Tag Archives: scandinavian

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

| Leave a comment

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

 

Recipe: Solskinnsboller

March 16, 2018 | Leave a comment

Solskinnsboller – Norwegian Custard Cinnamon Swirls

Of all the things to come out of Norway (brown cheese, knitted jumpers, a dabbing prince), these ‘Solskinnsboller’ buns must be amongst the tastiest. Don’t need another bun recipe? Listen. We think you do. These are named sunshine buns because they have the same effect – they make you happy. Buttery, soft cinnamon swirls with a gooey vanilla custard centre. Cinnamon buns = good. Custard = good. These buns? Criminal.

You will need:

  • 1 quantity bun dough (your favourite – or our favourite, recipe here)
  • 1 quantity creme patisserie or thick custard (homemade or bought – but if the latter thicken it with a bit of cornflour first or it will be too runny.

Quick and easy vanilla custard cream

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla paste)
  • 200 ml whole milk

Method: In a medium size saucepan, heat the milk until steaming (do not let it boil). Remove from heat. In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks, corn flour, sugar and vanilla until a thick paste. Whilst whisking, pour a little of the hot milk into the egg/sugar mixture until combined. Continue adding the hot milk slowly until everything is combined. Return to the saucepan and let simmer over medium heat until thickened – whisk continuously to avoid lumps forming. Once thickened (you should be able to make soft blobs that don’t disappear immediately – it will thicken more when it cools) pour into a bowl and place clingfilm directly onto the top of the custard. This avoids a skin forming. Leave to cool completely – the fridge quickens this step.

Assembling the buns:

Make you cinnamon buns as normal and leave under a tea towel for 25-30 mins to rise a bit more. Place your creme patisserie in a piping bag or plastic bag.

Now, you need to make an indent in each bun to fit the creme pat in – press down in the middle with your finger (or something measuring about 2cm diameter) until you have even indents in every bun. Pipe a small amount of custard into each hollow. Don’t be tempted to use too much – it will just get messy (but still tasty). 1-2 tsp should be enough.

Bake at 220 degrees celsius for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Things that happen when you live with a Scandi

March 14, 2018 | 1 Comment

 

Things that happen when you live with a Scandinavian

Maybe you’ve already moved in and you’re Googling “strange things that happen when you live with a Scandinavian” – don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place for answers. Or maybe you’re thinking “Should I start sharing my home with Agneta or Henrik?” Here, we give you a heads up what things might be like in your home, if you choose to go ahead. You’ve been warned.

They make you leave your shoes in the hallway.

Everything off in the hallway – and on with a nice pair of slippers. It’s a hygiene thing (although in Denmark you can sometimes get away with it). In Sweden, they’ll make you ask your guests to take their shoes off, too. This is how it will be from now on.

Announce when it is pee-pee time

“I think I’ll go for a pee now” will become a staple sentence. Eventually, you’ll start to adopt this habit too and find yourself doing it during a meeting at your fancy non-Scandinavian office.

The heating is maxed

Despite what people think, Scandinavians hate to be cold. Your house will now be a comfortable 23-24 degrees all year around. Any less and there will be complaints.

Also, you will air the room before bed. Yes, open bedroom windows, even at minus 20c.

Re-decorating & furniture

Living with a Scandi, decorating is easy: There is only one colour to choose from (white). This colour is also applied to skirting, radiators, ceilings and floorboards. Also you probably won’t need curtains any more (at least if you live with a Dane). If you don’t have a sofa table, one will appear within a week of the move because not having a sofa table in unheard of (where will we put our coffee?!)

Also, you no longer need carpets: Start your goodbyes now.

No more nick-nacks

One by one, those little cute things you own will be replaced by stylish candle holders and sleek things. No more souvenirs from Tenerife, no more ornate fireplace clocks. Eventually, you’ll find them all in a box in the attic. Good bye.

Is it a cult?

They burn day and evenings, sometimes entire packets of tealight in one room. Don’t fear, this is not a cult; it’s just cosy. Also, you may find that 4-5 small lamps are added to each room. Because, hygge.

Your double duvet is replaced by two single ones.

This is not a declaration that the love is dead, merely that nobody will steal your duvet again and you will keep your cold feet to yourself. And wait for an invite. THIS is true love.

