argument being that despite different conditions and geographical locations the islands of the Baltic Sea share many key factors: Here at Pдdaste Manor we decided to backtrace, to unfold and rediscover along the paths of these tra-
ditions and to embark on what we decided to call our Expedition in Search of the Nordic Islands' Cuisine. This fascinating venture involves visits to our fellow Island communities and their farmers, artisans, fishermen and hunters and at the same time is also a conceptual journey, discovering our terroir. We offer flavours which get their character from the produce, techniques and recipes originating in the Nordic Islands н the terroir and the seasons are guiding us in our cuisine. Despite their diverse geographical locations, the islands of the Nordic Islands' Cuisine area share many similarities: flavourful meats such as high quality lamb, venison, moose and wild boar, glorious fish such as flounder, cod and whitefish, not forgetting root vegetables, honey, herbs, leeks, wild mushrooms and a plethora of berries. Forests, meadows and the shores of the Estate offer an abundance of wild greens and herbs for daily foraging ( The various local raw produce as well as refined local products, as shown above, have been conducive in turning disadvantaged islands into profitable holiday destinations. Food production is no longer predominantly for export but an increasingly compelling incentive for tourism. As noted by marketing scholars, the role of local and regional food can provide many benefits for a particular area, not least in reinforcing brand identity and enhancing attractiveness of a destination, but also in supporting local business and generating local pride (Du Rand, Heath & Alberts 2003:100). Tellingly, at the same time as the island-terroir stories build on familiar and well-established motifs, one of the main messages the stories aim to communicate is that of uniqueness and difference.
40 Hanne Pico Larsen & Susanne Цsterlund-Pцtzsch, Islands in the Sun
Еlandic superterroir. Lamb from the small island of Bjцrkц in the Еlandic archipelago. 2012. Photo: Susannne Цsterlund-Pцtzsch.
Stories of Exclusivity If one happens to browse through the official Visit Еland website it may come as something of a surprise to see that "Champagne" is one of the featured topics. The Еlandic claim to this famous regionally branded product stems from the 2010 discovery in Еlandic waters of a shipwreck (from the early 1840s) containing several intact bottles of what might be the world's oldest champagne. As observed by Trubek, champagne is not just any product. It comes with an air of exclusivity and enjoys a tremendous symbolic and cultural capital (Trubek 2008:25). The local government on Еland was quick in turn-
ing the shipwreck findings into an asset. A number of bottles were sold at high profile auctions and in 2011 an Еlandic stamp had the shipwreck champagne as its design subject. Local entrepreneurs have also picked up on the opportunity. The hotel Silverskдr soon offered the possibility of storing champagne in the "ideal conditions" of Еlandic water. Not long after, a co-operation between Silverskдr and the French Champagne house Veuve Clicquot was initiated. In order to study the long term effect of storage in different conditions, 350 bottles of Veuve Clicquot champagne have been deposited in the waters outside Silverskдr. Could the po-
Hanne Pico Larsen & Susanne Цsterlund-Pцtzsch, Islands in the Sun 41
tentially "ideal conditions" of the Еlandic waters offer a "storage terroir"? Champagne was not the only product to be found on board the remains of the ill-fated ship. Among the cargo were five bottles of beer that have received much attention. The contents of the bottles have been analysed and the Еlandic government gave the local microbrewery Stallhagen the rights to recreate the "shipwreck beer". In 2014, the special edition Stallhagen Historic Beer 1842 was launched. The product was given a frame of uniqueness and strived-for historical authenticity. As a special Edition 2000 brown glass bottles were hand-made and individually numbered. As a final touch, the handmade beer bottles came in wooden cases filled with protective straw. Exclusivity and high quality are important associative terms in brand stories. The wished for connotation is that consumption of the product signals connoisseurship and refined taste. The Еlandic "shipwreck" branding have drawn upon the already established luxuriousness of French champagne but also the allure of a limited niche product. However, stories of exclusivity may also contain references to qualities more typically associated with islandness such as locality, authenticity and roots. For example, when the butter made by the Еlandic Dairy ЕCA was singled out as "best-in-test" by the Swedish Foodie magazine Allt om Mat, the company issued the following press-release: "The secret lies in churning the old-fashioned way, letting the cream mature in a secret way and in using only Еlandic products" ( The statement refers to the exclusive use of local island milk, but also to traditional
