Guest Post - Swedish dishes from a Swede in Romania by JMS - Food for two

luni, 15 iunie 2015

Guest Post - Swedish dishes from a Swede in Romania by JMS

I am a Swede, I can not deny it and I am not sure I would like to, even if I could. Being who you are is what makes you, you and that should never be denied.
In this small piece I will list the strangest food from Sweden, and by strange I mean for anyone who is not from Sweden, and perhaps for some people from Sweden.
Of course I have to get into the mindset of my readers, what is strange and what is normal differs a lot depending where you are from. For example when I visited Ukraine they had a rather strange custom of eating dried fish and squids, from small bags, when drinking beer. I was rather skeptic in the beginning, but I must say that it did grow on me as the beers flowed.

So back on track, three strange dished from Sweden. Well the first one is obvious to me and it will be to you also as soon as you have read about it.

1. Fermented herring in Sweden is called “Surströming.” Bet your mouth is already watering, but let me first describe this delicatesse and maybe your mouth goes dry.
This dish is made of lightly salted herring that you let ferment for 6 months, creating a smell that the Japanese have stated to be “the most putrid food smells in the world.” It is a dish eaten most commonly up north. You eat the fish with a thin bread (hard or soft), boiled potatoes and onion. Now lucky me that my parents were from up north, so every year you got a whiff of something smelling not good at all, and then you knew what was coming. Actually if you manage to survive the smell the taste is not that bad, but the smell, now that you will never forget. My main reason becoming a refugee in Romania was to avoid that smell, that smell that is still haunting my nightmares.
2. Now over to something more pleasant. A dish that is called “Kroppkaka” in Swedish and there is no good English translation. A word by word translation would be “Body cake” and that does not reflect the dish at all.
There are several different ways to make this dish, but I will give you just one. This is a traditional dish all over Sweden and as most of our foods, it is rather on the heavy side. However it is very tasty and filling.

What you need:
1 kg of potatoes, last year's potatoes
3 dl of flower (more might be needed)
1 egg
Bacon and onion
Salt and black pepper 

How to make them
- Boil the potatoes and then press them in a potato press or use an electric whip, then let them cool down.
- Fry the bacon and onion with black pepper, not to hard, and then let it cool down.
- Mix the potatoes with the egg and the flower until you get a firm, but not too firm, consistency.
- Fill a big pot with water and salt, take it to the boil and then turn down the heat so the water is just simmering. 
- Take some of the potatoe mix and make it into a ball. Make a hole in the mix and fill it with bacon and onion, then close the hole and again form it to a round ball. Put it in the water and wait until they float up, 10 minutes after they have floated up they are ready to eat.
You eat them with butter, either melted or  just normal butter. With this dish you drink a glass of cold milk.
3. So now to the last dish, what should I choose. Swedish meatballs seem so boring so I will skip them. We also have something called a “Smörgĺstĺrta”, a kind of mix of a cake and a sandwich, filled with everything from egg to paté. But for this last one I think I will mention a dish of reindeer meat called “Renskav” or Sauteed reindeer in English. This is also most common up north, and as my parents were from there this is a dish i grew up with. It is very tasty and eaten with boiled potatoes. The dish has a very distinctive taste that you will like as soon as you have tasted it, I promise. It is an easy dish to make, only problem is perhaps to get hold of the meat, at least in Romania.

What you need:
For this you need frozen reindeer meat that you cut in very thin slices. Then you fry it in butter on not too high heat. Then you add water and let it boil until the meat is tender.
You eat it with boiled or mashed potatoes.

So these are three dishes from Sweden. One you will never taste as you are not allowed to bring Surströmming on an airplane, and that is for the best, trust me. Kroppkaka is a very tasty dish that works best in winter, but it works during summer also. 
Last but not least Renskav, wow, just typing the name brings back memories of childhood. It is a fantastic dish that I wish you could taste, it brings the best from Sweden, both a wild side and a tasty side, so very tasty. As I write this I actually start drooling, much like Homer Simpson when he sees some donuts.

Thank you for taking time to read this and remember, Yuki's blog brings you the best in food directly home to you. Only place you ever need to check out, in food anyway, I promise.

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