New York City, Paris, and Bangkok are meccas for foodies and are known the world over for their thriving culinary scenes, but what about Tórshavn?
Tórshavn, you ask? The name means ‘Thor’s harbour’ and it is the sparsely populated capital city of the Faroe Islands, a group of 18 major islands located in the North Atlantic Ocean about halfway between Iceland and Norway. Remote, yes, but when it comes to this tiny country’s cuisine, Tórshavn and the rest of the Faroe Islands are punching well above their culinary weight.
Chef Leif Sørensen of the restaurant Koks is the man responsible for breathing life into the restaurant culture of the Faroe Islands. He is one of the signatories of the New Nordic Cuisine Manifesto, a declaration that Nordic cuisine should, among others points, “combine local self-sufficiency with regional sharing of high-quality products”, “express the purity, freshness, simplicity and ethics we wish to associate with our region”, and “reflect the changing of the seasons in the meals we make”.
Check, check, and check for Koks. Their four, six, and eight course menus combine both local and in-season ingredients to create dishes that look almost too pretty to eat. Fresh off the boat seafood such as scallops, cod, and langoustine, all a part of the traditional local diet, and lamb, berries, and skyr make up the eight course menu, served with a stunning evening view over Tórshavn and the harbour.
By day, take in the sights of Tórshavn and the turf-roof houses lining the Old Town streets. Have a peek inside Listasavn Føroya, the Faroe Islands Art Museum, and find a café to quench your thirst with either a beer from Føroya Bjór, one of the oldest breweries in Scandinavia, or Okkara, an up-and-coming artisanal brewery.
The Faroe Islands are for foodies – who would have thought?