practices with a hint of mysterious and ancient knowledge. The bottom line of the terroir-esque story is that in combination these practices will inevitably result in delicious and high quality butter. What once was evidence of poverty in food production is increasingly becoming a sign of exclusiveness and quality for the discerning consumer. Many customers are prepared to pay extra for food that is foraged, homemade and made on a smallscale (see Bardone 2013b). Beyond the perceived benefits in terms of taste and quality there is a moral dimension involved, as well as a wish to experience the presence of a human element as opposed to mass manufactured and generic products (Moisio, Arnould & Price 2004:369; Hede & Watne 2013:212). This clearly offers a marketing benefit to islands, which generally cannot compete with the soilconditions and scope of mainland ventures. However, the size and qualities connected with islands make them convincing arenas for branding food as, if not actually homemade, at least as good as homemade. Storytelling involving "homemade" brings associations to cosiness, closeness, family life and community. Moreover, "homemade" links easily with the theme of nature (Moisio, Arnould & Price 2004: 372), and conjures images of handpicked berries of the forest being turned into tasty jam according to the old family recipe. traditional food and dishes have often been dismissed as unsophisticated and have tended not to be held in high regard (Kapner 1996). However, this attitude seems to be rapidly changing in accordance with market trends where tourists want to experience and "taste" the regions they are visiting (Bessiere 1998; Refalo
42 Hanne Pico Larsen & Susanne Цsterlund-Pцtzsch, Islands in the Sun
2000), an underlying reason being that culture is an important motivation for tourism and that food is increasingly recognised as a key element of culture (Du Rand, Heath & Alberts 2003:100). Moreover, a number of particular eating contexts, such as street food and the traditional countryside inn, have recently been reevaluated from being seen as crude and low class to being associated with nostalgia and cosiness among other things (see Gyimуthy 2005). Still, NNF representative Lena Brenner points out, the lack of pride in local and traditional food products has been seen as typical for the Nordic countries (cf. also Lindqvist 2012:44). Promoting Nordic food products has consequently been a major feature of the NNF programme: We have not yet built up the confidence that they have in the rest of Europe, where people are extremely proud over their food products and say that "this is the best ham there is and you can only get it here". But the next village over will say the very same thing ­ that "this is the best product in the world". We don't have that kind of confidence here in the Northern countries. That's what we want to achieve within New Nordic Food, to build this confidence. Because our farmer will stand and look bashfully at his feet and say that, "well, I might have some kind of sausage here, if you care to try it". It is a tremendous cultural difference between the rest of Europe and the Nordic countries (Interview with Lena Brenner, SLS 2014:31). That a product (or a cuisine) shifts from being considered modest and provincial into being seen as exclusive and as containing a sense of place, is a scenario devoutly wished for by small time entrepreneurs as well as the local tourism industry at large. The two interlinking concepts of terroir and quality play prominent roles in the process of developing new stories and
motif-associations around many such products (see Heldt Cassel 2003; Schousboe 2014). The more specific and different the locality or product is seen to be, the more of an advantage there is for marketing and creating a niche. Islands are, as per definition, already separate and "niched". As pointed out by Baldacchino, islands thereby occupy a privileged position for the marketing of identity. Not least when it comes to tourism, where local food and drink go towards enhancing the tourist experience (Baldacchino 2010:64f.). And experiences, as Tom O'Dell remarks, have "become the hottest commodity the market has to offer" (O'Dell 2005:12). Beyond nutrition and taste, food offers entertainment and experiences of a wide variety. Tourism and Events We have been on a fantastic (biking) excursion to Fejш, where we bought delicious fruit to take home. We probably bought too much, but we went all the way to the other end of the island, where there should be a well-known farm shop with price-winning cider, apple juice, fruits, lamb meat AND a cafe, but they were closed! It even says in the promotional material that they are open from Easter to the school fall break, however the apples were ready early this year, so they had to be pressed now. But we did get a bottle of freshly pressed and unfiltered juice, which we enjoyed on a small beach with a blue flag12 , where we also took a dip. Great day, and tomorrow we are on to Femш (U.M., Danish island tourist, Sep. 2nd, 2014, email correspondence).13 Gastronomy is an important field in present day tourism industry (see e.g. Long 2004). As documented around the world, food and drink are vital components of the tourism experience. And they are increasingly cited as prime travel motivators in
Hanne Pico Larsen & Susanne Цsterlund-Pцtzsch, Islands in the Sun 43
