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Alan Richman, "GQ" magazine food writer.

Visiting Sweden? Hope to impress a Swede? Just want to appear worldly and stylish? The French Culinary Institute's Cooking Issues blog has been posting an ongoing series of photos it calls the Skål!/Skoal! Project that can school you in one small social custom.

The series includes such food-world luminaries as Jeffrey Steingarten, Harold McGee, Wylie Dufresne, and Alan Richman (above), who has perhaps the most extreme skål to date. More pix after the jump.

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Actor Max von Sydow: the ultimate skåler.

FCI's project got its start when someone there found these photos of actor Max von Sydow in the Time-Life book The Cooking of Scandinavia and had the idea to goad guests of the school into re-creations of Von Sydow's poses.

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"Vogue" magazine food writer Jeffrey Steingarten.

The skål is a Scandinavian toast, practiced in its most formal version by the Swedes:

The proposer of the toast engages the eye of the person being toasted, and "skoal" is said. A slight bow of the head, and a twinkle of the eye—and the aquavit is drained in one gulp (if the drink is wine, a sip is taken). Just before the glass is put back on the table, the eyes meet again and there is another friendly nod.

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Author and food geek Harold McGee.

I'm eagerly awaiting my own induction into the series; I skåled last night after getting grilled by a class of students learning how to food-blog.

Related

Jeppson's Malort Face Photo Pool
Q&A with Steven Shaw on His Food Blogging Class at the FCI

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