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The cuisine of Scandinavia is characterized by a sense of practicality and economy. It is considered rude not to finish the food you have on the plate, mainly because, in many cases, you serve yourself and you are responsible for the amount of food you place on your plate. The meals are not very elaborate and many will find them scarce in vegetables. Traditional recipes were influenced by the lack of plants due to the long Scandinavian winters and many modern dishes still include only small amounts of vegetables. Rutabaga is a native Swedish turnip that was among the most popular plant types in Scandinavian cooking until it got replaced by the potato. In all major inhabited regions of Scandinavia the abundance of fish, mainly herring and salmon, had its influence on traditional cooking. Although the salted herring, which was used as trading goods hundreds of years ago, is not part of modern Scandinavian dishes, we will still find it in several cookbooks as one of the national food elements. Salmon is, of course, Norway’s food trademark, and many Norwegian, Swedish and Danish dishes use salmon meat as the main ingredient.
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