their own right (O'Dell (ed.) 2002; Jцnsson 2002; Hall, Sharples, Mitchell, Cambourne & Macionis 2003). The strong link between location and cuisine makes food a way for the tourist to get to know a place. Many of the Baltic Sea islands, for which tourism has long since been a vital part of the economy, have picked up on the popularity of food as a theme and offer activities accordingly. Following this trend, food and drink is one of the designated profile themes (among the since long established themes of the maritime heritage and the archipelago landscape) emphasized in the Tourism Strategy for Еland 2012н2022 ( Again, food is not just for the tourist to eat, but also to experience (Burstedt, Fredriksson & Jцnsson 2006: 13). As rural traditions and local heritage are turned into commodified experiences, food is featured as a component contained in other activities. However, a service element of commodification may also be added at any phase during the production of food and be turned into an event (Hjalager 2002:21, 27; Bardone 2013a). Food has consequently become the basis for a wide range of different activities (Burstedt 2002; Richards 2002:3­5). Combining diverse activities and involving more than one local entrepreneur, is seen as especially desirable (see Gцssling & Hall 2013:8f; Шstrup Backe 2013). A good example of this is the Bornholm Gourmet Route. Bornholm has since long been a treasured tour destination for Danes and Swedes alike. Groups of schoolchildren, families on bikes, as well as retirees have for many years sought out the island for its beautiful nature and
famous smokehouses. However, in the wake of the New Nordic food movement, the island has expanded the gourmet dimension in their event tourism and even offers a "gourmet route" ideal for biking, The route is only 23,5 km but takes the bike riding foodie on an amazing tour de force of local gourmet factories producing chocolate, toffee, liquorice, beer, honey, ice cream, smoked fish, wine and gum and, evidently, there is a farm shop as well ( The Bornholm Gourmet bike tour does not offer a particularly extensive trail for the dedicated cyclist. However, what are offered are ample opportunities for consuming local delicacies. This type of culinary networks is a common way to enhance the attraction of specific areas, especially rural communities (Шstrup Backe 2013:50). Again, this is something that tends to be an advantage for islands where local networks are often already in place and distances tend to be short. Other versions of culinary networks are of a more temporary nature. The hugely popular harvest festivals and similar large scale food events have been successful in bringing together many different entrepreneurs and creating the much yearned for synergy effects. The harvest festival on the island of Цland is one of Sweden's largest and most well-known food festivals. During a few days in September the island is turned into an arena for art and food experiences. The Цland harvest festival was a source of inspiration for the Еland harvest festival, which since its start in 1998 has continuously grown and is presently one of the biggest public
44 Hanne Pico Larsen & Susanne Цsterlund-Pцtzsch, Islands in the Sun
events of the year on the Еland Islands. Both the Цland harvest festival and the Еland harvest festival have created their own brands and both have their own trademarks ­ the pumpkin on Цland and the apple and lantern on Еland ­ which are featured heavily in decorations and visual displays. The requirement that everything sold during the Еland harvest festival is locally produced is part of the festival's brand and, is, according to the organizers, one of the explanations for the success of the event (SLS 2014:31). The fact that the harvest festival is hugely popular among the local Еlandic population has also become a point of advertisement ­ the festival is described as a way even for outsiders to experience an island community feeling ( om-skordefesten-allt-du-behover-veta/). An event's potential as a visitor experience relies heavily on the atmosphere, which, as Orvar Lцfgren points out, tends to be something experienced as an intangible quality "taking form between people, objects and physical settings" (Lцfgren 2014:255). It does not seem far-fetched to presume that island identity becomes part of the festival atmosphere and acts as a contributing factor in the success of both the Цland and the Еland harvest festivals.14 Creating a geographical identity involves convincingly arguing the innate differentness of a place compared with other places. Food constitutes a popular conduit for creating such a distinction (Heldt Cassel 2006:25; Hultman 2006: 43). Thanks to established island stereotypes, island-as-place and island food can easily be made to support each other to build "differentness". "Fundamentally
different" is the official tourism slogan for Цland, while the Danish island of Fyn advertises itself as the "Fairytale Island" (with references to native-born Hans Christian Andersen, child friendly activities, and many castles and manor houses). The theme of food is also looming large in the Fyn place brand. "The Taste of Fyn" can be experienced through numerous markets, festivals and special events ( ln-int/funen/gastronomy/culinary-fyngarden-denmark). The winery in Skaarup on Fyn welcomes the costumers with an invitation to enter a fairy-tale, a wellknown trope in advertising and brand building (Fog, Budtz, Munch and Blanchette 2010). The website entices: "Welcome to a fairytale. To enter the Skaarupшre vineyard is like stepping into a different world. The old farmhouse on the one side, and the giant wine barrel transformed into a shop and gathering place on the other ("15 In addition to wines, the vineyard shop offers delicacies from other island enterprises, all under the umbrella organization "Smagen af Fyn" (the Taste of Fyn) ( The winery hosts several events and, to top it off, they offer therapy for stressed urbanites in the form of courses in mindfulness and stress management: "We have cultivated wine for many years at Skaarupшre Winery. Here, we have also cultivated the peace, quiet and the special tranquillity and ability to be present in the moment it gives us".16 The framework for the therapy is the winery's Cittaslow17 activities as part of the Cittaslow Fyn organisation. The Cittaslow movement's catchphrases of "the
