Tag Archives: Denmark

Seven things about Nordic Midsummer

June 9, 2017 | 1 Comment

 

Seven things about Nordic Midsummer

The longest day of the year is very important to us Northern people. We have light! And not only that, we have so much of it we hardly see dark and we get to make up for all of those months of candle lit cosiness and snow.

We all celebrate the day slightly differently, so here are a few facts to get you started in the preparations.

Sweden treats Midsummer like it’s national day. Actually, Sweden’s national day is a few weeks earlier, but everybody celebrates Midsummer instead. It’s always celebrated on the closest Friday (this year, 23rd June) and it’s a public holiday.

In London, it’s celebrated on the Saturday because we need to not be at work when we do it.

St John’s Eve In Denmark and Norway, the evening is celebrated on the actual day (23rd June, no matter if it’s a Friday or not) and there, it’s called more St John’s Eve as well as Midsommer Aften.

Sweden and Finland celebrate with Midsummer poles. These are a bit like May Poles, except it’s not May and ours have a lot of fertility symbols associated with them. The Midsummer poles are covered in flowers and greenery. Everybody wears flower garlands in their hair and very summery clothes. Some people try the yellow/blue flag combo for clothes, but it is rarely a good look.

Danes burn witches on Midsummer eve. Much like the British burn Guy Forkes, the Danes like to burn witches on this evening and send them off to Blue Mountain in Germany to dance with the devil. All while the (usually stuffed hay effigy) witches are burning on the bonfire, Danes sing songs about how much they love Denmark (usually a lone guy on a guitar will lead the singing – he always sings with his eyes closed and is very serious).

It’s still all about food. For the Swedes, it is all about the day long picnic and being outside. Meatballs are featured and it is high season for Sandwich cakes, too. The Danes tend to celebrate in the evening with dinner at home, but spend the evening trying to bake stick bread on the embers of the bon fire (it never works).

What about the little frogs? The Swedes, at every given opportunity but none more so than Midsummer, will sing songs about little frogs with no ears and no tails, whilst jumping around the Midsummer pole. Old, young, everyone. It’s a thing and it looks odd – but it is super fun. Do join in.

Swedes pick seven wild flowers on Midsummer eve and put them under their pillow. They will dream of the person they will marry. Some don’t even wait that long, as the birth rate spikes in Sweden every year exactly nine months after Midsummer.

There are Midsummer events held all over the UK – both Danish, Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian. Local churches are a good place to start for information on where to go.

There is no big official London picnic (there never is – it’s all a bit spontaneous) but people tend to gather in patches in the different parks and just bring a picnic. Ask local Scandies for details or just wander around and look for the people with flowers in their hair. You’ll find them.

There is a massive official Midsummer Party in London in the evening of 24th June – arranged by London Swedes – it is at the Loft in Kilburn and you can buy tickets here

7 random ways to be more Danish for Danish National Day

May 26, 2017 | Leave a comment


7 random ways to be more Danish for Danish National Day

The 5th June is when our constitution was signed in 1849. In fact, most big events with laws and constitutions and general updates have been done on this day (good for continuity). Also, it is Father’s Day in Denmark on this day.

1. Flags. Everywhere. Danish ones, ideally. Have a flagpole in your garden? Most Danes do. You should totally get one. Daily flags are good. If you are low on flags, get yourself one of these fancy national hats, invented by a Dane. You’ll look cool, promise.

2. Eat open sandwiches. We love them. The opener, the better. Never a top on, and always with really good solid rye bread as a base.

3. Know you Danish Royals: The Queen is called Margrethe and she loves daisies and she is a really good artist. Her husband is called Prince Henrik and he is retired from something. He’s probably still upset he never became King, but then again, he believes in unicorns. Also, the Crown Prince is called Frederik and he is married to an Australian lady now known as Crown Princess Mary. They have a lot of very beautiful children. Frederik’s brother is called Joakim and he also has a lot of beautiful children. Note: Queen Margrethe wins because  she can smoke, eat a hotdog and drink juice all at the same time.

4. Learn how to pronounce Rødgrød med Fløde. When you can do this, you can be a Dane.

5. Eat Remoulade on everything. It’s a yellow curried type mayonnaise. Eat it with chips, roast beef, fried fish, salami, meatballs, on burgers, on hotdogs. If you don’t like remoulade, you will never, ever be a real Dane.

