No other banquet attracts the world’s attention like the Nobel Banquet. The greatest number of guests has been nearly 1,500. The food is meticulously prepared and served, and the raw materials are distinctly Swedish.
“This is to honor a man who is said to have liked only mini-pancakes with jam from Swedish cuisine,” says Ulrica Söderlind, a researcher at the Department of Economic History, Stockholm University.
The book deals with the dinner that followed the very first award ceremony in 1901 and that grew to be a banquet. The decidedly male event changed its character in 1909 when Selma Lagerlöf won the literature prize.
Ulrica Söderlind briefly presents the testament that is the basis for the prize and then describes what factors have been decisive in people’s food and beverage preferences throughout life.
One chapter is devoted to food and beverage cultures in countries that have had Nobel laureates. Then ensues the Banquet: Ulrica Söderlind provides a picture of the enormous amount of work done behind the scenes before and during the event. She presents and analyzes Nobel Foundation menus for December 10 as well as the royal court’s menus for laureates on December 11. The concluding chapter treats good food and good conversation.
Ulrica Söderlind: The Nobel Banquets – a Century of Culinary History (1901-2001) (World Scientific)
The book is also available in Swedish: Nobels middagar – banketter, festligheter och pristagare under hundra år (Carlssons).