Hanne Pico Larsen & Susanne Цsterlund-Pцtzsch, Islands in the Sun 45
good life", slow pace, quality and locality sit well with the image of the paradise ­ or fairytale ­ island. Pure, Fresh, Simple... and Ethical Simplicity. Seasonality. Sustainability. Social engagement. This is what the Nordic culinary lifestyle is all about (Quote from The Everything Nordic Cookbook, Diehl 2012:10). The New Nordic Food II programme will: (...) Clarify the ways in which the Nordic food culture is linked to traditional Nordic values and culture and thus creates continuity and cultural identity among people all over the Nordic region (http:// Pure, fresh, simple and ethical are four of the main keywords in New Nordic kitchen manifesto as well as in the New Nordic Food programme. Besides being goals to strive for in food preparation, these ideals are said to be actual qualities intrinsic to the Nordic region. Indeed, the vocabulary used to describe the Nordic Cuisine sounds very familiar to the vocabulary in nineteenth century national romantic descriptions of what is genuinely Nordic ­ centring on folk traditions and the Nordic nature (see e.g. Цsterlund-Pцtzsch 2013). As pointed out by Trubek, at times terroir-discourses border on essentialist arguments, which can be interpreted as justifying aggressively nationalistic or racist policies (Trubek 2008:23). A seemingly innocuous rhetoric concerning food may thus be seen to carry sinister associations. Furthermore, without any wish to do so, the predilection of using "traditional Nordic" imagery might work to exclude parts of the population and their realities ­ as yet another picture of blond applecheeked children picking wild strawber-
ries on the edge of a sunny meadow is chosen to illustrate Nordic food. Nevertheless, imagery and references to nature are firmly ensconced in food marketing in the Nordic countries (see e.g. Heldt Cassel 2003:62) and a common feature of place branding. When it comes to branding islands the references to nature are seemingly sine qua non. Our purpose is of course not to insinuate that the theme of nature in the island entrepreneurs' brand stories in any way drive a deliberately essentialist argument. The incentive behind the chosen motifs is more likely to provide a personal and place-related story to interest the consumer. And these stories do interest the consumer: The chain of connotations, such as "natural", "authentic", and, indeed, "pure, fresh and simple", that is associated with the concept of nature speaks directly to a wide array of current concerns and values regarding health, sustainability and ethics among other things. References to the archipelago are a common feature in the marketing of Еlandic food products. For example, the presentation of the popular Stallhagen Honey Beer goes out of its way to connect the product with the local nature and, especially, the endeavours of the industrious and healthy Еlandic bees: (T)he genuine Еland honey in the beer creates strong links with the nature and wildlife of Еland. (...) Еland honey maintains its uniquely high quality because of the absence of the disastrous varroatosis, which is decimating bee colonies throughout the world. Еland bees remain healthy and productive. The high quality of the honey is also due to the pollution-free environment and limited cultivation of oilseed plants in our agriculture. The locally produced honey is collected by hard-working bees from natural plants in the Еland Islands' flora. The honey aroma is characterised by the flowers from which the honey is col-
46 Hanne Pico Larsen & Susanne Цsterlund-Pцtzsch, Islands in the Sun
lected ... apple, heather, clover... Stallhagen's refreshing Honey Beer leads the thoughts to warm light summer evenings in the Еland archipelago ( Again, without actually mentioning the term "terroir", this description decisively links the Honey Beer to the specific conditions of Еland and the specific flavours (", heather, clover...") of the local landscape. Indeed, the connection with the Еlandic landscape is suggested to be strong enough for a taste of the beer to conjure up the experience of midsummer nights in the archipelago. The local nature has a further importance and influence on the beer produced at Stallhagen. In the description of the Stallhagen US Red Ale, "created in the best microbrewery spirit", it is mentioned that the brewmaster found his inspiration for the red-brown colour in the red granite typical for Еland (http:// The catchwords of "pure", "fresh", "simple" and similar descriptions are so frequently used in food advertising that they have the ring of clichйs. The same goes for the ubiquitous references to nature and tradition. Clichйs or not, reports demonstrate that among small producers the economic future of NNF is very bright (Strand & Grunert 2010). Ecological, aesthetic and ethical values are central to the choices made by present day consumers, ethnologist Yrsa Lindqvist observes (Lindqvist 2012:33). Correspondingly, while the commitment to "pure" and "fresh" ecological local products among island entrepreneurs might be a necessity to find a niche in a competitive market, it is obvious that for many this commitment
