Tag Archives: scandinavian

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.

Semla Season 2017 – Everything You Need To Know

January 26, 2017 | Leave a comment

 

Semla Season 2017 – Everything You Need To Know

After Christmas we always feel determined to start a new and healthier life – less chocolate and more spinach, but only until we remember the next big occasion in the Scandi baking calendar; Semla season. Semla is the Swedish answer to pancake-day pancakes, but in our completely unbiased opinion; a million miles better and far too good to only eat once per year.

We started selling these chubby marzipan and cream filled buns of glory in the café a few weeks ago – and as we are now only 1 month away from the big day, it is time to kick off and remind each other what the Semla is all about. We have collated some essential reading (all the important semla-facts), our favourite recipes, and our very own semla product bundles if you want to give them a go at home without the hassle of seeking out the products you need. Ah, you’re welcome. Public semla-service is what we do.

– 12 Things You Need To Know About Semlor –

– Princess Semlor – The 2017 Luxury Semla – Recipe –

Princess Semla Recipe Image

Classic Semlor – Swedish Marzipan Cream Buns – Recipe

Classic Semlor Recipe


 

Fancy doing some baking? Try our kits to get started;

    Prinsess Semla Bun – Bundle
    £25.39 £25.09
    - +
    Cinnamon Bun – Product Bundle
    £9.80
    - +

 

Now, promise you try one. Come say Hej and have a coffee and semla with us in our café or make your own, just don’t go without. They are too good to be missed.

New Finnish Range – Product Sneak Peek

September 28, 2016 | Leave a comment

ScandiKitchen Finnish Range – Coming Soon..

We’re counting down the days to the arrival of our brand new Finnish range – have a look at what’s coming and let us know what you think!


Want to win £20 to spend in our online shop?

Simply choose your three favourite product from below, and send in an email to: finland@scandikitchen.co.uk before 23.59 Sunday 2nd of October. Enthusiastic and excited emails are highly encouraged and appreciated, although the winners will  be picked at random.

Want to win £20 to spend in our online shop?

Simply choose your three favourite product from above, and send in an email to: finland@scandikitchen.co.uk before 23.59 Sunday 2nd of October. Enthusiastic and excited emails are highly encouraged and appreciated, although the winners will  be picked at random.

Like this post? Know someone you think will be excited about any of these? Share it on Facebook to spread the Finland-love – button below.

15 Facts About Cinnamon Buns

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
  1. The cinnamon bun’s origin is a hotly debated topic. The Swedes claim it originated there in the 1920s. Usually, we won’t shy away from a debate, but in this case – it doesn’t matter where it is from. We love it too much. It is a love-child of Scandinavia.
  2. Cinnamon bun day has been celebrated since 1999, and the bun itself didn’t really become popular until the 1950s.
  3. A Nordic cinnamon bun is typically made with a bit of ground cardamom in the dough – this is what differentiates it from other cinnamon buns, such as the over-the-top sticky sweet buns you often see in north America.  with a bit of ground cardamom, which sets them apart from other cinnamon buns on this lovely planet of ours.
  4. A real cinnamon bun (a Scandi one) does not have icing on the top. In Norway, a sprinkle of normal granulated sugar – in Sweden those lovely big-ish sugar crystals called Pearl Sugar.
    kanelbullar cinnamon buns
  5. A typical Swede eats 316 cinnamon buns per year – in our central London cafe we sell about 60 cinnamon buns per day (and we all smell faintly of cinnamon..mm!).
  6. That is roughly 21600 per year.
  7.  If you stack all these buns, the total height would be 648 meters, or roughly the height of the Shanghai Tower, the 2nd tallest building in the world with 632 meters. Only Burj Al Kalifa would be taller, with its 830 meters. (Eat more buns, people!)

    cinnamon bun lenght

    Or, you can bake a really really long one to share.

