Tag Archives: Norway

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

Scandinavian Cheese: A Handy Guide

March 9, 2017 | Leave a comment

The Essential Guide to Scandi Cheese – Part 1

We first posted this no less than four years ago, and considering how much we love cheese it is due a re-visit – we consider it our duty to share the with you the wonders of Scandinavian cheese. Over the next two weeks we’ll introduce six of our favourite cheeses.

To kick off we will give you a brief introduction to the many faces of Scandinavian cheese – because let’s be frank – Scandinavian cheese doesn’t have a very sexy reputation (with names like ‘Old Ole and ‘Old Cheese’ we really don’t get why).

Many of us have memories of sitting in a field on a summer’s day eating crusty French bread and sharing a kilo of creamy Brie (also French). In fact, some of us would like nothing more than to spend most of our days doing just that, had it not been for the eventual need to be moved around by a pick-up truck.

Fewer people have such glorious thoughts when thinking about Scandinavian cheese – in fact, most people associate Scandinavian cheese with Eurovision. The exception is those – very few – of us who know just how many amazing cheeses actually come from our northern corner of the world.

Cheese has been made in Scandinavia since the days of old Harold Bluetooth, and the vikings reportedly had a diet rich in milk, butter and cheese – and it was thought to be a sexual stimulant.

Here’s a brief introduction to some of the more famous Scandinavian cheeses.

Gamalost Scandinavian Cheese

1. Gammelost (Old cheese)
A recipe dating back to the Viking times, ‘Old cheese’ needed very little help to mature. Most people say both taste and smell resembles something that has spent a few months inside a sweaty old sock. As you know, nothing pleases a true tyrophile more than a slice of stinky old sock. Admittedly, perhaps due to the taste, younger Norwegians are falling out of love with it, even if it is does have the nickname of Norwegian Viagra.

Danablu Scandinavian Cheese

2. Danablu (Danish Blue)
We had to include this as it is the most popular Danish export cheese and it is a darn fine cheese. Invented originally to emulate Roquefort, and quickly making its own mark on the cheese scene, Danablu has a sharp, salty note and is excellent served on just about any kind of bread. Swedes tend to love blue cheese on ginger biscuits (we say don’t argue with anyone who invented Billy bookcases, Volvos and the zipper) – and the rest of us agree. A match made in cheese-heaven.

Brown cheese - Scandinavian Cheese

3. Brunost (Brown cheese)
Comes in many different varieties: the two best known are the Gudbrandsdalen (cow and goat) and Ekte Gjeitost (pure goat); the latter is the connoisseur’s choice

Okay, so it’s an acquired taste, but, vasterbottenon average, Norwegians eat about 4 kilos each of this stuff a year so there must be something to it. It’s as Norwegian as trolls and fjords. It looks a bit like a block of plasticine, tastes a bit like caramel and is enjoyed on its own, on open sandwiches or with freshly baked waffles: all you need then is a patterned jumper and people will soon start calling you Håkon.

4. Rygeost (smoked cheese)
A very Danish invention that is never exported due to its very short shelf life. Unmatured, smoked cheese made from buttermilk and milk and turned in less than 24 hours, after which it is smoked very quickly over a mixture of straw and nettle and topped with caraway seeds. This cheese is simply amazing, light and divine eaten on a piece of rye bread. Resembles a firm ricotta in texture.

Vasterbottensost Scandinavian Cheese (1)

5. Västerbotten
If ABBA is the queen of cheese, Västerbotten is the king. A firm, kinda crumbly, aged Swedish cheese not unlike parmesan in smell but with immense flavour and character. This cheese is a welcome addition to any cheeseboard and is also a partner to any crayfish party. Can also be used to make the excellent Västerbotten pie.

hushallsost - scandinavian cheese

6. Hushållsost
A cheese that has a name that translates as “household cheese” sounds like it belongs on a value shelf in a corner shop in Hackney, but it is actually an excellent cheese. Mild, creamy and full of small holes, this cheese is usually a big hit with the younger generation. Hushållsost is one of six Swedish food products with a so-called TSG protection (only one other cheese, Svecia, also holds this distinction). Taste wise it is unoffensive and buttery – a good all-rounder.

