Tag Archives: swedish

Pimp My Gingerbread House 2016

November 24, 2016 | Leave a comment

Pimp My Gingerbread House 2016

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It’s beginning to smell like Gingerbread.. That’s right, it’s that time of year again – it’s time for our annual Pimp My gingerbread House competition!

Every year in the run up to Christmas we run a competition – who can go crazy with a standard gingerbread house kit?

The rules;

Take one basic Gingerbread house kit from Annas and pimp it up to the best of your abilities. Think outside the box: be as creative, crazy and elaborate as you want. Whatever your strong side, put it into the house.

When you are done, send us a picture and we will put the best ones up on Instagram and Facebook and the blog during December.

We have four categories:

Adult – Beautiful: This is the main award. The most beautiful house you can make from a very basic kit of gingerbread house.

Adult – Super Creative.   This is the crazy house – like the house eaten by dragons, murder scenes, brothels, discos – whatever you can do to pimp up your house to silly standards with great use of imagination.

Child – up to 7 years old. It’s okay that your Mum and Dad help out, but here we do want to see real kids efforts. We know what seven year olds can do with a ginger bread kit – we want to see kids being allowed to unleash creativity. It’s fine to add Lego men and other toys to the mix or make a gingerbread house for your favourite dolls.

Young person 8-16 – We want to see your imagination run wild here. Make the house your own.

THIS YEAR’S PRIZES:

First prize this year in category ‘beautiful’ is £50 online OR in-store voucher for ScandiKitchen, a signed copy of our new baking book ‘Fika & Hygge’ and one of our fancy new mugs.

Adult – Creative – A hamper full of goodies and treats plus a signed baking book.

Children under 7: Sweeties. And more Sweeties. So many sweeties your Mum will be quite annoyed with us all the way through till January.

Young person 8-16 prize: Sweets. And more Sweets. So many sweeties your Mum will be quite annoyed with us and also a little jealous that it is all for you.

The rules:

      • All entries MUST be made from a basic Gingerbread House kit. We stock the one from Anna’s, which is the preferred one, but if you use the IKEA version that is also fine (they are similar in shape and size). Basically, the basic shape of the house must be the same so we can see just how creative you can be with a pre-fab kit. Any entries not made from the similar in size and shape to the Ikea and Anna’s kit will not be accepted, sorry.
      • When you submit photos, you need to state what category you are entering into.
      • Only one entry per person
      • If more than one person submits the same entry, the prize will be shared.
      • No alternative prize, no cash prizes, no exchanges.
      • Entries must be received before 16th December 2016 at noon to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk
      • Employees of ScandiKitchen ltd not eligible to enter (Rebekka, we’re talking to you)
      • Winners will be picked by a jury of lovely people (most likely a selection of our customers – we usually pick 5 judges from Twitter to help us out).
      • The judges decisions are final.
      • Prizes can be sent to UK address only.

Send your photos to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before 16th December at noon to enter the competition. We look forward to seeing your creations.

Love

The Kitchen People x

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Swedish Meatball Sandwich – Recipe

October 6, 2016 | Leave a comment

Swedish Meatballs With a Chance of Lingon

We love meatballs. Who doesn’t? A meatball a day keeps the doctor away, and so on.

Aside from the usual preparation, meatballs with creamy mash, cream sauce and sharp lingonberries (we have a lovely recipe for a meatball dinner here), we like eating them as a sandwich.

Here’s our simple Meatball Sandwich;

Swedish Meatball Sandwich Step by Step

  1. Start by cutting your meatballs into smaller chunks and fry them on medium heat in a little butter to make the edges go golden crisp, until they are warmed through. They’re already cooked so no need to cook them for very long.
  2. Then grab a plate and place 1 round polarbrod on it; we like it toasted but it doesn’t have to be. Spread a little salted butter on. Add a green leaf if you want. Spinach or rocket is good, or just plain lettuce. It adds a bit of freshness and crunch.
  3. Spread the beetroot salad on top your bread, approximately two tablespoons.
    Variation; Swap pickled red cabbage for the beetroot.
  4. Finish by adding your warm meatballs, some chopped chives and perhaps lingonberry jam, although we tend to think the sweetness from the beetroot salad is enough in this instance.
  5. Add a good sprinkling of salt and pepper to finish.

Sit down. Grab a knife and a fork and enjoy. ‘Mums filibaba’, as a Swede would say! (it means Yummy!).

Fancy making this? We have a bundle for you:

    Swedish Meatball Sandwich
    £6.60
    - +
    Per i Viken Farmors Köttbullar – Meatballs 8-Pack
    £2.80
    - +
    Felix Lingon – Wild Lingonberry Jam 283g
    £2.05
    - +

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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.

The Breakfast Edition; Scandi VS British Breakfast

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.
In Sweden: Crispbread. More crispbread.
In Norway: Various breads or crispbread. The one called Frukost.
In Denmark: Rye bread.

swedish crispbread knackebrod

The Brits top theirs with.. butter and Marmite or jam.
In Sweden: Egg and kaviar, cheese (Aseda graddost)
In Norway: Norvegia cheese or brown cheese.
In Denmark: Cheese. Butter.