  8. In Norway (and highly likely elsewhere in Scandinavia too) there are various very important cinnamon bun competitions held every year, where readers of the local newspaper nominate and vote for the best cinnamon bun in town. It is prestigious and competitive, and taken very, very serious.
  9. The same place refers to its cinnamon buns as Skillingsboller – ‘schilling buns’ – referring to the cost of one back in the day.
    cinnamon buns skillingsboller
  10. In Denmark, they are often called ‘cinnamon snails’ – Kanelsnegl’, and in Finland, ‘slapped ear’ – Korvapuusti. Maybe because if someone did slap your ear, a cinnamon bun would be a suitable treat to comfort you in your pain and distress.
  11. Cinnamon buns are made a variety of different ways. You can swirl them and pop them into a little paper case to keep all the buttery sugary gooeyness; do a simple swirl and bake, cut side up, or do a thinner swirl baked cut sides out. We love them all.
  12. The cinnamon bun is perfect – it doesn’t need meddling with. Still, some people make things as the below – a bacon cinnamon bun roll sandwich. Proceed at your own responsibility; we take no responsibility for whatever may come from consuming this (delicious?) concoction.
    Cinnamon roll with bacon
  13. There are two kinds of cinnamon; Ceylon and Cassia. Ceylon is also referred to as sweet cinnamon – or true cinnamon and is the most popular one. It is a bit more expensive than the other, but the taste is miles better. Get it if you can – otherwise your buns won’t be as good.
  14. Cinnamon also contains a substance called coumarin – which can damage the liver if consumed in larger quantities. The Scandinavian countries regularly relish in this fact, purely so they can put a scare cinnamon headline out, such as;
    ‘How to avoid cinnamon-poisoning’
    ‘Be careful with cinnamon’
    ‘Cinnamon buns can damage your liver’But fear not – you would have to eat approximately 10 cinnamon buns per day for an extended period of time to notice anything.
  15. It is Scandifically proven that it is impossible to resist a fresh cinnamon bun still warm from the oven. Try it. Sprinkle with almonds for a nutty taste..mmmm!

    Cinnamon Twists Bronte Aurell ScandiKitchen

    Phoro credit: Peter Cassidy, for Ryland Peters.

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.

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.

Like this post? Share it on Facebook to spread the cinnamon-bun-love – button below.

Breakfast of Champions – Support Magic Breakfast

September 14, 2016 | Leave a comment

Magic Breakfast Charity – Start your day doing something good

advert screen shot ws

Don’t go to school on an empty stomach.

With school having started again, it is time for a re-run of a cause close to our hearts and bellies.

  • It’s a very sad fact that 1 in 3 children in England go to school without having eaten breakfast. Even worse, that for one in four kids, the school meal at lunch is the only proper cooked meal they will have that day. Yes, you read that correctly.

The charity Magic Breakfast works with schools in deprived areas to ensure that children who most need it will get breakfast before the school day start. 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?

Since February 2015 we have been working with Magic Breakfast by donating one breakfast to a child for each bowl of porridge sold in our café. You get breakfast, they get breakfast. And in August this year, our head office joined in on the fun by setting up a penny jar – we encourage each other to do a weekly penny dump into the jar – the contents will go in their entirety to Magic Breakfast.

Every time you buy a bowl of porridge at our place, we will donate one breakfast to a child via Magic Breakfast.

Just like that. A bowl for bowl.

So, when your mother told you porridge was good for you, well, little did she know it was also going to be good for someone else, too.

We hope to see you all to pop by for our delicious oat and rye porridge with lovely toppings, such as nuts, seeds, fruit, honey, cinnamon – or maybe try one of our Guest Porridges that visit from time to time. Not only is porridge quick and easy in a hectic morning – it is also wonderfully warming and nutritious, and can be tailored to your taste and needs. Feeling fruity? Have yours with fresh berries. In need of a hug? Add a sprinkle of cardamom and lots of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey. Want it creamy? Cook it with milk.

We really want to continue supporting Magic Breakfast as much as we can. So please help out – pop by and eat porridge at ours and feel full and happy in the knowledge that someone else will be, too.

You can read more about Magic Breakfast right here

Thank you all for your continued support in this – we feel very passionately about full bellies, about children’s right to learn. About child welfare, in general. Together, we can make a bit of a difference.

Lots of love

The Kitchen People

X

PS: Like the look of that lovely porridge? Find the recipe in our first book – the ScandiKitchen Cookbook.

Look Inside: Fika & Hygge Baking Book

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.

Banana Cake - ScandiKitchen

 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!

