Tag Archives: facts

7 Things You Didn’t Know About … Eurovision

April 12, 2018 | Leave a comment

 

7 facts about Eurovision

  1. Eurovision was set up as a way to unite people. I 1956, we were all to unite through song in Switzerland – and 7 countries took part. This year 42 countries will be competing (Russia is back after last year’s absence) – looking to unite through sequins and glitz, animal costumes and wind machines.
    Eurovision 1956
  2. When ABBA won in 1974 with Waterloo, the UK gave them ‘nul points’. Oh ho ho.
    abba smiles
  3. In 1969, there were 4 winners – that was before the tie-rule was introduced, so, United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands and France all won. Nice, right?
    Eurovision 1969 winners
  4. In 1958, France won, but the one everyone remembers is Italy, with a song that you definitely know. Yes, you do. https://youtu.be/Z-DVi0ugelc
    Domenico Modugno Al Festival di Sanremo, nel 1959 (La presse)

    (La presse)

     

  5. Sweden has won Eurovision 6 times, Denmark and Norway have won 3 times, Norway has won twice and Finland just once. Iceland has never won.
    scandinavians rule eurovision
  6. In 2016, 204 million people watched Eurovision. Yes, that is more viewers than even Eastenders. Last year it was ‘only’ 184 million. But still more than Eastenders.
    eastenders angry with eurovisison
  7. Youngest ever winner was Sandra Kim. She was 13 when she won in 1986. She had a good mullet.
    sandra kim 1986
    The oldest person ever to enter was 95, so no – it is not too late!

Scandi Easter Foods – things we also eat

March 22, 2018 | Leave a comment

 

Scandi Easter Food – things we also eat.

Aside from the lovely leg of lamb or delicious fish dish that mamma normally dishes up, your pick and mix filled Easter egg and the stale marzipan that invariably ends up on the table, there are some foods that we love eating and making at Easter – some you can enjoy as part of your Easter brunch, others that are perfect for a relaxed afternoon fika or to enjoy when hiking.

Waffles – Waffle day is a wonderful day to celebrate. Not an actual part of Easter – but the day being the 25th of March, it always close to Easter so we include them here. Have them the traditional way, with jam (and brown cheese if you like) or with whipped cream and berries – or try something a little more adventurous, egg & bacon waffle for brunch maybe? Here are some more waffle-varieties to try.

(The origins of the day are somewhat obscure – but several sources say it started in Sweden as ‘Vår frue-dagen’, meaning ‘our lady (mother Mary from the bible, that is). Somewhere along the line this was turned into ‘våffeldagen’ due to its linguistic similarities – and today the religious background is lost to most people. But there you go – waffle day started as a day to celebrate the conception of Jesus. Now you know.)

Buns. Frankly, every season is bun season in Scandinavia, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t great. In Norway you will often find a type called ‘solskinnsboller’ – sunshine buns – this time of year, to mark the return of the sun. Sunshine buns are essentially cinnamon buns with an added vanilla custard cream centre (although the same name can be used for other buns too – it varies regionally). So. Good. Recipe here.

Jansson’s Temptation – the Swedish dish with the wonderful name. Swedes love naming dishes after people (Biff a la lindstrom, flying Jacob, Wallenbergare..). Jansson’s temptation is a potato gratin with added ‘Ansjovis’ – sprats cured in a spiced brine. Truly delicious and goes really well with lamb. It is also common in Finland, where they call it ‘Janssoninkiusaus’. Try our recipe here.

Jansson’s Temptation

 

Meatballs. Our old friends. As Scandi as they come and with regional varieties, these seem to sneak their way onto every celebration worth it’s ink in your calendar – especially in Sweden. Meatballs are always, always popular – and can be eaten both hot and cold. You can make your own or get them ready made.

Meatballs - Lingonberry Jam

Photo credit: Peter Cassidy for Ryland Peters & Small

Herring is a must in Scandinavia – especially with the slightly older generation – and you can either make your own or just get your favourites from the shop. Serve with good rye bread and perhaps some aquavit. New to herring? This one with dill, this one with mustard sauce or this one with curry (yes curry!) is lovely.

Kvikk Lunsj and oranges or Solo. Yes, it is a bit of a stereotype – but that doesn’t make it any less true. Norwegians eat Kvikk Lunsj when they go skiing or hiking over Easter, that is just the way it is. Often an orange too, because, you know – balance.

Kexchoklad. Slightly less set in stone than the aformentioned Kvikk Lunsj, but all the same kex choklad is associated with being outside and  being active – and Easter is the perfect time do just that. Get outside, move, then chill in the sun with your choccy bar.

