The Ja Ja Ja Festival took our taste buds on a road trip to Nordic food in a completely new way. Served up as street food, it was easily digestible together with a great range of Nordic drinks.
There was a selection of baked goods from the fabulous Fika on Brick Lane, serving coffee and Swedish cinnamon buns. And in the food court, we presented a specially composed menu inspired by a trip to Iceland undertaken by Finnish star chef Antto Melasniemi and Ja Ja Ja Festival headliner Emilíana Torrini.
Here chef Antto Melasniemi tells us a bit more about the menu he put together for the festival….
Crispy Catfish Cheeks in Icelandic Beer Batter and Seaweed Salt
Antto says: “Using catfish cheeks was one of Emiliana’s suggestions, and I couldn’t agree more. Of all the fish I tasted in Iceland, the catfish cheeks had the most amazing texture. The seaweed salt is also one of the oldest Nordic recipes, known since the Vikings. It is seaweed and salt burned together and then ground. It has wonderful taste of green sea…”
Munchies, the food magazine, have described it as having the “meaty texture of scallops and the intense, salty flavour of strong whitefish”.
Lamb Cheek Sandwich with Crispy Red Cabbage
Antto remembers his first encounter with this Icelandic delicacy; “I ate my first ever boiled lamb face at Reykjavik bus station on my trip to Iceland. I was surprised and enchanted by the taste and texture of it.” Having modernised it slightly to fit the Festival street food bill, food magazine Munchies gave it the following write up; “tender, fatty red meat. Melasniemi serves it with shredded red cabbage for a sharp bite, and between a folded pancake, the light and sweet texture of which makes for a heady medley.”
Other dishes presented at the festival was:
Goat curd and pickled mushroom sandwich with crispy red cabbage
And the mushrooms were freshly picked by Antto!
Dulse seaweed creme brûlée
Antto says, “The beautiful liquorice taste of seaweed combined with cream makes for an almost mythical experience. Absolutely fantastic!”
Liquorice chocolate pot
Winner of the 2014 British Street Food Award – we need say no more!
All of these delicious items were available to purchase throughout the Ja Ja Ja Festival!
Photo by Sara Amroussi-Gilissen