6. Just for the day, paint the entire interior of your house white and remove all curtains. White floors, white walls, white ceilings, white everything. And no curtains. Buy stylish stuff for your white house in one colour, as a statement. Feel the hygge.

7. Make jokes about Sweden. Every Dane knows to make fun of Swedes. It’s the done thing. On this day, crack jokes like “ why wasn’t Jesus born in Sweden? They couldn’t find 3 wise men” HARHARHAR.

See? It wasn’t that hard to become Danish, was it?

7 Nordic ways to talk about hangovers

April 28, 2017 | Leave a comment

Seven Nordic ways to talk about hangovers

‘Bagstiv’ is a Danish word for when you wake up the next morning, still drunk. Literally: Backwards drunk – in Sweden and Norway, its Bakfull and bakrus.

2. A drunk Dane might say he has a “Stick in ear” (en kæp i øret)

3. The Finnish word for hangover is “Krapula” 

4. The Old Norse Viking word for hangover was ‘kveis’, meaning “uneasiness after debauchery” 

5. In Denmark, if you drink a beer on a hang over, it is known as a Reperationsbajer – literally, a ‘repair beer’

6. In Danish, hangovers are known as Tømremænd  – literally, carpenters.

7. “Fylleangst” pronounced (foola angst) means “drunk anxiety” in Norway and is the unsettling feeling one has the day after drinking when you can’t remember what you did, how you acted or who may have seen you do it!

7 strong Scandinavian names for your new baby

April 20, 2017 | Leave a comment

 

7 strong Scandinavian names for your new baby

Here are a selection of 7 strong Scandi names you could name your new baby. Or not.

Love
The Swedish boy’s name – actually the Swedish version of Louis. It’s pronounced more like lo-vey than love.

Bent / Bendt
Boy’s name – meaning ‘Blessed’.

Odd
How about naming him Odd? Or maybe Even? Both are strong Norwegian names. In Norway, there are 22 people named Odd-Even as a first name. Take your kid to the Casino. (name is also used in Sweden).

Gunn

A good old Norwegian name for your daughter?

Jerker

For a boy, maybe? It’s the old Swedish version of Erik. No, not Jerk for short.

Björn / Bjørn

Maybe the best of the bunch, especially if you like ABBA. It means ‘bear’.

Fanny.

A strong Swedish girl’s name and still popular today.

Any more suggestions? Pop a comment below.

7 Scandi Ways To Screw Up

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7 Scandi sayings for when things are not going well.

  1. If a Dane has his ass in the surface of the water (Røven i vandskorpen), it means things are not going well.

roven i vandskorpen dog

 

2. In Sweden, if you have made a real fool of yourself, people will tell you that ‘you have taken a shit in the blue cupboard’ (Nu har du skitit i det blå skåpet)

 

3. If you make a fool of yourself in Norway they might tell you that you “shat on your leg” (Nå har du bæsjet på leggen).

 

4. In Iceland, if someone says ‘peeing in your shoes will only keep you warm for a short while’ (“Það er skammgóður vermir að pissa í skó sinn”) they mean to tell you short term fixes don’t work.

 

5. If a Dane says you can both blow and have flour in your mouth, he means to say you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. (Man kan ikke både blæse og have mel i munden).

 

6. In Norway people might say you stomped in the piano if you mess up – ‘trampe i klaveret’.

trampe i klaveret mess up

 

7. If a Dane says ‘hot potato’ he could mean simply a hot potato – or he might also be referring to a tricky situation.

hot potato danish

Scandinavian Easter: 7 random things you didn’t know

April 10, 2017 | Leave a comment

7 random facts about Scandinavian Easter

  1. The Swedish kids dress up as little Easter Witches on Easter Sunday and go door to door, asking for sweets and treats.
  2. Norwegians are obsessed with reading who-dunnit-crime novels at Easter – sales triple all over Norway in the run up to the holidays. Norwegians like to go to their hytter (cabins) for Easter – and there, they read crime novels when they are not skiing. So obsessed are they there are even little crime stories printed on milk cartons over Easter so they never have to stop reading.

    paskekrim melkekartong norwegian Easter milk carton
  3. Scandinavian Easter Egg traditions are people buying an empty cardboard shell and filling it with their favourite sweets, rather than just a huge chocolate egg. We like a mix of everything – sweet, sour, salty, liquorice, chocolate, marshmallow.

