Book Week: Magnus Nilsson’s ‘Faviken’

Chef Magnus Nilsson. Photo: Flickr user Bruno Cordioli under a Creative Commons license.

Chef Magnus Nilsson. Photo: Flickr user Bruno Cordioli under a Creative Commons license.

Cool Green Science is featuring reviews this week by Conservancy science staff of great books you should check out this summer (or winter, depending on which hemisphere you live in)… –

. By Magnus Nilsson. Phaidon Press, 2012. 272 pages.

Review by Matt Miller, senior science writer

Faviken may be a cookbook, but it’s more entertaining than most novels. It’s the first title by Magnus Nilsson, the highly regarded and hyper-locavore chef who has built a gourmet restaurant in remote, rural Sweden.

Despite a sub-arctic climate, Nilsson’s restaurant features only ingredients that are grown, raised, hunted or gathered on immediate or nearby properties.

A lot of the recipes are wildly impractical (fried thrush heads, anyone?), but the writing is so damn enjoyable that I found myself reading it cover to cover.

Nilsson offers two pages on how to respectfully peel a carrot. He proposes a meat-eating license similar to a driver’s license (to qualify, you’d have to kill and butcher an animal so you know your dinner’s true costs).

But he also gives solid advice on shooting grouse. He eats lichens and fermented fish and raw hearts and songbirds and flour made from pine trees.

And he has fun.

Faviken shows that whatever argument you make for local food, the strongest is this: it is delicious and diverse, which translates into more enjoyable meals, and a more enjoyable life.

If you agree with that philosophy, you’ll love Nilsson, and his beautiful, and beautifully written, book.

Opinions expressed on Cool Green Science and in any corresponding comments are the personal opinions of the original authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Nature Conservancy.

Posted In: Agriculture, Book Review

Matt Miller is a senior science writer for the Conservancy. He writes features and blogs about the conservation research being conducted by the Conservancy’s 550 scientists. Matt previously worked for nearly 11 years as director of communications for the Conservancy’s Idaho program. He has served on the national board of directors of the Outdoor Writers Association of America, and has published widely on conservation, nature and outdoor sports. He has held two Coda fellowships, assisting conservation programs in Colombia and Micronesia. An avid naturalist and outdoorsman, Matt has traveled the world in search of wildlife and stories.

 Make a comment


Enjoy Osprey Cam Live!

The Ospreys Are Back!
Live views, 24/7, of an Alabama osprey nest. Record your observations and ask our ecologist about what you’re seeing.

What is Cool Green Science?

noun 1. Blog where Nature Conservancy scientists, science writers and external experts discuss and debate how conservation can meet the challenges of a 9 billion + planet.

2. Blog with astonishing photos, videos and dispatches of Nature Conservancy science in the field.

3. Home of Weird Nature, The Cooler, Quick Study, Traveling Naturalist and other amazing features.

Cool Green Science is edited by Matt Miller, the Conservancy's deputy director for science communications, and managed by Lisa Feldkamp, an American Council of Learned Societies fellow with the TNC science communications team. Email us your feedback.

Innovative Science

Call for Inclusive Conservation
Join Heather Tallis in a call to increase the diversity of voices and values in the conservation debate.

Appalachian Energy Development
Where will energy development hit hardest? And where can conservationists make a difference?

Not a sci-fi movie. A true story of nanotechnology & clean water.

Bird is the Word

Latest Tweets from @nature_brains