Tag Archives: scandinavian

The Only Aquavit Song You Need

June 21, 2018 | Leave a comment

Lyrics – ‘Helan Går’ Aquavit Song

Because when Swedes party, they party with drinking songs. Aquavit songs, specifically. This is a popular one – we have included the original lyrics as well as the phonetic English ones (ie. how it sounds).

Helan går

Helan går
Sjung hopp faderallan lallan lej
Helan går
Sjung hopp faderallan lej
Och den som inte helan tar*
Han heller inte halvan får
Helan går
(Drink)
Sjung hopp faderallan lej

Phonetic version – sing as you read it:

Hell and gore, Chung hop father Allan ley
Hell and gore, Chung hop father Allan ley
Oh handsome in the hell and tar
and hell are in the half and four
Hell and gore, Chung hop father Allan ley


Skål!

Mother’s Day Recipes to Treat Your Mamma

May 27, 2018 | Leave a comment

 

Mother’s Day – For all those lovely Scandi Mammas

Mother’s Day was celebrated the first time in 1908 following an initiative from Anna Marie Jarvis who wanted to honour her mother for her work during the American civil war. The celebration became official in 1913, and set to fall on the second Sunday in May which is the day most countries observe it. In the UK it is celebrated the fourth Sunday of lent, as it originated as a day for Christians to visit their ‘mother’ church.

Regardless of when it is celebrated, a special day to treat your Mamma should be acknowledged – a sweet card, maybe some flowers or a treat are all safe ways to make her feel special. And as we think nothing quite says ‘Mamma, you’re the best’ like baked goods – here are some of our favourite recipes for a Sunday dedicated to mamma.

  1. Classic cinnamon buns. You can’t go wrong with these – like a hug in bun-form.
  2. Sally’s chocolate buns. In case you live with someone who are more chocolatey than cinnamon-y. Think cinnamon bun but with chocolate in place of the cinnamon filling.
  3. Chokladbollar – Chocolate Oat Treats – For when you don’t have time to bake, these no-bake classics are perfect. Chocolatey with hints of coffee and oats – a lovely little treat.
  4. Lingonberry and spice layer cake (recipe in ScandiKitchen: Fika & Hygge). Looks gratifyingly impressive for the comparatively easy process – sure to score you tons of offspring-points.
  5. Seeded rye rolls (recipe in the ScandiKitchen cookbook) Perhaps not your typical treat – but just imagine how nice it is to wake to a house smelling of freshly made bread, the breakfast table set and the coffee brewing. Nothing to do for mamma but sit down. A loving gesture if ever we saw one. Just make sure you also take care of the tidying up – unfortunately any goodwill built up from enjoying a prepared breakfast is at risk of dissipating with each crumb that needs tidying.
  6. Crispy Waffles – For breakfast, fika or lunch. It is hard to beat a still hot waffle topped with whipped cream and jam!
  7. A cup of really good coffee and a card. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Write a card and say thanks for being mamma and bring her a cup of coffee or tea. This one is our current favourite.

Picture credit: Peter Cassidy for Ryland Peters & Small / The ScandiKitchen Cookbook

Scandi Ice Creams – Now Available

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The ice creams we remember from our childhoods plus some new favourites! Do you dare trying the salty liquorice one?

We’ve got everything from Piggelin to Københavner – to Dumle, Daim and more.

 

Available in store now – pop by and get yours before they’re gone!

13 Useful Scandinavian Insults

April 27, 2018 | Leave a comment

13 brilliant Scandinavian insults

Feeling a bit annoyed, need to let some steam off? How about you do so with these rather wonderful Scandinavian insults – many of which are under used thanks to the influx of English – but they sound oh so lovely. These are just a handful from a loooong list, we had to stop somewhere. Give it a go and tell us if there are any of these you use, or any we have missed – like the wonderful ‘Suppegjøk’ (Norwegian) . Lit. Soup cuckoo – Someone ditsy and silly. ‘You’ve lost your wallet AGAIN? You soup cuckoo!’

    1. Klossmajor (Danish, Norwegian) – Lit. Brick major – Someone super clumsy.
      klossmajor
    2. Juksemaker pipelort (Norwegian) – Lit. Cheat maker pipe poo – Someone who cheats. The second half usually only added on by children.
    3. Snuskhummer (Swedish) – Lit. dirty lobster – used about dirty (old?) men staring at girls.
      snuskhummer
    4. Snoronga (Swedish, has Danish and Norwegian equivalents) – Lit. Snot child – someone snotty and spoilt; a brat.
      Snoronga
    5. Klaptorsk (Danish) – Lit. Clapping cod – Someone doing something very stupid; much like a cod attempting to clap .
      Klaptorsk
    6. Vatnisse (Danish, Norwegian) – Lit. cotton gnome – someone silly (with cottonwool for brains, perhaps). EDIT: also used about person that never stands up for anything or anyone, but always gives in (thank you Fredd!)
    7. Narhat (Danish) – Lit. Fool’s hat – someone so stupid they’re not even worthy being called a fool, just the fool’s hat.
      Narhat
    8. Skitstövel (Swedish) – Lit. Shit boot – someone full of shit.
      Skitstovel
    9. Kronidiot (Norwegian) – Lit. Crown idiot – As stupid as you can get. The leader of the idiots.
      kronidiot
    10. Korkad (Swedish) – Lit. Corked – Someone stupid.
      korkad
    11. Bytting (Norwegian) – Lit. Swapee (ie. Being swapped) – someone so stupid or evil you think they have been swapped for someone from the underworld.
      bytting
    12. Dumbom (Swedish) – Lit. Stupid barrier – Barriers are, in general, stupid because they are blocking the way, right? So a stupid-barrier is an insult you do not want thrown after you.
      dumbom barrier
    13. Mehe (Norwegian) – Lit. from Medhenger, meaning ‘with-hanger’ – someone who just follows and can’t think for themselves.Followers Mehe

 

 

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!

