I’ve been trying to eat “like a Swede” (as if I actually know what that means, since I’m not Swedish) since I got here. The first few days were easy – I had a delicious breakfast at the hotel, consisting of sill (pickled herring), frukt, and kaffe. Then, since there was a street festival going in in Malmo, I ate mostly from street vendors. So maybe it wasn’t what Swedes eat every day, but American street food is a part of the American culinary experience, so Swedish street food counts, right? Here’s what I ate:
Langos is originally a Hungarian invention, but this Swedish interpretation is so, so, so Scandinavian. Observe langos de lux in all its glory: And open faced sandwich made with a fried potato bread base, covered in cream sauce, topped with ham, shrimp, and caviar. In case I haven’t mentioned this before, the Swedes will add shrimp to anything. They buy caviar in tubes and spread it on their morning toast. Everything must contain some form of dairy product. It is weird, but nice.
I had langos two night in a row, because I didn’t really get a nice picture the first time. On Saturday night I finished my dinner with a piping hot Belgisk våflfa (Belgian waffle). Yumzors. The next night I ordered munkar, mini-doughnuts. Mmmmm…mini-doughnuts.
I also ordered köttbullar at this little sausage-stand. They didn’t taste like IKEA meatballs; these ones had more bread in them.
Then, yesterday, I had my first Swedish grocery shopping experience in Lund. I hiked about half a mile to a tiny little grocery store (the Swedes have many little grocery stores that are maybe 2000 square feet big, and have the full range of foods, just condensed. Anyway, I went to this tiny grocery store.) Since the more “exotic” foods were obviously more expensive, I got mostly Swedish ones: a jar of this pickled herring in garlic-cream sauce, to be eaten on knäckebröd, butter, cheese, milk, eggs, and saft, which is a juice concentrate that you mix with water, (like the lingonberry juice at IKEA). Are you picking up on the Swedish passion for dairy products yet? Today I went to a bigger grocery store and rounded out my “Swedish stuff you slap on bread and call a sandwich” collection with some spreadable cheese stuff and some liver pate spread.
Then, just to keep it American, I went to the state-controlled liquor store, Systembolaget and bought myself some gin and some lemon vodka. I did by Swedish vodka, though (Absolut). Liquor is very expensive here (negatron), but the funny thing is that all the gin costs about the same, regardless of the brand. So I got me some Bombay Sapphire (yumzors). I’m kickin’ it with my smörgås and my g&t.