goes beyond economical profitability. In interviews with Еlandic food entrepreneurs, both the concept of lifestyle and that of quality were prominent in the comments as to why the idea of "pure, fresh and simple" was important in their work. One ecological food producer explained it as a deeply felt conviction: [When I was pregnant] it became incredibly important to me what I ate. That's when I became ecological. That's when I became fully aware that what I ate, my children would too. And already then, with my first child, I changed my whole lifestyle so to speak. I became very attentive to the process of growing food and things like that (SLS 2013:140). Others emphasized pragmatic reasons for choosing local ecological products, as they are easier to work with and simply give a better final result: If you want a good raw product you should go for an ecological product. Because it has grown as it should, it is not manipulated nor has it received a lot of additives. You will get concentrated flavours and the absolutely best product to work with ­ it won't get watery or lose its texture in the frying pan and so on. It is great working with prod- ucts like that (SLS 2013:140). Also the aspect of tradition was close to the heart for many entrepreneurs. "The older I get the more I notice that I take an interest in what I ate as a child and what food was served back then [...] and somehow I feel I want to bring that out a bit more", one Еlandic entrepreneur commented, while another food artisan expressed her commitment to maintaining traditional techniques, ingredients and dishes (SLS 2013:140; SLS 2244). An interest in cultural heritage might consequently motivate the small-scale food entrepreneur as well as the average consumer (Bardone 2013b) while also being a
Hanne Pico Larsen & Susanne Цsterlund-Pцtzsch, Islands in the Sun 47
trend in gourmet cooking (cf. Larsen 2010). In all cases, the nostalgic streak is often expressed as an adherence to "pure, fresh, simple and ethical", declared as traditional Nordic values by the NNF-movement. Nordic Superterroir In 2014, Noma, the New Nordic flagship restaurant was yet again named the best restaurant in the world. The Official Danish travel guide, VisitDenmark, was quick to note that this was to be used in Danish marketing strategies in the future, and that even after ten years of New Nordic Food, we are not quite done emphasising its potential: The international attention directed at Danish Gastronomy and the new Nordic Cuisine is of great value to Danish Tourism and there are no signs that we have reached a point of saturation yet. On the contrary, although we've used `Danish gastronomy' in the promotion of Denmark for some years, it still has a lot of potential and is used actively when marketing the destination abroad (Anne Marie Barsшe, email correspondance Oct. 8th 2014). The novelty of "New Nordic" might be wearing off in gourmet cuisines as other influences and trends take precedence in restaurant kitchens. Still, the interest in local food is, as observed above, connected with a wide array of concerns and is likely to be topical for some time yet. With the exception of extreme circumstances, the rituals and cultural frameworks surrounding eating are more important than the mere intake of food (Bell 1997:143). Stories and story motifs connected with foods is one such significant frame. As a theme in storytelling, "island-
ness" offers a place branding advantage in that traditional perceptions suggest islands as simply being more local than other places. An island status is conducive in bestowing a stronger sense of identity on a product. In a terroir perspective, place is paramount in food production. Many consumers might be opting for generic and mass produced foods for pragmatic or economic reasons in their everyday lives. However, the "taste of place" is becoming an increasingly important selling point, not least in connection with tourism, but also as quotidian fare in the form of "local food" for a wide variety of consumers. In our study of island food entrepreneurs, we found the themes of place and taste to be a common bedrock in branding stories, frequently combined (and underscored) with motifs connected with both islandness and the New Nordic Food movement. Taken together these story motifs present what we have referred to as an island superterroir. Simultaneously, the food stories and their chains of associations are actively constructing the image of (ideal) place. On the other hand, this is an outcome of yet another circumstance of place: that of the small scale entrepreneurs trying find a livelihood in their native or chosen home communities. Nevertheless, more often than not, island food entrepreneurship is a lifestyle choice more than a pure search for economic gain (cf. Bonow & Rytkцnen 2013:91). Many of them are, as Trubek succinctly puts it, simultaneously "pursuing a business, a mission and a craft" (Trubek 2008:142). In this respect, the island food entrepreneur becomes the protagonist of yet another island food story.
