September 22, 2016 | Leave a comment
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;
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?
Have you got any stories or memories of matpakke? We’d love to hear them.
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Norsk Matpakke – Our top facts, tips and insights about Matpakke
*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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September 20, 2016 | Leave a comment
15 Things You Need to know about Cinnamon Buns
This year, as every year, we are celebrating the official Cinnamon Bun day. A national holiday in Sweden (not really, but it should be) – it falls every year on October the 4th and is celebrated by eating cinnamon buns en masse.
For many Scandis, us included – every day is cinnamon bun day. There’s always a reason for a cinnamon bun. It is, as you may know, also referred to as an edible hug. No? Just us then. Because that’s how we feel about it. It is as comforting and warming as a hug from your best friend, a stranger or your dog. Whichever of those you prefer.
As Scandinavians we feel it is our duty to educate those less knowledgeable about this harmonic symbiosis of flour, butter, sugar and cinnamon. This is lesson 1, based on our post from last year (read it here) – we’ll keep it simple.
Cinnamon Buns – Cinnamon Swirls – Kanelbulle – Kanelsnegle – Skillingsbolle
Enjoy Bun Day on the 4th October – we want to see your buns, so don’t forget to send us a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post the best ones on facebook and instagram. Prizes for the best looking buns.
Fancy making your own? Check out our recipe for the world’s best cinnamon buns and head to our webshop to buy our cinnamon bun baking kit, containing the essential ingredients you need for a Scandi cinnamon bun.
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September 15, 2016 | Leave a comment
Breakfast, Frokost, Morgenmad, Frukost.
As the saying goes (well, in Scandinavia at least), dear child bears many names. We love breakfast. It is often the main reason we go to bed at night – to fast forward to another lovely meal. Best enjoyed with big yawns, squinty eyes and coffee-hungry brains.
Fun-fact: In Sweden and Norway, breakfast is called Frukost/Frokost. The same word means lunch in Denmark. In Denmark, breakfast is called morgenmad – morning food. So naturally, a lot of confusion arises around the two first meals of the day when Scandis visit each other. Frokost? Nej mand, it is way too early. Frokost? Vad då, it is far too late!
Ah, the stress!
Important-fact: 1 of 3 children in the UK don’t have breakfast. We are working with charity Magic Breakfast to reduce this number – please read more here about this important cause.
Whatever you call it, the first meal of the day is important, and each country has its own traditions. Scandinavian breakfasts differs a lot from the British – so, because we know you’ve been wondering, let us present – some basic differences between British breakfasts vs Scandi breakfasts .
The Brits have.. toast.
The Brits drink..tea or instant coffee.
The Brits also drink..orange juice.
The Brits who don’t eat bread eats.. cereal.
In Norway: Several types of bread. Toaster handy. Fresh rolls. Norvegia and brown cheese. Boilt eggs. Ham and chopped up cucumber and red pepper. Tomatoes. Jams. Pate. Basically – your entire fridge. Milk and juice to drink. Coffee AND tea. Many many hours, the radio in the background and good company.
In Denmark: Fresh rolls from the baker – at least one per person plus a Danish pastry and white bread, which is never normally eaten. Rye bread. Cheeses and jams and marmalade. OR a full on Scandi brunch with scrambled eggs, bacon, all the sandwich toppings in the fridge. Juice and milk, tea and coffee. Perhaps a shot of Gammel Dansk (a digestif) or three if it is a special occasion.
There you have it. The full low down on Scandi breakfasts. Fancy it? To shop Scandi favourite cheeses, jams, coffees and more have a look in our webshop – click here.
September 8, 2016 | Leave a comment
Our New Book – A Look Inside
Yes, we talk a lot about Fika & Hygge – especially now with our new book officially out. It is a baking book, with recipes from across Scandinavia. From small bakes and biscuits, to celebration cakes and elaborate buns there’s something there for any occasion, small or large – certain to add to the feeling of hygge. In addition, the beautiful pictures makes us all long for winter in Scandinavia (even the non-Scandis!) with crinkly white snow, lots and lots of candles, knitted jumpers and fika-time inside.
Here are a few of the ScandiKitchen staff’s favourite recipes from the book (we were lucky enough to do a lot of cake-testing for this one! All in the name of creating the best baking book possible).
That Banana Cake – Therese
‘That banana cake’ is the banana cake we serve in our cafe. Wonderfully moist and full of banana flavour, with a light frosting that perfectly complements the dense cake. Worth hunting down brown bananas for.
Sarah Bernard – Biskvier – Martina
Little delectable morsels of chocolate, chocolate cream and a marzipanny base. Unbeatable combination and great with a cup of coffee, or as a simple dessert with a scoop of good quality vanilly ice cream. Super rich – but I somehow manage to squeeze in at least three of these. They take a little time to put together, but the result is worth it!
Gingerbread with Lingonberry – Roxanne
Soft spiced gingerbread cake layered with cream flavoured with fresh tart lingonberries and a hint of sweetness – just delicious. And very pretty too.
Have the book? Do let us know if you try any of the recipes – we’d love to hear about it.
June 16, 2016 | Leave a comment
Midsummer in Norway – Celebrating St. Hans (St. John’s)
Midsummer is usually not called midsummer in Norway, but St. Hans after the evangelist John (called Johannes in Norwegian; Hans is the shortened form). Originally two separate celebrations, they have now – for most people – merged into one.
St. Hans day is the 24th of June every year, and the celebrations are held on St. Hans’ eve – the 23rd. It is not a national holiday – but most people mark it in some way or another. Traditionally celebrated with a huge bonfire, or out on the fjord if you’re lucky enough to have a boat or know someone who does.