Gamle Ole Scandinavian cheese (2)

7. Gamle Ole (Old Ole)
A sliceable mature Danish cheese, this baby stinks. Oh yes. Don’t touch it too much or your fingers will honk all day. The taste, however, is mellower and really lush. Also known in Denmark as Danbo 45, there are many varieties in the same vein: ‘Sorte Sara’ is another good version, popular in Norway.

Prastost Scandinavian cheese (1)

8. Prästost (Priest cheese)
Sweden’s most popular cheese. It was given its name because the farmers at the time it was invented could pay their church taxes in dairy products. Prästost comes in many varieties, from the mild to the mature and flavoured with anything from vodka to whisky.

Squeaky Cheese Scandianvian Cheese

9. Leipäjuusto (also known as “squeaky cheese”)
This is a fresh young cheese from Finland. The milk is curdled and set into a flat round shape, then baked. In the olden days it was dried for months and people put it on the fire to re-activate it. The name comes from the sound it makes when you bite into it. The taste is not unlike feta. Hugely popular – very difficult to export due to its fragile nature.

Prawn cheese - Scandinavian cheese

10. Rejeost (Prawn cheese)
For some reason, spreadable prawn cheese (ideally in a tube) is immensely popular across all of Scandinavia. Not really a great cheese from a connoisseur’s point of view, but surely any product that manages to combine cheese and prawns and make it taste good needs a mention. If cheese and prawn can be coupled in peaceful harmony, then there’s hope for world peace.

For all our cheeses, click here.

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.

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?

 

WIN! The Sleigh Ride DVD & Winter Sweet Treats

November 22, 2016 | Leave a comment

WIN! The Sleigh Ride DVD & Winter Sweet Treats

A few years ago, a mini trend kicked off in Norway – slow TV.

The concept of slow TV is simple and can be summed up as enjoying a journey in real time. No cutting, fast forwarding, music or commentary – just beautiful scenery and the sounds of the scene. The sleigh ride follows an ancient Sami postal route with no sounds except the crunching of snow and twinkling of reindeer bells.

We’ve teamed up with our friends at Nordic Noir again and have 4 copies to hand out – 1 winner will receive the DVD and a selection of sweet treats, 3 others the DVDs. Yay!
All Aboard! The Sleigh Ride’ was released on DVD  Monday 21st November by Nordic Noir & Beyond.

The Sleigh Ride - ScandiKitchen commpetition

 

To win – just answer this simple question;

What do the moomins do at Christmas?

  1. Celebrate it with a big feast for all of moomin valley
  2. Go on holiday to the south
  3. Sleep – they’re hibernating, like bears.

Send your response to martina@scandikitchen.co.uk before Wednesday the 23rd November.

Winner will be drawn from all correct entries.

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

Good luck!

Matpakke – Norwegian Packed Lunch

September 22, 2016 | Leave a comment

Matpakke – An Intro To a Norwegian Packed Lunch

Ask any Norwegian what they had for lunch in school and the answer will be ‘matpakke’ (or nistepakke) – packed lunch. That’s right, in Norway there’s no school dinners or equivalent. The food you eat, you bring from home.

A packed lunch doesn’t sound bad though? You may envisage lovely fresh salads, crusty baguettes with lots of filling or maybe dinner leftovers. But really, in most cases, it looks something like this;
Norwegian matpakke

Two slices of bread – open sandwiches – with ham and cheese, for example. They come wrapped in greaseproof paper, with the all important mellomleggspapir*  inbetween each open sandwich.

*Mellomleggspapir are rectangular pieces of greaseproof paper bought specifically to keep your sandwiches from sticking to each other. Very often the only thing protecting your jam sandwich from the liver pate. However well-intended, most Norwegians can testify – the mellomleggspapir is usually just a tad too small too form a fully protective layer inbetween each sandwich – but hey – jam and liver pate isn’t too bad (ikke sant?).


Matpakke is such an integrated part of the Norwegian ‘folkesjel’ – people-soul – that we even have a song written about it;

In case your Norwegian is a bit rusty – the gist of the song is that having your food in greaseproof paper instead of on a plate is a bit sad. The toppings are squashed, mixed up and stick to each other. Boo-hoo.


Despite having a ton of toppings to choose from, very many people will have the same topping every day for their entire school-career. 2 slices with salami and mayo every day for 7 years? Done. Tired of it? Yes. Bother changing it? But why would you?

 

matpakke

What your matpakke aspires to be.

Have you got any stories or memories of matpakke? We’d love to hear them.