Specialist equipment starts to appear in your kitchen:

Exhibit 1: OSTHYVEL

For slicing cheese. What is important to know is 1) You must NEVER make a ski slope  and 2) you will never again be allowed to hack away at the cheddar with a blunt knife. Ever.

Exhibit 2: Filter Coffee Machine

Scandinavians drink more coffee than anyone else in the world. If you live with an ultra Scandi, you’ll have a MochaMaster (these brew the fastest). But any filter machine works. From now on, your coffee will be so strong you’ll be awake 19 hours a day. Coffee before bedtime (around 9 pm) becomes normal. Milk in coffee is for wimps.

Exhibit 3: Smörkniv

For butter. Never use your own, only use the designated knife for butter.

Increased Nakedness

Look, it’s a body. It’s not anything Scandinavians think is sexual: It’s skin. We don’t care. There will be nakedness. If there is a sauna, there will be nakedness there, too. You may sit next to your new Father in Law, naked. On a small flannel. Get used to it and let it all hang out.

Breakfast changes

You will have sandwiches for breakfast. And probably sour milk. But definitely sandwiches – with cheese – and jam. Together. And coffee, a lot of coffee. There will be crispy bread – and it will re-appear at lunch. And for snacks. It never, ever ends.

Dinner is at 6

Dinner is at 6. Not 6:05, but 6 pm. Except, when you invite people over,  the invite might be for 6, so therefore people must arrive at 6 pm. By 6:05 food is served. DO NOT BE LATE. for anything, ever again.

Manners

Before you eat, say ‘Velbekomme’. When you’ve finished your food, say ‘Takk for maten’ (thanks for dinner). Fail on this and you will sleep with the fishes. Also, shots of 40% alcohol with some meals will eventually become the normal (always look people in the eye when you say ‘skål’, or you’re just rude.)

Cosy days

Fridays will become cosy Fridays. You will start to share big bags of crisps (dip each chip in dip mix). There will be darkness, 117 candles and Nordic Noir. After a while, they will start to add the dreaded….

…Friday Tacos

Because: Tacos are Scandinavian, everyone knows that. Tacos = burritos, nachos, quesadillas, enchilada, chimichanga… It’s all just Tacos. All of it. But only on Fridays.

Saturday Sweets

Don’t be surprise if you after a while of living with a Scandinavian you start to consume around 550 grams of sweets every Saturday (the average). Only uncivilised people eat sweets the other six days).

Also, salty liquorice.
It’s normal. You WILL like it eventually, don’t fight it, we’re only doing it for your own good, you know… Go on, just try this little Jungle Scream, it’s not too bad…

Weekend: Hiking days

The weekends will become 48h opportunities to get outside. Seeing as there is ‘No such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes”, every weekend will be a selection of hikes, walks, runs, bikes etc. Outside, with your backpack and your “all weather jacket”. If your chosen Scandinavian is a Norwegian, he or she will make sure to pack an Orange and a bar of Kvikklunsj chocolate.

Any snow and you will hear the words: “Snow? Really? You think this is snow? When I lived in Denmark/Norway/Sweden/Finland…. “ etc.

Mid-May is Eurovision

You can try to fight it, but at some point, your Scandinavian will be found in front of the telly, Pina Colada in hand, with a score sheet and dismay when Sweden doesn’t give Denmark 12 points as planned.

Flags everywhere.

Flags are now for every occasion, but only on occasions. Birthdays = flags. Flags in cakes. Flags on sandwiches. Picking up someone at the airport = flags. Eurovision = flags. Midsummer = flags. National day = flags.

Recycle hand-in-hand

Everything. Always: Rinse and recycle. You will start to make trips to the recycling stations together. Awww.

The fridge

You may start to see strange things in tubes appear in the fridge. Or things that look like plastacine. You will start to add remoulade on every meal once the Danes are done with you.

What other things do you think might happen when you live with a Scandinavian? Add your comments below!


PSST: Want to surprise your sweetheart with the aforementioned salty liquorice or dreaded things in tubes (you may earn yourself an extra cosy Friday)? Pop by or visit our webshop if you can’t make it in.

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