Upon sitting down I noticed a girl in a very unique blue dress. I later learned her dress and the ones of the other speakers and guest visitors were celebratory garments from the Sami culture. The sami are a European indigenous group of around 80,000 to 135,000 people. The sami believe that an object should first and foremost serve a purpose and not be solely decorative. For the next hour and a half I learned lovely things about a Nordic culture that blended with modern society but still strived to preserve ways of the past for future generations.
I was offered 3 different presentations of reindeer meat, each paired with a wine. The meats had flavors that ranged from smoky to savory and textures reminiscing of salami and carpaccio. I listened to how the Sami people cure their meats and how they believe an animal should not be wasted, but used to its full potential. I sampled a delicious sweet homemade bread, that was not what you expect when you think of bread, but very pleasant. The women spoke of wanting to salvage old traditions, their faces looked so young, I was impressed. I tried combining a reindeer carpaccio with lingonberry jam, it was scrumptious! The women explained how they respected the animals they hunt and how they move with them for the good of the reindeer.
Intrigued by a sugary, crispy green element on my plate, I momentarily lost my focus trying to figure out what is was. I later learned it was candied Angelica stalk. I made a mental note to hunt down an Angelica plant back home, if possible. It was herbal and sweet, crispy and unusual… In a word, delicious!
The workshop ended and I made quick friends with the women, seriously inquiring as to whether I could try my hand at reindeer herding with them. Genuinely enthusiastic, they invited me to visit whenever I pleased and to stay in touch. I extended my gratitude for the incredibly interesting workshop and a invitation to visit the tropical country where I live. I left them with a smile on my face, a photo for my blog and a warm, yet temporary farewell.