    Easter eggs
  4. The Easter lunch is usually a huge Smorgasbord (with various regional variations and names). There will be pickled herring, every sandwich topping your mother and grandmother combined can think of, and many ways with egg!

    Picture: TT via dn.se

     

  5. Easter in Scandinavia is called Påsk (Sweden), Påske (Denmark, Norway). An Easter egg is known as a Påskägg / påskeæg / påskeegg – and is gifted on Easter morning. We also like decorating with little chickens – usually slightly deformed with a leg out their head or an eye on their bum. They are, of course, called ‘påsk-kycklinger’ / ‘påskekyllinger’ – Easter chickens.
    Easter egg chicken decorations
  6. You’ll see many places with decorated twigs – feathers and other types of decorations, depending on area. This is a Påskris – Easter Twigs – to signify Christ’s suffering – originally used to lash out at people as a tease – and in some areas, get people out of bed on Good Friday morning. Nowadays, used mainly as decorations.
  7. Easter is the absolute last time you will see Semlor anywhere in Sweden. Most of these Lent buns are already gone at this time of the year, but Easter time sees the last of bakeries stopping them, signalising the end of the season. No more semlor until next year.
    skarsgaard semlor

WIN a Mega Scandi Easter Egg

March 7, 2017 | Leave a comment

WIN a Mega Scandi Easter Egg

As we find ourselves in the deepest, lagom-est lent – we dream about all the sweets we’ll be eating once Easter is here (by Easter, we mean this Saturday.  We have to quality check the sweets well ahead of time, you know).

Scandis are big on Easter. It is a reason to get together, be merry, enjoy some outdoors – or indoors – activities, and gather round a big table filled to the brim with all things nice and decorated with little deformed bright yellow chickens. And of course, munch away on your well deserved Easter egg after lent.

Easter egg chicken decorations

We think our Easter eggs are pretty epic – and so we introduce our annual ‘win a massive Easter egg competition‘. Yay! That’s right, you can win a 23cm diameter Easter egg chock full of our favourite Easter sweets and treats.

Fancy winning? Simply answer the easy question below;

Which colour is usually associated with Easter?

A.) Bright green

B.) Pink

C.) Yellow

Send your answer by email to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before Tuesday 28th March 2017 at midday. One main winner, getting a big ScandiKitchen Easter egg, will be drawn from all correct entries.

The usual rules apply. UK residents only. No cheating. One main winner. No alternative prize and no cash alternative.

Remoulade – King of the Cupboard

January 26, 2017 | Leave a comment

Danish Remoulade – An Introduction

Remoulade is usually being credited the French, but we think the Danes deserve most of the credit for the everyday version (don’t tell the French, s’il vous plaît). The everyday version is the kind you keep on hand for any piece of breaded and fried fish, for topping your hot dogs, burgers, or open sandwiches in need of some extra oomph. Try mixing it with diced chicken and apple for a lovely sandwich topper.

If you haven’t tried it, let us explain the wonders of this fancy-sounding sauce. Pale yellow in colour, with a mild flavour combining sweet, tangy, spicy and savoury. Often containing finely minced pickles, cabbage, mustard and spices – it is a prime example of something bigger than the sum of its parts that is hard to explain properly. If you have ever had a British fish & chips – it is a milder, creamier  and altogether more delicious alternative to the tartar sauce that often comes with it.

    Mills Ekte Remulade – Piccalilli Sauce 165g
    £3.99
    - +
    K-Salat Remoulade – Sweet Piccalilli Sauce 375g
    £2.99
    - +

Foodie habits that Scandies don’t realise are… weird

January 8, 2017 | Leave a comment

 

So, we have our little food quirks. Aside from all the really weird stuff like fermented herring and smoked sheep’s head, we have little habits that other nations sometimes find a little, well, a little peculiar….

Food in tubes.

Especially cod roe, that is a huge favourite among Swedes and Norwegians. For breakfast. With boiled egg.

KallesKaviar

Remoulade with everything.

Danes especially love remoulade, a type of curried pickle mayonnaise sort of thing. Enjoy it with chips (nope, not ketchup), breaded fish, roast beef, on pate, on meatballs, on everything they can think of, actually.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tacos on Fridays

Scandinvians LOVE Tacos. It’s a Friday thing. For Swedes and Norwegians, it’s every Friday, too.