Everyone Deserves a Proper Breakfast

April 5, 2018 | Leave a comment

A bowl for a bowl with Magic Breakfast

It is a very sad fact that 1 in 3 children in England go to school without breakfast. And another sad fact, that for 1 in 4 children, their school lunch is the only cooked meal they eat in a day.

For four years now, we have been working with the charity Magic Breakfast to help change these numbers.

Magic Breakfast works with schools in deprived areas to ensure that children who need it the most will get breakfast before going to school. They provide porridge, bagels, toast and cereal – and the kids can then start their learning with full tummies. Because how can you learn anything when your tummy rumbles?

 

So how can you help?

Paradoxically, by having breakfast. For each bowl of porridge we sell, one is donated by Magic Breakfast to a child who might otherwise go without. So that’s breakfast for you, and for a child in need. It means you can start your day well and make sure someone else’s day starts well, too.

Think porridge is boring? Well, you haven’t had it properly then. We make ours with a mix of oat and rye and serve it topped with your choice of the following (or plain, if you prefer a more humble start to your day);

  • Apple, cinnamon and vanilla with rye crunch and A-fil (Swedish natural yoghurt)
  • Blueberry compote, coconut granola and banana (the granola is homemade and may be our new favourite thing)
  • Cherry sauce and toasted almonds (think of it as Ris a’la Mande in breakfast form. Oh yes)
  • Fresh stirred lingonberries, orange blossom and pumpkin seeds (sweet, tart and crunchy)

Next time you pop by, come for breakfast. Every little helps – and every bowl means one less child has to go to school hungry.

Thank you for your support in this – make sure to head over to Magic Breakfast if you want to learn more.

 

Magic Breakfast

7 Random Facts About Aquavit

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7 things you never knew about Aquavit

  1. The name Aquavit comes from the Latin Aqua vitae – the water of life. This is the same origin as the French Eau de vie and Gaelic “Uisqhe beatha” (the latter of which has been anglified to Whiskey).
  2. Aquavit can in principle be made from any neutral spirit which is then flavoured with herbs or spices – most commonly caraway and dill, but coriander, fennel, anisseed and citrus peel is also common.
  3. In Norway potato is the most common base – whereas in Denmark and Sweden they often use grains.
  4. The minimum strength allowed is 37.5%.
  5. Whilst aquavit today is a largely Scandinavian thing, the origins point towards the Netherlands, where they have been making Jenever since the 1500s. Also from a grain base spirit, but flavoured with juniper berries (so it is also often referred to as Dutch gin).
  6. The term ‘Taffel’ aquavit is used to denote a clear aquavit – these are not matured. A yellowish, golden or light rown colour indicates usually that it has been aged in oak casks (Norway), or that it is a more mature aqauvit – though small amounts of caramel colour is allowed and often used to give a consistent colour across batches.
  7. The oldest reference to Aquavit is found in a letter from 1531, from the, Eske Bille, the Danish lord of Bergenshus castle, to Olav Engelbrektsson, the last Roman Catholic archbishop of Norway – accopmanying a parcel “some water which is called Aqua vitae and (…) helps for all his illness that a man can have internally”.

Aaaah, now who fancies some?

Aquavit Tasting in ScandiKitchen

April 4, 2018 | Leave a comment

Join us for an aquavit tasting evening

Aquavit is a spirit synonymous with Scandinavia – a bit like ABBA, the ziplock and IKEA. Just with more character, taste and intrigue.

Aquavit, like whiskey, takes its name from the latin aqua vitae – water of life. In principle, aquavit can be made from any neutral spirit, but most common is a base from potato (Norway) or grains (Sweden and Denmark) – which then is flavoured with herbs and spices. Caraway and dill are the most popular ones, but coriander, fennel, anisseed and citrus peel are also common. In short, aquavits are as varied as Scandinavians. To the untrained palate (ie. most Scandi children begging their parents for a taste) they may all seem similar, but once you get to know them you’ll realise the term aquavit means a whole range of tastes and occasions. Served at room temperature rather than the often suggested ice cold allows the aromas and flavours to come through – so to really appreciate it this is what the people in the know recommend. We, for one, won’t argue with people who know things about aquavit – like the fantastic Jon Anders Fjeldsrud who is our aquavit master for this event.

Our aquavit evening will take you through a varied selection to show you how to truly taste and enjoy yours – with a break in the middle to sample some classic Scandi smørrebrød – or open top sandwiches, if you like.

We look forwards to an evening of serious aquavit knowledge and a chance to sample some of Scandinavia’s finest.

We will taste our way through 6 to 7 different Aquavit with a break in-between serving some classic Scandi smørrebrød.

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

 

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