Sarah Bernhard - ScandiKitchen

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.

Gingerbread & Lingonberry Cake - ScandiKitchen

 

Have the book? Do let us know if you try any of the recipes – we’d love to hear about it.

WIN The ScandiKitchen Kit – Books, Canvas Bag, Mug & Sweets

September 1, 2016 | Leave a comment

WIN the whole ScandiKitchen kit

As you may know, we have a new book. It is beautiful, if we may say so ourselves, and makes us want to bake and eat all the things. And we think you’ll like it too.

So – here’s the deal. Answer one simple question, and YOU can be the lucky winner of the following:

ScandiKitchen Competition Prize

The contents are as follows;

1 x ScandiKitchen Pick’n’Mix Selection
1 x ScandiKitchen ‘May the Norse be with you’ canvas bag
1 x ScandiKitchen Mug
1 x The ScandiKitchen CookBook by Bronte Aurell
1 x ScandiKitchen: Fika & Hygge by Bronte Aurell

It is the perfect Scandi starter pack. Fancy it? Go on, we know you do.

To win, simply answer the following question:

– What is the title of the new ScandiKitchen book?

A.) The ScandiKitchen CookBook

B.) The ScandiKitchen Baking Book

C.) ScandiKitchen : Fika & Hygge

Send your answer by email to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before Tuesday 6th September 2016 at midday . Winner will be drawn from all correct entries.

The usual rules apply. UK residents only. No cheating. Only one winner. No alternative prize and no cash alternative.

Good luck!

Join Our Family – We Are Currently Recruiting

August 10, 2016 | Leave a comment

Join Our Family – We Are Currently Recruiting

We at ScandiKitchen have a passion for our smorgasbord, great coffee, crispbread and all things Scandinavian. Singing Eurovision songs and brewing coffee – it is a passion always in fashion.

We are currently looking for more superheroes to join our team and give our customers the best experience in our lovely café.  So we just wanted to introduce ourselves a bit:

sk cafe youtube

We have been up and running since 2007 – yeah that’s right, almost 10 years of us dancing around in our café on Great Titchfield Street in London to offer you the best of Scandinavia. So when working for us you can expect to have a lot of fun and things like this:

  • You will get excellent training in Scandinavian random facts
  • Eat a lot of meatballs
  • Crispbread is holy
  • Meet our awesome customers
  • Be part of our team – we are one big family

On a more serious note: we will offer you a great experience in a fast paced environment, opportunity to evolve in our growing company, customer service experience and to take part in shaping our organisation.

swedish chef

 

Are you our next superhero? Put your cape on and press here to read more about the vacancies and how to apply.

 

Swedish Crayfish Party – How To Celebrate – Roxanne’s Way

August 4, 2016 | Leave a comment

Swedish Crayfish Party – How I Celebrate

Swedes all over Love their crayfish party and there are many ways to host this type of party, and this week, our People’s Hero Roxanne shares her way of celebrating through a few simple questions.

Where do we usually find you during the crayfish festivities and what are the essentials?

This is a tradition I usually celebrate back home in Sweden. You would probably find me at my friend’s house sitting in their garden (warning the neighbors beforehand about the loud singing that might occur throughout the night)

One of the essentials – except for the actual crayfish – is of course the aquavit (snaps). And it is law amongst my friends to sing a ‘snapsvisa’ called ‘helan går’ (everything goes) before we take a shot of Skåne aquavit.

crayfish-party garlandWhat do you eat at the crayfish party?

Crayfish of course –a lot of them. We usually also have a lot of other sea food such as prawns as everyone don’t like crayfish. To our crayfishes we serve a variety of other food that goes really well with the sea food.

We always have Vasterbotten quiche, different types of bread (crispbread of course), cheese with caraway or with cloves and many different styles of nibbles (sour cream and onion crisps being my favourite to snack on throughout the night).

crayfiah

 

Is there any essential that is a must have?

Snapsglas! (shot glasses) how would you drink all the snaps otherwise?

What is your advice for the crayfish rookies that want to host the festivities?

Well – don’t go dressed as you were going to meet the queen – when eating crayfish you have to be ready for the mess.

 

To read more about crayfish parties and how you could host one – click here. 

To visit our crayfish shop click here. 

 

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