Bonfires are set up in many neighbourhoods, and is usually accompanied by a barbecue feast and beers – hot dogs in lompe, with ketchup, mustard and crispy onions.
Ice cream for afters (often, the inaccurately named Kroneis (Norway’s cornetto – name translated to 10p-ice cream, but it costs the equivalent to £2).
A typical St. Hans celebrations often includes playing games – here are some of our favourites:
Egg-racing; race each other whilst balancing an egg on a spoon held in your mouth (hardboiling the egg beforehand makes it easier – but it’s more fun when you risk it with a raw one!)
May 26, 2016 | Leave a comment
Let’s Have a Barbecue – Scandi Style!
Warmer weather and glimpses of sun can only mean one thing – barbecue season is here.
Here’s what you need for a Scandi barbecue.
Nibbles are important – everyone without a gas barbecue knows this. It always takes about 5 hours to get hot enough to cook anything on so nibbles are crucial to avoid eating each other during the wait.
Estrella Holiday Dipmix – Onion & Pepper Dip Mix 26g
The barbecue bit:
Unless you have a gas barbecue, sausages are the way to go. They cook in less than an hour, are easy to eat standing up, can hold most toppings – and crucially – they taste good even when they’re a bit burnt.
Per i Viken Salsiccia Korv – Salsiccia Sausage 250g
Per i Viken Bratwurst 3-pack – Bratwurst Sausage 300g
Per i Viken BBQ Chorizo Korv – BBQ Chorizo Sausage 250g
Gøl Røde Pølser – Red Hot Dogs 375g
The bready bits:
Classic sausage buns are a must – the softer sweeter bun contrasts oh so well with the meaty sausages. Norwegians are partial to a thin potato flatbread; lompe, which also works a treat.
Polarbrod Sarek – Thin Flatbread 8-pack
A barbecue needs a good range of condiments. Ketchup, several types of mustard, pickles, remoulade, mayonnaise, skagenrora (if you’re from Gothenburg), and crispy onions are absolutely non-negotiable; we like everything at once, but if you fancy a slightly lighter version we recommend you try one of the following combos:
The Swede: Ketchup, mustard, bostongurka and crispy onions. In a bun.
Johnnys Senap Sötstark – Hot and Sweet Mustard 500g
Bähncke French Dog Dressing 380g
Cold beers and soft drinks.
Nils Oscar God Lager 5.3% – Beer 330ml
Other bits; An umbrella. A kitchen ready to take over the cooking should the barbecue fail you. More snacks, something sweet to finish with – such as pick and mix and gifflar.
Ahlgrens Bilar Original – Fruity Marshmallow Sweets 125g
To view our Barbecue corner – click here. Happy barbecuing!
April 27, 2016 | 2 Comments
24 ways to be more Norwegian
March 30, 2016 | Leave a comment
Norwegian Words to Describe Weather
And a few events and activities we would like to bring your attention to, as their names may lead you to think you are guaranteed a certain temperature or weather type. Consider yourself warned;
Last but not least; there is no such thing as bad weather. Only poor clothing.
Finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlig klær!
Fancy some Norwegian food maybe?
March 23, 2016 | Leave a comment
Waffle-Day & Useful Info About Scandinavian Waffles
Waffles are a big thing in Scandinavia. Thin and heart-shaped they come with a boatload of strong opinions on how to eat them, when to eat them and what to put on them. There are as many opinions as there are recipes – as many recipes as there are waffle-lovers.
One thing we all agree on is how we feel about them. Waffles are – it seems – a truly nostalgic thing. Something we all remember from our childhoods. From a fika with the family, a well deserved break in the (not-so) strenuous Sunday hike, a treat in between matches in the annual week-long summer football tournament, or from any given Wednesday at your lovely, lovely work-place (where waffles often appear on Wednesdays for some unknown reason).
You may have some questions about waffles and why we waffle (pardon the pun?) on so much about them. That’s ok. Your waffle-fears may now be put to rest – we’re here to educate you about Scandinavian waffles.
1. What is a Scandinavian waffle and how is it different from a Belgian Waffle?
A Scandinavian waffle differs from the Belgian in many ways, most notably is the shape. Scandinavian waffles are thinner, and typically consist of 4-5 heart shapes joint in a ring, as opposed to the rectangular Belgian version. Heart-shaped = even lovelier, of course.
2. Why do we celebrate the Waffle-day on the 25th of March?
Good question! Waffle-day is originally a Swedish thing, and the reason it is on the 25th of March is that the Swedish word for Waffle day – Våffeldagen – sounds very similar to ‘Vårfrudagen’ (Our lady’s day), which is the day Jesus was ‘conceived’. 25th of March = 9 months before Christmas Day.
3. What can I put on my waffle?
In Scandinavia, most people choose sweet toppings, including a variety of jams, whipped cream or fresh fruit and berries in summer. Waffles are not necessarily limited to sweet toppings though – try creme fraiche and smoked salmon for a lovely savoury waffle.
Here are 5 other ways to eat Scandinavian waffles;
Now we want to hear your waffle-memories.
Perhaps you spent a summer frying waffles day in and day out to feed the hordes of hungry tween-agers playing football?
Or you have a favourite recipe you’d like to share? A favourite topping? Do let us know – we’d love to learn more.
Fancy waffles? We do, too.. Here’s our favourite recipe for crispy Swedish waffles, the recipe is a sneakpeek from ou new cookbook (out later this year). Or for instant waffle-satisfaction, shop our waffle mixes here – there’s even a gluten-free version there.