World domination – so close you can taste it

Over the two weeks of our visit to Scandinavia, we heard people from differently sized companies in various industries speak about what the “Scandinavian” culture did for their companies' success. They spoke of how the size of the country and the tax structure encouraged early international expansion. We learned how a more homogenous culture could lead to leaps and bounds growth through consensus that people in other countries and cultures would be hard pressed to replicate.

Thursday night, a few classmates, a professor, and a close foodie friend went to Noma. This restaurant, run by Chef René Redzepi, has two Michelin stars and was the number one restaurant in the world in 2010, 2011, and 2012 and number two in 2013. The name combines the Danish words for Nordic and food, and everyone in the restaurant appears to take that image very seriously.

Interns forage daily in Denmark and nearby Sweden for the freshest and most earthy of Nordic ingredients: quails eggs, ramsons, leek, the freshest shrimp imaginable, and more. Though the food is supplemented by wine pairings from around the world, it is very obviously Nordic. The descriptions, the aesthetic, the flavors, and the environment create an experience that, for me, defines my entire journey to Scandinavia. It reveals the soul of the place – the reasons one would stay in a place where winter sun is so brief as to seem illusory.

Let other Scandinavian companies take notice. Noma does not just represent Scandinavia. Noma invites the world to revel in all things Scandinavian…and it succeeds. Reservations are nearly impossible to secure and for good reason: Scandinavia is a glorious place and the people who flock to it to create and enjoy its bounty are bound by an unforgettable experience.