Easter smorgåsbord. There is no escaping it, a classic smorgåsbord is the thing to do in Scandinavia. A big table loaded with pickled herring, salmon, eggs in various forms, hams or meat dishes, veggie side dishes and plenty of good rye bread or lighter bread. Be prepared to sit for hours. If you don’t fancy going full Scandi you could always try just adding elements or adopting the idea – sitting down with a table full of of foods (and some token Franken-chicks for decoration) and friends is what matters most.

Picture: TT via dn.se

 

How to Enjoy Autumn like a Scandi

October 18, 2017 | Leave a comment

How to Autumn like a Scandi

Or what we think about when it is biting cold, rainy and dark. It is the little things. From the smell of your coffee in the morning, to the fact that you can wear your old bright knitted socks that grandma made and perhaps spend some hours in the kitchen baking with cinnamon. Let’s go on…

  1. Autumn is the perfect time to go full fledged HYGGE. Candles EVERYWHERE.
  2. We can finally wear all the knitted socks we own…

  3. …and our (Christmas) jumpers
  4. We can eat lovely traditional food such as Fårikål (lit. Mutton in cabbage – Norway’s national dish; mutton or lamb stewed with cabbage and peppercorns and not much else) and Korv Stroganoff (the Swedish sausage version of the stew named after a 19th century Russian count).
  5. ..and cover everything in cinnamon. Buns, apple cakes, porridge, crispbread..yum! 
    cinnamon buns - cinnamon rolls - skillingsboller
  6. We can go hiking like a Norwegian in bright, weatherproof jackets, with a Kvikk Lunsj to match. They taste best when enjoyed outside in the fresh air, you know (and on the inside, contains the Norwegian rules of the mountain to help you stay safe. If you can read Norwegian, that is).

  7. We can FINALLY wear our Sydvests (sou’westerns).

  8. And we finally don’t have to defend our multiple-cups-of-coffee-by-9am habit – the colder dark mornings being the perfect excuse.  
  9. Fredagsmys is back on the agenda; It is, year round – but in summer sometimes UTEPILS takes precedent (Utepils = the Norwegian concept of enjoying a beer outside whenever there is a sliver of sunshine and warmth in the air (read; warmer than 4 degrees)

    Fredagsmys fredagskos 
  10. And, some say it is a bit early, but it still makes us happy to start planning our Glögg parties…

  11. …and our gingerbread baking competitions..

    Just your casual Scandi gingerbread house production.

    (We know, we KNOW! The last two are strictly for The season that shall not yet be named. But when autumn is grey, dark and cold it is nice to let yourself be just a teeny bit excited about the next thing. We can almost smell the glögg! No, it is not too soon – we have some already..)

What else do you like about autumn? Anything we missed, pop it in the comments please.

7 Random Crispy Facts

September 7, 2017 | Leave a comment

7 Random Facts About Crispbread

  1. Crispbread is common across Scandinavia, but especially so in Sweden, followed closely by Norway. 85% of all Swedish households have it at all times.
  2. Crispbread is Sweden’s second largest export – second only to Absolut vodka.
  3. Your average Swedish munches through 5.5 kg of crispbread every year – and crispbread is amongst the most missed food products for Swedes abroad. It may not sound much, but considering an average crispbread weighs about 12 grams, this equates to 458 slices every year. A crispbread a day keeps the doctor away.
  4. What.. IS crispbread? Crispbread is traditionally made with only wholegrain rye, yeast, salt and water, although these days you have a wide range of variety ranging from all-wheat to all nut and seed (to purist, these don’t count). However, when you say crispbread, most people will still think of your classic rye crispbread.
  5. In Scandinavia, crispbread is treated as any other type of bread. It can be topped with almost anything, and is a common part of breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks in between.
  6. Super versatile, you can have crispbread at every meal. Crushed over a bowl of yoghurt, maybe with some berries, for a naturally low sugar, high fibre and delicious granola for breakfast; topped with smoked salmon and cream cheese for lunch; used as pizza base for dinner (oh yes, crispbread pizza is a thing and it’s delicious. In Sweden you can even buy ready made frozen crispbread pizzas).
  7. In the UK, crispbread is often thought about in one of two ways; 1; as a cracker for cheese or 2; diet food. This saddens our crispy Scandi hearts and tummies. Because; crispbread is absolutely great with cheese, and is definitely much better for you than mass produced wonderbread – but Scandis eat crispbread because it is tasty (and you can top it with anything you like), convenient (it keeps forever) and good for you. You could eat 4 triangles of crispbread for every slice of white bread – and thanks to the high fibre content you will stay fuller for a lot longer. Meaning you may be able to resist that cinnamon bun later. Or not. But that’s ok. Balancing your crispbread with cinnamon buns is what the Swedes would call ‘lagom’.

