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A Taste of Essex Street Market: Nordic Preserves

 |  NYCEDC

A historic culinary destination on the Lower East Side, Essex Street Market is home to more than 20 independent merchants. Over the next few months, we will feature the characters that make up the bustling corner of Delancey and Essex Street.

Name a Scandinavian pantry staple and you'll likely find it at Nordic Fish Preserves. From pickled herring to cardamom cake to grapefruit marmalade, this Essex Street Market business manages to stock a wide assortment of items, all under the watchful eye of Vern, the shop's famous caribou. Owner Annika Sunduik shares the history behind her Scandinavian stall.

Owner name: Annika Sunduik

Business name: Nordic Preserves Fish and Wildlife Company

Market start: December 2012

Product sold: Heritage foods from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden

Why did you start Nordic Preserves in Essex Street Market?

The idea of having a daily market space was a way to continue my love affair with Scandinavian foods after selling my restaurant that was around the corner and next to the Tenement Museum. 

What is your favorite memory at the market? 

When I [still] had my restaurant together with the Block Association, I closed off the stall for a week each Christmas and held a Nordic Christmas Market on Orchard Street between Canal and Division. I would set up stalls and invite local vendors to sell their wares in the showing room.

What is Nordic Preserve's specialty?

We sell homemade herrings as well as cured and smoked fish such as gravlax. We also hand-roll Swedish meatballs and bake cardamom cakes and crisp breads.

What is your favorite time of the week at the market and why?

Monday, when it is quiet in the market and we can get ahead with the week's prep. 

Do you source any products from within the market?

Yes, we use meat from the Heritage Meat Shop including grass-fed, Heritage ground beef for our Good World burgers. We also source the 80/20 mix for the burgers, which includes capers and cooked beets. 

Photo by Alexander Thompson via nycgo

Do you have any “fun facts” about your business?

Vesh, the caribou, (pictured above) has been with us since Good World, our first restaurant and majestically holds court over our stall. It was featured in a scene in the first Sex and the City movie and was energetically talked about on the Regis and Kelly show when they joked about it by saying,"The moose is loose on the Lower East Side."

Joshua Stein, of The Guardian, called our burger "one of the best in New York" in 2008. He said, "The burger there comes with almost obscenely juicy capers and beets mixed in with the meat."

Nordic Fresh Preserves is located at both Essex Street Market and La Marqueta. Stop by for some Scandinavian goods! Read our other Essex Street Market profiles and learn more about all of the market's offerings at the Essex Street Market website

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