48 Hanne Pico Larsen & Susanne Цsterlund-Pцtzsch, Islands in the Sun
Hanne Pico Larsen Assistant Professor Copenhagen Business School Solbjergplads 3 C.3.19 2000 Frederiksberg Denmark Email: [email protected] Susanne Цsterlund-Pцtzsch Docent, archivist The Archives of Folk Culture The Society of Swedish Literature in Finland Riddaregatan 5 PB 158 FIN-00171 Helsinki email: [email protected] Notes 1 Our warmest thanks to those who have generously contributed with helpful comments, suggestions and material for our project: Tine Damsholt, Jon Thor Pйtursson, the audiences of several conference panels, two anonymous peer-reviewers ­ and not least, all our informants. 2 Еland har i alla tider haft en speciell status som цgruppen mellan Finland och Sverige. En sak som vi inte alltid noterar дr att det еlдndska kцket bildar en helt egen matregion i Finland. (...) Fцrklaringen till utvecklingen finns i en stark fцrankring i den egna jorden, jordbruket, skдrgеrden och havet. Lдgg till en tradition av sjцfart, handel och entreprenцrskap blir summan matdestinationen Еland. 3 One facet of this is the use of Nordic Food Diplomacy, described as a way of conveying the "taste and feel of the Nordic countries". Culinary diplomacy is used by several nations, for example the United States and Thailand, as an instrument in international relations and as a way of showcasing the national brand. The global interest in culinary diplomacy reflects both the growing importance of the food industry and the efficacy of food as a nonverbal means of communication. Nordic Food Diplomacy is a result of the ambition of the Nordic foreign offices to jointly develop this field. 4 The EU Interreg programmes are financed through the European Regional Development Fund and provides funding for interregional cooperation across Europe. The priorities of
the Interreg IIIA programme was economic development (compensating for geographic handicaps by promoting a quality label for local products, basic services and the tourist sector), environmental protection and technical assistance ( cfm?gv_PAY=FI&gv_reg=ALL&gv_PGM= 237&LAN=7&gv_PER=1&gv_defL=7) . 5 In November 2014, Claus Meyer made breaking news by announcing that he had sold his culinary empire to British IK Investment Partner, a private equity fund. IK Investments Partners have merged Claus Meyers Brands with that of another Danish food production company, Lшgismose. 6 I mejeriet fцrдdlar vi mjцlk frеn den rena еlдndska naturen till goda och nyttiga produkter. Vi kдnner vеra bцnder vдl och mjцlken vi fеr дr alltid av bдsta kvalitйt. Eftersom den transporteras sе korta strдckor дr mjцlken dessutom vдldigt fдrsk nдr den kommer till mejeriet. Med sе goda fцrutsдttningar kдnns det naturligt fцr oss att vara extra omsorgsfulla nдr vi tillverkar vеra produkter. Vi дr mеna om att ta vara pе kunskapen som vi har дrvt frеn den flera hundra еr gamla traditionen av еlдndsk mejerihantering. Tack vare att vi дr ett litet mejeri kan vi ocksе lеta hantverksskickligheten hos vеra medarbetare bidra till sеvдl smaken som kдnslan hos vеra produkter. 7 Inevitably, the shared consensus of a certain quality embedded in the descriptions and promotion of various food products grown on islands, and events surrounding these island delicacies leads to the question of what is exactly the shared consensus of quality (Murdoch & Miele 1999). The many references to the Nordic island nature, the romantic imagery, superlatives and adjectives used to describe islands farms, foraging gourmet chefs, beer, apples etc. carries a strong message and in a politically correct manner emphasis the choice of: frugal living, moral consumption, sustainable farming, and the idea that the good life is to go back to nature. The message being that the consumer, through his/her consumption choices, can achieve a good and healthy life. These questions deserve further research.
