Something Swedish


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Cooking Swedish: Falukorv med Bostongurka

Today we pondered what we can have for dinner and my husband told me to look up “Falukorv med Bostongurka”  After looking at a few photos, I chopped a few veggies, spread some condiments, sprinkled some cheese, baked, and enjoyed!

 

Falukorv is a large traditional sausage made of pork, spices and potato starch flour. It is commonly eaten fried in a few popular meals, as well as atop of a smörgås. Bostongurka is a type of pickled relish that is very popular in Sweden.

This is a pretty common Swedish meal, something kids learn to make in school. It would be considered a “vardag” or “husmanskost” food, because it is simple, traditional, and made with common local ingredients.

Vocabulary

Sausage – Korv

Cucumber – Gurka

Pepper – Peprika

Tomato – Tomat

Onion – Lök

Cheese – Ost

Dinner – Middag

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Thursday Swede-ness: Pea Soup, “Ärtsoppa”

There is a very special tradition on Thursdays in Sweden: Eating pea soup – “ärtsoppa.” I moved here 8 months ago and have been avoiding this tradition ever since. My husband insists that I am never going to be accepted in Sweden if I can’t sit down and eat ärtsoppa like a grown-up, or even a kid… or at all. I can’t even think of it without grimacing!

Today was the day I finally gave in. And it wasn’t bad! My taste buds seem to be adjusting to this Swedish life. And besides, who doesn’t love a filling, cheap, and easy meal?!

The tradition of eating weekly ärtsoppa comes from needing to fill-up the belly for fasting on Fridays and has continued through the Swedish armed forces being served this every Thursday since WWII.

Swedish ärtsoppa is made of yellow peas and usually contains pork and mustard (which some say is the most important part). Crisp hardbread is usually eaten alongside and Swedish (crepe) pancakes, pankakor with jam as dessert (read: reward). Punsch, a traditional sweet liqueur served warm, is the side beverage of choice. The pancakes and jam are sometimes served together with the  ärtsoppa, as it is more part of the meal than an actual dessert.

Many restaurants offer ärtsoppa on Thursdays, along with school meals, and work cafeterias. It is also common to eat it at home either homemade or store bought – like many foods in Sweden, it is sold in a plastic tube.

 Next time we will make the homemade recipe. If your looking for a way to be more Swedish, try setting aside your Thursday to be Ärtsoppadagen!


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Smörgåstårta: “Sandwich Cake”

As promised in the end of this post, it’s finally Smörgåstårta time! Last weekend was the first time I had this very special Swedish treat while celebrating my husbands nephews birthday. As you can tell by the name this is no typical cake – or sandwich. It’s something in between. In the shape of a cake and eaten on special occasions as a meal, Smörgåstårta is something Swedes look forward to. I’ve always been so curious about this sandwich cake and was so excited to have a slice – although I did it all wrong.

My slice was seriously lacking. What I didn’t know is that piling on extra shrimp (A plate full) is customary and expected (in this family at least!), almost like a race to see who can get the most from the neighboring parts of the cake! I took some shrimp from my husband because after looking around my plate looked rather naked!

When I first came to Sweden the thought of  grossed me out because I kept comparing it to cake, which you have to get out of your head. Smörgåstårta is served cold and has everything a sandwich could, plus more. The only “cake” aspect is the size, shape, and the layering of creamy food and bread. But instead of things like custard, pudding, or jam it is mayonnaise and sour cream or Creme fraiche, lots of bread instead of cake, and most commonly lots of shrimp, eggs, cheese, ham, cucumbers, salmon, and tomatoes. As you could imagine it is very rich and filling, and not too healthy with all that mayo! The cake we had also had fruit cocktail in the mix, I really liked the contrast.

Each smörgåstårta is unique and different because the possibilities are endless of what you can put inside or on top as decoration. Feast your eyes on this Pintrest board I started especially for different Smörgåstårtan to share with you all! They can be decorated so elaborate and beautifully you have to take a look! Pinterest.com/SomethinSwedish/smorgastarta/

If you are in Sweden then I think Smörgåstårta is a specialty that must be sampled! Especially if there is any type of celebration or party!

Oh, and don’t worry- we also had a very delicious and perfectly sweet dessert cake afterwards!