D.C Public Schools is kicking off a new four-part initiative to expose students to international food and culture. Wednesday, Oct. 26, was declared Nordic Food Day.
All 45,000 DCPS students will be treated to authentic Nordic dishes, representing the countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
The menu will include Swedish meatballs, Norwegian salmon, Finnish rye bread and Icelandic-inspired skyr, along with Danish-inspired open-faced sandwiches.
The specialty items that are hard to obtain have been donated, and DCPS has purchased the rest, said Paula Reichel, of DCPS. The donated items include Siggi’s skyr, a thick, Icelandic-style yogurt, lingonberry jam furnished by Ikea, and special bread called Scandia, donated by a Scandinavian bakery in Atlanta.
The purpose of Nordic Food Day is to expose students to new, nutritious and appetizing foods in school while encouraging them to recreate the recipes with their parents or guardians at home, school officials said. A Nordic cook book with easy recipes will be distributed to students on the day of the event.
Nordic Food Day also includes special cultural events and a school visit by Prince Daniel of Sweden; the ambassadors of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden; and Mayor Vincent Gray.
Nordic Food Day will conclude with a reception at the residence of the Norwegian ambassador as well as a fundraiser at the Danish Embassy to bring more salad bars to DCPS schools.
DCPS’s International Food Program will bring other embassies into the mix as the academic year continues. An Indonesian Food Day is planned for January. Panama will be the focus in March.