Now, pass us the crispbread someone. Fancy some? Find our crispbreads here.

Crispbread as base = pizza in 10 minutes.

You Know You’re Scandi When…

August 30, 2017 | Leave a comment

You know you’re Scandi when..

  1. You wouldn’t DREAM of drinking the water from the tap without letting it run for at least 5 seconds. Otherwise you end up with the ‘pipe-water’ that has been sitting there for hours. Eugh.tap water
  2. You automatically remove your shoes when you enter someone’s house.
  3. You happily drink a glass of milk with breakfast, lunch and your evening meal (no, not dinner – the one after – kveldsmat/aftensmad).mr melk milk glass
  4. You insist on having your sandwiches topless. Less bread, more delicious filling, what’s not to like?
  5. You think 11.30am is an acceptable time to have lunch.
  6. You hoard candles for autumn and winter and secretly can’t wait for the temp to drop so you can light all of them. Hygge!hygge candles
  7. You spend hours struggling with the correct level of politeness in emails. Scandinavians are direct – in spoken as well as written language. Pardon us whilst we work on our manners.
  8. You still think it’s weird that milk comes in plastic bottles and not in cardboard.paskekrim melkekartong norwegian Easter milk carton
  9. You wonder where the crispbread section and tube cheese section in the supermarket is.
  10. Your dream Friday night is staying in and relaxing in front of a film or TV show. Tacos for dinner, sweets and snacks after.
    Pick and mix fredagsmys fredagskos
  11. You own at least 3 pairs of knitted socks from your grandma.
  12. You think liquorice, especially the very salty kind, is delicious. In chocolate, with ice cream, in vodka.
    liquorice salmiakki lakris
  13. You own at least one weatherproof jacket.allvaersjakke-norwegian
  14. You can sing all the words to Helan Går (or at least look convincing whilst you mime)
  15. You wouldn’t dream of leaving the table without saying thank you for the food – and struggle to come up with an English translation that feels the same (no we haven’t cracked that one either)

7 Things You Didn’t Know About The Vikings

April 12, 2017 | Leave a comment

 

7 Useful Things To Know About the Vikings

 

    1. Viking Harold Bluetooth was great at connecting nations – Bluetooth tech is named after him: the logo are his initials.

    2. Erik the Red was so violent even fellow Vikings objected; exiling him from both Norway and Iceland (they made him to go Greenland).
      Eirik the red viking
    3. Viking is something you do, not something you are.The word Viking comes from the people from the Vik, (vik means bay). People who would sail off to other places were ‘going viking’. The word Viking wasn’t used in English until 19th Century – before this, we were just known as ‘Norsemen’ or ‘Danes’.
      Vik - viking
    4. The traditional Northern greeting “‘Ey up” comes from the Viking times
       

      northern ey up chips and gravy

      Not very viking but very northern.

       

    5. The Old Norse Viking word for drunk was ‘kveis’, meaning “uneasiness after debauchery”
      tired
    6. Viking women could ‘divorce’ their husbands quite easily – reasons included ‘the showing of too much chest hair”.
      viking woman
    7. The word Saturday in Scandinavia is ‘Lørdag’ which comes from the old Norse word laugardagr; a combination of the words  laug meaning ‘bath’ and dagr meaning ‘day’. The Vikings were very clean people (at least in comparison to many other nations) and had weekly baths.
      bathing viking

7 Random Things About Finland

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7 Mind-blowing Facts About Finland

1. The Finns drink more coffee per head than any other people in the whole world (12.2kg per person per year)


2. Finland has the most amount of heavy metal band per capita in the world.


3. There are over 2 million saunas in Finland and 99% of Finns take a Sauna once a week or more. There is a Burger King in Finland that has an in-store sauna.
sauna burger king
4. In Finnish a hangover is known as Krapula.
Krapula hungover moomin
5. The Finns have a word for ‘Staying in drinking beer in your underwear with no intention of going out’ (kalsarikannit)
kalsarikannit homer simpson 1

 

6. Finns have a tradition of Ants Nest Sitting Competition – a fun thing to do with friends. You take down your pants, sit down on an ants nest – first person up, loses.

ants nest people
7. The Finns invented the Molotov cocktail. No, it is not the drinking kind. You know Finns only drink vodka.

molotov cocktail

7 Random Things You Didn’t Know About.. ABBA

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 Very useful, highly impressive and absolutely random facts about ABBA.