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Norwegian Matpakke – Tips, Tricks and Insights.

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Norsk Matpakke – Our top facts, tips and insights about Matpakke

  1. If you’re very lucky, your mum or dad makes it for you.
    They’re usually busy busy in the morning – hence the lack  of variety.
    If you make it yourself, well, having the same every day is part of the charm, ikke sant?
  2. We all secretly love the little notes mamma sometimes write on the paper. ‘Have a lovely day sweetheart’ or ‘ Kisses from mummy’
    matpakke med hilsen fra mamma

  3. Cucumber is never good in matpakke. It goes soft and looses its crunch. Choose pepper for retained crunch.
  4. If having cheese, the key to avoiding dry edges is to ensure the cheese is perfectly bread shaped – ie. tear or cut of any bits hanging of the side. They will go dry. Two of the most popular cheeses in Norway are Norvegia and Nokkelost. Versatile and yummy.
      Tine Nøkkelost – Cheese with Cloves 500g
      £9.99
      - +
      Tine Norvegia – Mild Cheese 500g
      £9.49
      - +
      Tine Gudbrandsdalen Brunost – Brown Cheese 500g
      £8.99
      - +

  5. Prefer crispbread for lunch? The two top sellers in Norway are oat – Wasa Havre and wheat/poppy seed – Wasa Frukost (also enjoyed other times of the day). Pack the toppings in clingfilm and assemble when ready to eat to avoid the crispbread going soft.
      Wasa Husman – Traditional Rye Crispbread 260g
      £1.99
      - +
      Wasa Havre – Oat Crispbread 280g
      £2.79
      - +
      Wasa Frukost – Wheat Crispbread 240g
      £1.99
      - +

  6. Mackarel in tomato is great, but it will smell (not to you – just everyone around you).
  7. Liver pate MUST be fully and tightly wrapped or covered by mellomleggspapir* – otherwise it will go brown and dry and not very nice.
  8. Salami – usually mutton salami – goes really well with mayonnaise, but be sure to put the mayo underneath the salami so it doesn’t stick to the mellomleggspapir. 
      Stabburet Makrell I Tomat – Mackerel in Tomato 170g
      £3.49
      - +
      Stabburet Leverpostei – Liver Paté 100g
      £1.99
      - +
      Mills Ekte Majones – Mayonnaise 165g
      £3.79
      - +

  9. Ham and cheese is a classic. Perhaps the ultimate packed lunch topping as it can be varied so much (not that anyone ever does this, mind you). Add pesto, some mustard, or perhaps some piffi-spice for a cheese-toastie feeling.
  10. Brown cheese – but of course… Sometimes it can go soft and sticky on very warm days (luckily rarely an issue in Norway) – especially if paired with jam.

    norwegian breakfast brown cheese brunost

    Your average Norwegian classroom (no, not really).

  11. And to drink? Most schools in Norway have a milk-subscription offer – where you pay a small amount for a daily 250 ml of milk that gets delivered to your school. Some schools offer the same with fruit. Every week, one or two people in class – ordenselever* – are responsible for collecting and passing these out to those on the list. Allergic to milk? Bring a bottle – water is encouraged, juice or squash frowned upon by your lærer (teacher).
    Ordenselev fruktordning

*Ordenselever – a title given to one or two pupils who are responsible for keeping the classroom in order – by for example wiping the blackboard between lessons, emptying the recycling – and of course bringing the milk.

Aaah matpakke. Something we love to hate, but nevertheless look forward to every single day – if not for the contents, then just for the fact that it offers a little break. And we get to eat.

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It Is Time For Summer Fika

July 14, 2016 | Leave a comment

It Is Time For Summer Fika

Scandinavian people love their coffee. Norwegians are in the top of coffee consumption but Sweden and Finland consume the most cups of coffee per day in the world. So to say the least – Scandinavians are well caffeinated!

coffee drinking gif

But when having a Fika in the summer it is sometimes nice to cool down with a cold drink. If there is no ice coffee available Scandinavians love to make a jug of ‘saft’ – cordial. This cold drink matches any favourite nibbles such as cookies, pastries or cinnamon buns. What Fika truly stand for and what you need to have to create the best Fika moment you can find here. And here you can find 10 ways to Fika so that you can find your new favourite.

jordgubbssaft

Now we want to brew some coffee and make a jug of ‘saft’ – don’t you?

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