Tag Archives: scandinavian

7 Random Things About 17th May – Norway Day

May 11, 2017 | Leave a comment

7 Random Facts About 17th May – Norway Day

  1. Norway day – the 17th of May – is celebrated as it was the day Norway got its constitution, back in 1814.
    Norwegian Constitution 17 May

  2. It is the busiest day of the year for Norway’s king – a whole day of waving is intense.

  3. 17th May is the final day of ‘russetid’ – graduation time for students. 3 weeks of solid partying, all culminating on the morning of 17th May. 

  4. 17th of May is the day Norwegians eat the most ice cream (if it is sunny) – up to 10 times the average amount for a sunny spring day.
    iskrem norway day
  5. During WW2 it was forbidden to parade for 17th of May. It was also forbidden to wear the Norwegian flag’s colours on one’s clothes – contributing to its importance as a symbol of Norway’s freedom ever since.
    17 mai tog
  6. Marching bands are an important part of the parades – and marching band is the second most popular past time among Norwegian children (surpassed only by football).
    Korps marching band
  7. It is a national holiday, but since the 18th is not, the celebrations start early – Champagne breakfast at 7am is common, so you have time to eat and drink in time to watch the main parade starting around 10am (varies regionally).
    17 mai frokost

  8.  And an extra one – remember to say congratulations to every Norwegian you see.

7 Random Things You Didn’t Know About … Eurovision

May 4, 2017 | 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 (it was supposed to be 43, but Russia didn’t want to play) – 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’
    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, Italy won 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. Last year, 204 million people watched Eurovision. Yes, that is more viewers than even 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!

7 Nordic ways to talk about hangovers

April 28, 2017 | Leave a comment

Seven Nordic ways to talk about hangovers

‘Bagstiv’ is a Danish word for when you wake up the next morning, still drunk. Literally: Backwards drunk – in Sweden and Norway, its Bakfull and bakrus.

2. A drunk Dane might say he has a “Stick in ear” (en kæp i øret)

3. The Finnish word for hangover is “Krapula” 

4. The Old Norse Viking word for hangover was ‘kveis’, meaning “uneasiness after debauchery” 

5. In Denmark, if you drink a beer on a hang over, it is known as a Reperationsbajer – literally, a ‘repair beer’

6. In Danish, hangovers are known as Tømremænd  – literally, carpenters.

7. “Fylleangst” pronounced (foola angst) means “drunk anxiety” in Norway and is the unsettling feeling one has the day after drinking when you can’t remember what you did, how you acted or who may have seen you do it!

7 Scandi Ways To Screw Up

April 20, 2017 | Leave a comment

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

7 Things You Didn’t Know About The Vikings

April 12, 2017 | Leave a comment

 

7 Useful Things To Know About the Vikings

 

    1. Viking Harold Bluetooth was great at connecting nations – Bluetooth tech is named after him: the logo are his initials.

    2. Erik the Red was so violent even fellow Vikings objected; exiling him from both Norway and Iceland (they made him to go Greenland).
      Eirik the red viking
    3. Viking is something you do, not something you are.The word Viking comes from the people from the Vik, (vik means bay). People who would sail off to other places were ‘going viking’. The word Viking wasn’t used in English until 19th Century – before this, we were just known as ‘Norsemen’ or ‘Danes’.
      Vik - viking
    4. The traditional Northern greeting “‘Ey up” comes from the Viking times
       

      northern ey up chips and gravy

      Not very viking but very northern.

       

    5. The Old Norse Viking word for drunk was ‘kveis’, meaning “uneasiness after debauchery”
      tired
    6. Viking women could ‘divorce’ their husbands quite easily – reasons included ‘the showing of too much chest hair”.
      viking woman
    7. The word Saturday in Scandinavia is ‘Lørdag’ which comes from the old Norse word laugardagr; a combination of the words  laug meaning ‘bath’ and dagr meaning ‘day’. The Vikings were very clean people (at least in comparison to many other nations) and had weekly baths.
      bathing viking

7 Random Things You Didn’t Know About…. Finland

| Leave a comment

 

7 Mind-blowing Facts About Finland

1. The Finns drink more coffee per head than any other people in the whole world (12.2kg per person per year)


2. Finland has the most amount of heavy metal band per capita in the world.


3. There are over 2 million saunas in Finland and 99% of Finns take a Sauna once a week or more. There is a Burger King in Finland that has an in-store sauna.
sauna burger king
4. In Finnish a hangover is known as Krapula.
Krapula hungover moomin
5. The Finns have a word for ‘Staying in drinking beer in your underwear with no intention of going out’ (kalsarikannit)
kalsarikannit homer simpson 1

 

6. Finns have a tradition of Ants Nest Sitting Competition – a fun thing to do with friends. You take down your pants, sit down on an ants nest – first person up, loses.

ants nest people
7. The Finns invented the Molotov cocktail. No, it is not the drinking kind. You know Finns only drink vodka.

molotov cocktail

7 Random Things You Didn’t Know About.. ABBA

| Leave a comment

 Very useful, highly impressive and absolutely random facts about ABBA.

  1. Before ABBA was known as ABBA they were known as ‘Festfolk’ – the Party People.

    abba party people 2
  2. In 1974, when ABBA won Eurovision with Waterloo, the UK gave them ‘nul points’. ABBA was actually the first act from Sweden to win the Eurovision Song Contest. This was done on April 6th, 1974 with the song “Waterloo.”
    Abba 2
  3. ABBA the band had to get permission from ABBA the seafood company to use their name (not the other way around).
    abba-ringing abba
  4. ABBA’s first single together as ABBA was ‘People Need Love’ (Good one for the pub quiz, this!).abba 3
  5. The most commonly misheard ABBA lyric is from Dancing Queen, when people hear ‘Chicken the Dancing Queen’ instead of ‘Digging the Dancing Queen’. (The second one is “Dancing queen, feel the meat on the tangerine”) *please note this may or may not be entirely true.

  6. Anni-Frid Lyngstad was born on November 15th, 1945 in Bjørkåsen, Norway – but grew up in Sweden. So if you ask Norwegians, ABBA is 1/4 Norwegian.
  7. In 1979, ABBA fronted a poster for British Rail and Keep Britain Tidy.
    Abba keep your station tidy
    Abba keep britain tidy

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;

    Cinnamon Bun – Product Bundle
    £9.75
    - +

 

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.

Payment types accepted
Secure Shopping with
Free shipping on orders over £60
£0.000 items