August 3, 2017 | Leave a comment
August 3, 2017 | Leave a comment
11 Facts About Beer in Scandiland
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
May 26, 2017 | Leave a comment
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!
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.
Bent / Bendt
A good old Norwegian name for your daughter?
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’.
A strong Swedish girl’s name and still popular today.
Any more suggestions? Pop a comment below.
7 Scandi sayings for when things are not going well.
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’.
7. If a Dane says ‘hot potato’ he could mean simply a hot potato – or he might also be referring to a tricky situation.
April 10, 2017 | Leave a comment
7 random facts about Scandinavian Easter
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.
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
Send your answer by email to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
January 8, 2017 | Leave a comment
Food in tubes.
Especially cod roe, that is a huge favourite among Swedes and Norwegians. For breakfast. With boiled egg.
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.
Tacos on Fridays
Scandinvians LOVE Tacos. It’s a Friday thing. For Swedes and Norwegians, it’s every Friday, too.
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
Jam and cheese.
For breakfast, enjoy a nice treat of bread, cheese and a dollop of strawberry jam.
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’.
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’.
While in Norway
…they have freshly baked waffles. Topped with brown goats cheese – and jam.
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.
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).
Spaghetti & Ketchup for dinner
Yes, even grown ups at times. We LOVE it. We need nothing more.
Nope, we really don’t think it is weird to eat pickled herring on crispbread or rye bread.
Ah, and the delicious Kebab Pizza.
Pizza – topped with shavings of kebab meat – and dressing.
And in Sweden, the hotdogs are often topped with prawn mayonnaise. AND ketchup and mustard.
When in Norway, they have waffle hotdogs, too. Yes they do.
Photo – coop.no
And in Sweden, black pudding
– with jam. Lingonberry jam. It’s a thing.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Open sandwiches don’t seem to strange now, eh?