Screen Shot 2017-01-08 at 13.11.38

Everything is referred to as Tacos, it’s so much easier than learning your burrito from your enchilada from your fajita. Just call it all Tacos. All of it. Even the nachos are called Tacos on Friday evenings. Also, must be served with chopped cucumber pieces (a combination somewhat strange to Mexico).

In Sweden, go one better and have Taco Pie.

It’s a Taco Quiche. Well done, Sweden.  Photo: Ica, Sweden

TAcoPaj (ica sweden)

Jam and cheese.

For breakfast, enjoy a nice treat of bread, cheese and a dollop of strawberry jam.

Screen Shot 2017-01-08 at 12.22.41

Liquorice.

It’s not a silly fad: It is our life. Live with it. And we will ALWAYS try to make you taste it, only to find that you will never understand our love of salty, tar-like ‘sweets’.

SONY DSC

Gammel Dansk

This is Danes only. A 38% alcohol drink, made from a secret blend of 29 herbs. Danes like to drink this in shots. In the morning. With breakfast. Older Danes have a saying: ‘One shot for each leg’.

Screen Shot 2017-01-08 at 13.05.16

While in Norway

they have freshly baked waffles. Topped with brown goats cheese – and jam.

Photo: Matprat.

MATPRAT Vafler brunost

Dip your chip

All our crisps (potato chips ) MUST be dipped in a sour cream dip dressing, usually named something exotic such as ‘holiday dip’. Every single crisp must be dipped.

dipmix

Want to know something else?

In Denmark, sometimes, crisps are served with the main meal. On the plate. Add gravy. Yes, it’s a real thing (but mainly for Christmas and Grandma’s birthday).

franke kartofler

Spaghetti & Ketchup for dinner

Yes, even grown ups at times. We LOVE it. We need nothing more.

Screen Shot 2017-01-08 at 17.05.22

Pickled herring.

Nope, we really don’t think it is weird to eat pickled herring on crispbread or rye bread.

Senapsill-0019_original

Ah, and the delicious Kebab Pizza.

Pizza – topped with shavings of kebab meat – and dressing.

kebabpizza

And in Sweden, the hotdogs are often topped with prawn mayonnaise. AND ketchup and mustard.

Screen Shot 2017-01-08 at 13.18.52

When in Norway, they have waffle hotdogs, too. Yes they do.

Screen Shot 2017-01-08 at 13.59.41

Photo – coop.no

And in Sweden, black pudding

– with jam. Lingonberry jam. It’s a thing.

blodpudding

We all love a bit of cold rice pudding. In Norway and Sweden topped with orange segments (especially those from a tin) – and cherry sauce in Denmark. We eat this for Christmas.

Screen Shot 2017-01-08 at 13.24.19

Back in Sweden, people eat Sandwich Cakes.

Bread, mayo, filling of choice, bread, mayo, more filling, decorate with every shred of your imagination. Set. Slice. You’re the hero.

smorgastarta

We eat so much pork liverpate

We buy it in half kilo packages. Huge. And then we add so much pickled cucumber on it you can’t taste the pate (get some here).

leverpostej

Flying Jacob

The Swedish Dish that people are often not quite sure is actually real – but it is: Chicken baked with cream, curry, chilli ketchup, bananas… Then topped with bacon bits and peanuts. Serve with rice.

flying jacob

Open sandwiches don’t seem to strange now, eh?

 

Join Our Family – We Are Currently Recruiting

August 10, 2016 | Leave a comment

Join Our Family – We Are Currently Recruiting

We at ScandiKitchen have a passion for our smorgasbord, great coffee, crispbread and all things Scandinavian. Singing Eurovision songs and brewing coffee – it is a passion always in fashion.

We are currently looking for more superheroes to join our team and give our customers the best experience in our lovely café.  So we just wanted to introduce ourselves a bit:

sk cafe youtube

We have been up and running since 2007 – yeah that’s right, almost 10 years of us dancing around in our café on Great Titchfield Street in London to offer you the best of Scandinavia. So when working for us you can expect to have a lot of fun and things like this:

  • You will get excellent training in Scandinavian random facts
  • Eat a lot of meatballs
  • Crispbread is holy
  • Meet our awesome customers
  • Be part of our team – we are one big family

On a more serious note: we will offer you a great experience in a fast paced environment, opportunity to evolve in our growing company, customer service experience and to take part in shaping our organisation.

swedish chef

 

Are you our next superhero? Put your cape on and press here to read more about the vacancies and how to apply.

 

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