Hanne Pico Larsen & Susanne Цsterlund-Pцtzsch, Islands in the Sun 49
8 Peders Aplagеrd дr Finlands sydligaste дppelodling. Vi finns i skдrgеrdskommunen Kцkar pе Еland. Kцkar дr en av de platser i norden med flest soltimmar per еr. Detta faktum ger oss riktigt soldrдnkta och aromatiska дpplen som vi дr stolta цver. 9 I 13 generationer har det odlats frukt pе Karl-Ersgеrden i Tjudц pе norra Еland. Nu fцr vi arvet vidare och vеrdar vеra odlingar och miljцn omsorgsfullt. Karl-Ers Frukt дr en av Finlands stцrsta fruktgеrdar. (...) Vеra produkter fеr sin smak av Еlands mеnga soltimmar och fцrдdlas med fingertoppskдnsla. 10 Еland дr Finlands дppeltrдdgеrd. Klimatet дr gynnsamt med mеnga soltimmar och en hцst som drцjer sig lдnge kvar. I mеnga byar stеr дppeltrдden tдtt och hдr i den skцna skдrgеrdsluften fеr дpplena mogna pе kvist. Grannas Дppel дr en av de stцrre odlingarna pе Еland och vi finns i byn Vдstantrдsk i Finstrцm. Varje еr plockar vi stora mдngder дpplen fцr hand frеn vеra trдd. En del sдljs som de дr, andra pressas till en god och naturlig juice. 11 See, for example, The Guardian's travel section of June 2014: "The Danish island of Bornholm is a geographical deviation in the Baltic Sea. It's closer to Germany, Sweden and Poland than to the rest of Denmark, and occasionally gets demoted to a box in the corner of the country map. But Bornholm holds a central place in Danish hearts as a treasured holiday spot: it enjoys more hours of sunshine than anywhere else in the country, and has a dramatic rocky coast with some fine sandy beaches. To round things off, it has developed a culinary scene that punches well above its weight." 2014/jul/19/bornholm-denmark-foodie-tour 12 Blue flags for beaches and marinas is an international eco-label for high quality beaches: 13 Vi har vжret pе en fantastisk tur til Fejш, hvor vi kшbte lжkker frugt med hjem. Sikkert for meget, men ... Vi kшrte helt til den anden ende af шen, hvor der skulle vжre en kendt gеrdbutik med bеde prisbelшnnet Cider, жblemost, frugt, lammekшd OG Cafй, men sе stod der ved gud "lukket". Der stеr ellers i materialet, at de har еbent fra Pеske til skolernes efterеrsferie, men жblerne var tidligt klar i еr, sе det var nu, de skulle presses. Men vi fik da en flaske helt nypresset, usiet saft, som vi nшd
ved en lille strand med blеt flag, hvor vi ogsе lige tog en dukket. God dag og i morgen er det sе Femш. 14 A variation on the successful food festival concept is found on Lilleш, where an Apple flower festival has been arranged for number of years in the month of May. 15 Velkommen til et eventyr. At trжde ind pе gеrdspladsen pе Vingaard er som at bevжge sig ind i en anden verden. Det gamle bondehus pе den ene side og den kжmpemжssige vintшnde omdannet til butik og samlingssted pе den anden side. 16 Vi har i mange еr dyrket vin pе Skaarupшre Vingaard. Hvor vi ogsе har ogsе dyrket freden, stilheden og den helt sжrlige ro og evne til at vжre til stede i nuet, det giver os 17 Carlos Petrini's Slow Food Movement emerged in 1980s and its manifesto asserts that food should be "Good, clean and fair" (Petrini 2007, There are obvious parallels to the NNF manifesto of 2004. References Interviews Lars Lund Hansen, Lilleш, Denmark 14.8.2012 (authors' archive) Lena Brenner, Jomala, Еland, 17.4.2014, SLS 2014:31 (Society of Swedish Literature in Finland, Helsinki) Anne Marie Barsшe, VisitDanmark, 8.10.2014 (private email communication with authors) U.M., Danish Island tourist 2.9.2014 (private email communication with authors) SLS 2244, 2013:140 (Society of Swedish Literature in Finland, Helsinki) SLS 2250 (Society of Swedish Literature in Finland, Helsinki) Literature Amilien, Virginie, Hanne Torjusen & Gunnar Vittersш 2005: From local food to terroir product? н Some views about Tjukkmjшlk, the traditional thick sour milk from Rшros, Norway, Anthropology of food [Online], 4, Baldacchino, Godfrey 2010: Islands and beers: Toasting a discriminatory approach to small island manufacturing. Asia Pacific Viewpoint 51: 1 (61­72).
