Sometimes, after a drink or a meal, you need to sit and ponder, because the food or the wine was very good.
Not only was the food good, I mean, philosophy is what I’m talking about.
These days, in a teacher’s world, for instance, there’s so much talking about different learning styles, the fact that people think very differently. Some take the world in through their heads, some more through their hands, for instance. Doing or thinking, there are many other variants too.
I love ideas, and I’m not letting go of the world of books and ideas, but still, food, the handicraft of cooking, is philosophy as much as anything else. Like art. It is an art. And don’t give me that “purely aesthetical” business. Saying that aesthetics is “purely aesthetic” is ignorance.
Art, and food, and drinks, they sometimes communicate in ways that you don’t know of, and you may not always need to know, but when it hits you like this, you need to ponder, to think about what exactly happened to you. I always enjoy to sit in the wake of a good wine or a meal cooked like this. I don’t always think, it’s more like a meditation, I sit and realise what it was that came my way. Digesting. Considering. Recalling the tastes, maybe.
I love to cook, always did, and being the brainy guy always, I love and loved good ideas. When I was twenty, I shunned another idea, that you had to have any special ingredients to cook a good meal. I felt that all you needed was a good idea, which at the time I thought worked very well. You could see it as private research into this part of cooking.
But hey, right now I just had a meal at a restaurant in Oslo which is very much into ingredients, pretty much local, kortreist, mostly things that didn’t travel the world to get here.
Nøkken, just around the corner from my apartment.
They also have good ideas.
To make a comparison with the Berlin Phil is maybe a little too much, but I had to think about them, because both the restaurant and the orchestra obviously have and had the capacity of taking you by the hair, shaking you and deliver you someplace else, somewhere you didn’t think of. There’s another part of the philosophy for you.
If you are really into something, like these cooks, you want to make
whatever you make into something, in short, if you work as an artist does, this may happen too. A travel, small or big, short or long. The concert in Berlin was a greater experience for me, perhaps, but if I had landed here
afterwards I would have been happy too.
I had a salad, with vegetables glazed in honey, with some Norwegian cured (plain, salted) ham that at last beat the salt regime that we usually have to live with when it comes to cured meat. There’s quite a bit of good types of cured ham from Norway, but it’s regularly too salty. This one had a fluffy taste, almost like something fresh, not salted, a soft and tender thing. The cook told me I got the last bit he had, so I was lucky.
In the vegetables, I didn´t really taste the honey, but I tasted the result of good work, a good mix of tastes and the cook’s wish both to create a taste and at the same time bring forward the natural taste in the small turnips.
Sometimes, when I cook at home, I get into the habit of always putting everything into a frying pan, and with usually little money and also quite a bit of laziness, it happens that the food becomes…you know, a little lightweight, with too few bass tones, actually with too little proper stock, or not fresh enough vegetables which has been taken properly care of, in all, with too little that provide a real core to the taste.
This salad was the complete opposite, fresh as all that, a calming meal, really, for my system, which is very often heated or bubbly, mentally and physically.
I also had a little starter, fried chicken’s hearts, breaded. There’s the stekeskorpe, the crust, which so many cherish, including myself. But when I have the choice, I more often go for the juice, rather than the fry.
They were good too, surprisingly mild. You would think that they would have a really strong, gamy taste, but they were mild, also a little the opposite of the bread crumbs that surrounded them. The meat itself, like the salad, quenched your thirst, so to speak.
I couldn’t help drinking a double espresso afterwards, which ruins much of the “health effect”, but, well, this is one of my addictions that I haven’t managed to get myself out of. I should at least go for single cups.
Other than that, I feel refreshed and restored.
I am sorry to say that “Nøkken” no longer exists.