  1. Before ABBA was known as ABBA they were known as ‘Festfolk’ – the Party People.

    abba party people 2
  2. In 1974, when ABBA won Eurovision with Waterloo, the UK gave them ‘nul points’. ABBA was actually the first act from Sweden to win the Eurovision Song Contest. This was done on April 6th, 1974 with the song “Waterloo.”
    Abba 2
  3. ABBA the band had to get permission from ABBA the seafood company to use their name (not the other way around).
    abba-ringing abba
  4. ABBA’s first single together as ABBA was ‘People Need Love’ (Good one for the pub quiz, this!).abba 3
  5. The most commonly misheard ABBA lyric is from Dancing Queen, when people hear ‘Chicken the Dancing Queen’ instead of ‘Digging the Dancing Queen’. (The second one is “Dancing queen, feel the meat on the tangerine”) *please note this may or may not be entirely true.

  6. Anni-Frid Lyngstad was born on November 15th, 1945 in Bjørkåsen, Norway – but grew up in Sweden. So if you ask Norwegians, ABBA is 1/4 Norwegian.
  7. In 1979, ABBA fronted a poster for British Rail and Keep Britain Tidy.
    Abba keep your station tidy
    Abba keep britain tidy

Cinnamon bun facts

October 1, 2015 | 1 Comment

October 4th is official day of the Cinnamon Bun in Sweden. Here at ScandiKitchen, every day is bun day, but this week, we’re celebrating even more than usual.

We’ve put together some fact about the humble cinnamon bun so you can go entertain your mates down the pub with your expert bun fun knowledge.

RPS1805-VanillaCardamom_knots01

The cinnamon bun is actually thought to originate from Sweden in the 1920’s, but didn’t really gain popularity until the fifties. The Annual Cinnamon Bun Day started in 1999.

Many nations have similar buns. Most Nordic buns are spiced with a bit of ground cardamom, which sets them apart from other cinnamon buns on this lovely planet of ours.

A real Scandinavian cinnamon bun doesn’t have any icing on top. Just nibbed sugar, also known as pearl sugar.

cinnamon1

The biggest cinnamon bun ever was baked in on Feb 10, 2006, weighing in at 111.8kg. Wayne and Anita Warren, owners of The House of Bread in Mill Creek, Washington received their certificate from the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest cinnamon roll ever made.

It is a proven fact that it is impossible to resist a freshly baked cinnamon bun. You just can’t.

The biggest buns in Sweden are called Hagabullar.

Cinnamon-buns1-1024x718

The average Swede eats 316 cinnamon buns a year (The average Torben at ScandiKitchen eats more than that)

Sweden imports 375 tonnes of cinnamon every year.

Some people love them so much that make them in to earrings – which really looks rather suspect….

cinnamon-bun-earrings-1802-1281553058-20

Or wear them as costumes

6a00d8341c51c053ef00e54f1c26db8834-800wi

Or even as hair pieces…

61078_1_800

Or sing about cinnamon buns…

And books have been written about them….

cinnamon-roll-murder_345122

Get yourself a bun cushion…

514882-9-1350755032560

The @ sign in Swedish is sometimes referred to as ‘kanelbulle’. So, iloveherring – kanelbulle – scandikitchen.co.uk.

Cinnamon bun in Swedish is Kanelbulle, in Norway, its Skillingsbolle. In Danish, Kanelsnegl and in Finnish, Korvapuusti – literally meaning Slapped Ear.

maxresdefault

Some people make horrible things, such as Bacon Cinnamon Rolls. Actual bacon baked into it. We do not like those people. Some people also make Cinnamon Roll Burgers. This is  a criminal offence in Sweden. Maybe. Okay, it’s not, but it should be.

158912_1_800

There are two kinds of cinnamon: Ceylon cinnamon, also known as “true cinnamon” (cinnamon verum) is very expensive. Therefore, most foods in the USA and Western Europe, including sticky buns, breads and other products use the cheaper Cassia cinnamon (dried Cassia bark).

Cinnamon contains Coumarin, which is not great for the body and can damage the liver. You should only eat 0.1 milligram per day. Danish food police tested a lot of bakeries a few years back and found we were all being overdosed by cinnamon. Don’t fear, though, if you use the good quality cinnamon, the levels of coumarin are very low. So, don’t skimp on your cinnamon quality and you’ll be fine to add a few extra spoonful to your filling.

Enjoy Bun Day on the 4th October – we want to see your buns, so don’t forget to send us a picture to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk and we’ll post the best ones on facebook and instagram. Prizes for the best looking buns.

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