The true food heroes who offer unique produce of an incredibly high quality are not always well-known in ordinary grocery stores. But in the world of fine dining, among the top chefs, they are familiar names and talked of with respect. For example, the couple Patrik Johansson and Zandra Bring. They make the most amazing-tasting butter I have ever tried – Vallmobacken’s butter. Hand-churned and made from soured cream. This is what genuine, traditional ingredients, made with lots of love and passion tastes like. The texture, the smell, and yes – the flavour is absolutely wonderful.
As a matter of fact, the couple’s butter is exported to Copenhagen, London and Paris. Vallmobacken’s butter is so good, that they are the first foreigners to sell butter in France since the Vikings – who once taught the French how to make it. Patrik has recently been celebrated as “The Butter Viking” in The Guardian and on one of Britain’s biggest food blogs, MsMarmitelover.
Near Nääs Castle, just outside Alingsås, the couple have found yet another passion; gastronomic food excursions into the wilderness, in true Nordic tradition. Nordic and nature-based food experiences are very now, ever since the Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen put Scandinavian food in the spotlight and made it fashionable.
Together with the former Noma chef, Victor Vågman, Patrik and Zandra have put together the most exhilarating food excursions imaginable. Terroire is the catchword – food tastes best where it grows. A while ago, a small number of specially invited food enthusiasts had the chance to enjoy steak tartare with sorrel leaves, hand-made deer and wild boar sausage. They snacked on wild hazelnuts and experienced chicken slaughtered first hand, and much more. ‘Amuse Bush Camp’ was held in the forest by Öijared, near Nääs Castle, not far from where the couple run their dairy farm, keep Linderöd pigs and breed chicken on small scale for selected gourmet restaurants like Frantzén/Lindeberg in Stockholm.
Zandra told me that they have set up food stations in the woods, so that participants could move between them and try the food. The idea was to serve all these tasty morsels in a manner as close to their natural state as possible. Those who wanted to could spend the night in a bivouac shelter made from a spruce tree. Happy and exhausted after this inspiring gastronomic experience, the gang promise that there will be more events in the future. Next time, however, there will be a new and exciting theme – a Viking Blot!
Text: Maria Zihammou