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)… -

Faviken
. 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




Comment

Forest Dilemmas

Too many deer. Logging one tree to save another. Beavers versus old growth. Welcome to forest conservation in the 21st century. Join us for a provocative 5-part series exploring the full complexity facing forest conservation in the eastern United States.

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 managed by Matt Miller, the Conservancy's deputy director for science communications, and edited by Bob Lalasz, its director of science communications. Email us your feedback.

Innovative Science

Investing in Seagrass
Marine scientists and fishers alike know that grass beds are valuable as nursery habitat. A new Conservancy-funded study puts a number to it.

Drones Aid Bird Conservation
How can California conservationists accurately count thousands of cranes? Enter a new tool in bird monitoring: the drone.

Creating a Climate-Smart Agriculture
Can farmers globally both adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change? A new paper answers with a definitive yes. But it won't be easy.

Latest Tweets from @nature_brains

Categories