50 Hanne Pico Larsen & Susanne Цsterlund-Pцtzsch, Islands in the Sun
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Jцnsson, Hеkan 2002: Matupplevelser. In: Upplevelsens materialitet, Tom O'Dell (ed.). Lund: Studentlitteratur. Jцnsson, Hеkan 2013: The Road to the New Nordic Kitchen ­ Examples from Sweden. In: The Return of Traditional Food, Patricia Lysaght (ed.). Lund: Lund University (53­67). Kapner, Suzanne 1996: Caribbean hotel chefs seek to elevate local fare over "continental" imports. National Restaurant News, November 11, (49­50). Larsen, Hanne Pico 2010: Performing Tasty Heritage. Ethnologia Europaea 40:2 (90­102). Larsen, Hanne Pico & Susanne Цsterlund-Pцtzsch 2013: Foraging for Nordic Wild Food. Introducing Nordic Island Terroir. In: The Return of Traditional Food, Patricia Lysaght (ed.). Lund: Lund University (68­78). Lindqvist, Yrsa 2009: Mat, mеltid, minne. Hundra еr av finlandssvensk matkultur. Helsingfors: Svenska litteratursдllskapet i Finland. Lippard, Lucy R. 1997: The Lure of the Local. Senses of Place in a Multicentred Society. New York: The New Press. Lцfgren, Orvar 2014: Urban atmospheres as brandscapes and lived experience. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy 10:4 (255­ 266). Long, Lucy M. (ed.) 2004: Culinary Tourism. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. Lyck, Lise 2014: Udkantsdanmark og sammenhжngskraft i Danmark ­ en Helhedsanalyse. Frederiksberg: Lise Lyck. Meyer, C. & N. Ehler 2006: Det Nordiske Terroir. In: Noma ­ Nordisk Mad, R. Redzepi & C. Meyer. Copenhagen: Politiken (168­177). Moisio, Risto, Eric J. Arnould & Linda L. Price 2004: Between Mothers and Markets. Constructing Family Identity through Homemade Food. Journal of Consumer Culture 4:3 (361­ 384). Murdoch, Jonathan & Mara Miele 1999: `Back to Nature'. Changing `Worlds of Production' in the Food Sector. Sociologia Ruralis 39:4 (465­ 483). Nars, Kenneth 2009: Еlдndsk matguide. Vдgvisaren till еlдndska smakupplevelser. Helsingfors: Firma Kenneth Nars. O'Dell, Tom (ed.) 2002: Upplevelsens materialitet. Lund: Studentlitteratur. O'Dell, Tom (ed.) 2005: Experiencescapes. Blurring borders and testing Connections. In: Experiencescapes. Tourism, Culture, and Economy.
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(eds). Charlottetown, Canada: Island Studies Press (252­255). Schousboe, Agnete Marie 2014: Hessischer Handkдse. Practices of Reshaping Regional Quality Cheese. Ethnologia Scandinavica 44 (39­58). Skaarup, Bi 2013: The New Nordic Diet and Danish Food Culture. In: The Return of Traditional Food, Patricia Lysaght (ed.). Lund: Lund University (43­52). Strand, Mathias & Klaus G. Grunert 2010: Vurdering af den шkonomiske betydning af Ny Nordisk Mad. Aarhus: Aarhus universitet. http: // Tellstrцm, Richard, Inga-Britt Gustavsson & Lena Mossberg 2006: Consuming Heritage. The Use of Local Food Culture in Branding. Place Branding 2:2 (130­143). Trubek, Amy B. 2005: Place Matters. In: The Taste Culture Reader. Experiencing Food and Drink, Carolyn Korsmeyer (ed.). Oxford: Berg Publishers (261­272). Trubek, Amy B. 2008: The Taste of Place. A Culinary Journey into Terroir. Berkeley: The University of California Press. Other sources Еlandstidningen 8.1. 2013 Hufvudstadsbladet (Hbl) 3.10.2013 Websources Affдrsmagasinet Forum, "Matlust pе Еland": Encyclopжdia Britannica: Nordic Food Diplomacy: New Nordic Food: about-nnf-ii/om/ New Nordic Food, The Kitchen Manifesto: http:// Interreg III A: PAY=FI&gv_reg=ALL&gv_PGM=237& LAN=7&gv_PER=1&gv_defL=7
Invest Partners, Meyer and Lшgismose to combine businesses: Press-releases/meyer-and-logismose-to-combine-businesses/ Meyers, The Island Lilleш: Еlandsmejeriet: Luonnon varakeskus, дppeltrдdstatestik: http:// Peders aplagеrd: Karl-Ers frukt: Grannas Дppel, Еland: hem.html The Guardian, Denmarks tiny island of Bornholm is a foodie's delight: Welcome to Kadaeu: Nordic Islands' Cuisine: wp-content/uploads/2013/11/ NIC_ENG_2014.pdf Gourmet from your saddle - The Bornholm Gourmet Route: Еlandsmejeriet: New Nordic Food, Programme Goals: Stallhagen: Blue flag: Visit Еland, turismstrategi : Skцrdefesten pе Еland: om-skordefesten-allt-du-behover-veta/ Culinary Fyn. The Garden of Denmark: http:// culinary-fyn-garden-denmark Smagen af Fyn: Slow Food: Stallhagen, US Red Ale:

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