Something Swedish

“When in Rome”


Do as the Romans Swedes do.

Ketchup. Anyone from Sweden will understand this topic without the explanation but let me pretext for anyone else. Swedes love ketchup. Seriously. I’m not talking extra amount on fries and hamburgers, I’m talking about slathered onto pasta (and other foods, such as mashed potatoes and meatballs but this one seems the most controversial). Now, a lot of people will think this is weird, some will think it makes sense. After all, it is tomatoes. And fries and burgers get ketchup so why not a different version of potatoes and meat? A good point, but not one that many will easily accept.  Swedes are known for this eating habit and are proud of the oddity, yes, they know its not the most common way to eat pasta. Most Americans I know would probably be grossed out by the thought of ketchup on pasta, I know I was shocked and very confused the first time I saw my husband innocently gush ketchup all over his dinner while we were watching TV. He later told me a story about offending someone because he put ketchup onto his food before he tasted how it was cooked.  I’ve gotten used to there usually being a ketchup bottle on the table, and my husband has stopped offering it to me when we have spaghetti.

Ya know what though? I can relate. Growing up I was the odd one out come lunch time. My dad and brother love to bring up the “disgusting” fact that I used to love ketchup on my ham and cheese sandwiches. There I said it. And guess what? Every so often I still do it! Although I have adjusted to the normal mayo sandwich. (Which I miss, but well talk about sandwiches another time). But even me, who grew up with a dirty little ketchup secret, thought that the Swedes put ketchup on too many things!

Well, today I broke. I gave in! I am home alone and was having some pasta with pesto sauce. Naturally there isn’t enough pesto and I didn’t want dry pasta…so I shrugged and threw a bunch of ketchup onto it.

Did it do the trick? Yes. Was it easy? Yes. Was it just like sauce? No. Did it taste amazing? No. But it worked and was edible.

I do feel a little more Swedish though, in a weird way. I think my Italian side cried a little bit, but that’s okay. When in Sweden do as the Swedes do.


7 thoughts on ““When in Rome”

  1. This post made me smile as I moved to Sweden 4 months ago to be with my partner who is Swedish and just yesterday we had her native favourite dish of pasta in bechamel sauce with falukorv sausage and the beloved ingredient Ketchup all over it!

  2. Nothing bad with using some ketchup to spice up life ^^

  3. My sister asked for ketchup in a restaurant in italy once (she was 11), they got very angry!

  4. @Chefeye Yep! That sounds about right!

    @Esby Life needs ketchup 🙂

    @ Youma ha, I could imagine that ketchup doesn’t go over so well in Italy. Don’t insult the sauce!

  5. I just cried a little bit! Haha. Looks like you’re really ‘assimilating’ ❤ ❤ ❤

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