Swedish breakfast egg kaviar

The Brits drink..tea or instant coffee.
In Sweden: Black coffee. Proper brewed coffee. Like this one from Zoegas.
In Norway: Black coffee. Sometimes with milk. This one from Friele, for example.
In Denmark: Black coffee. Proper brewed coffee. You get the drill.. we all like real coffee!

Image result for black coffee gif

 

The Brits also drink..orange juice.
In Sweden: Milk, sometimes juice.
In Norway: Milk, juice sometimes.
In Denmark: Milk or juice.

Milk for breakfast in Sweden, Denmark, Norway

 

The Brits who don’t eat bread eats.. cereal.
In Sweden: Filmjolk (a light natural yougurt) with granola or musli and some berries. Or kalaspuffar.
In Norway: Frokostblanding – breakfast mix! Ie., cereal. With banana  if you’re being virtuous.
In Denmark: Skyr or Ymer – a type of natural yogurt – with Ymerdrys – a lovely rye bread crumb cereal. 
swedish breakfast kalaspuffar
For a weekend breakfast, the Brit will have.. a full English (or components thereof).

In Sweden: ALL the crispbread. Several types of bread. Eggs and kaviar, different cheeses, jams, perhaps a ham or pate. Something bun-like. Yogurt pots, fresh fruits, something with egg. Coffee. Juices. Milk. Many many hours, newspapers and good company.

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.

dansk morgenmad danish breakfast

Drool.

 

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.

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.

It Is Waffle Weekend

June 30, 2016 | Leave a comment

It Is Waffle Weekend – Scandinavian Waffles (again)

We love waffles, we love to talk about them a lot –  and we are going to talk about them some more. Here are some tips for how you can eat them this summer.

Waffle maker with toppings

 

Nothing implies summer more than warm newly made waffles – topped with whipped cream and jam. But there are a variety of different toppings that can go on a waffle – here you can read more about the different ways to eat waffles.

Waffles with whipped cream and jam

And here is a lovely recipe for our favourite waffles.

Yummy, this make us want to have some waffles now – don’t you?

Swedish Midsummer – How To Celebrate – Therese’s Way

June 9, 2016 | Leave a comment

Swedish Midsummer – How I Celebrate

Swedes all over Love midsummer (you might have seen Alicia Vikander on Jimmy Fallon..? If not, we’ve included the clip for you below). There are many ways to celebrate, and this week, our Thérèse shares her way of celebrating. Over to you, T!

” Hej! I am Thérèse and I’m located in Stockhome. I recently moved to London from Sweden. It doesn’t matter where I am this time of year – I always celebrate midsummer.

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Photo credit: Conny Fridh/imagebank.sweden.se

Midsummer for me is all about having fun, celebrating with friends and eat a lot of food. I often celebrate the holiday on the actual midsummer eve (this year – 24th June) ‘midsommarafton’ – but it really depends on when my friends are free to celebrate.

Growing up I spent most of my summers in the summerhouse in the west of Sweden, and we would usually go to the closest local midsummer event to celebrate there. These days the place of the celebration varies – either in a park or at someone’s house – usually the friend with the best garden. One thing remains the same wherever though – flower garlands in my hair. It’s essential.

Making_midsummer_flower_garlands-06

 

What do we eat at midsummer?

Food is of course very important during midsummer. My friends and I often prepare a buffet together. We cook most of the food ourselves but we usually buy some things, like nibbles, ready made. That way we can nibble whilst we cook and take our time with it. We usually get snacks like sour cream and onion crisps, dill crisps, cheese corn snacks and some beer to drink.

The buffet has certain ‘rules’ to it – the first round is all about herring and bread. Having a good range of herring is essential. My favourites have always been the mustard herring, onion herring and the herring in roe, but a good midsummer spread usually includes even more – such as dill herring or herring in curry (You can browse our range of herring here).

We also have a variety of crispbread, rye bread and polar bread – as well as new potatoes boiled in a lot of dill. We eat the potatoes sliced up on your bread of choice with a bit of herring. With this we also serve cured or smoked salmon; seafood salad is also always included in our buffet. I like to top my salmon sandwiches with dill and mustard sauce.

In addition to the herring and fish, we often have a barbecue with different meats, spicy sausages and new-potato salad and chips with Vasterbotten cheese – lovely with a fresh dip! To drink we have lagers (beer) and aquavit. Of course, in true Swedish fashion, we have to sing some drinking songs.

Finally we’ll have a lovely strawberry cake (we have a nice recipe – click through to view) and perhaps some of our favourite sweets and chocolates. If we feel really merry we might search for a midsummer pole to do some embarrassing little frog dancing around.”

Don’t know what Frog Dancing  is? Have a look below, where the Oscar winning Swedish actress Alicia Vikander shows Jimmy Fallon how it’s done. Happy Midsummer all!

 

To read more about Swedish midsummer – click here.

To visit our Midsummer Shop for all the foods and snacks you need, click here.

 

WIN a Big Midsummer Bundle!

| Leave a comment

WIN a Big Midsummer Bundle!

Are you Swedish, or just a big fan of all things yellow and blue (this includes meatballs, herring and aquavit)? Then you might just want to win yourself our huge midsummer spread bundle!

Whether you plan on heading to the park, your balcony or snuggle up in the sofa – this bundle contains everything you need for a lovely Swedish midsummer; Our favourite sourdough crispbread, meatballs, herring, salmon, vasterbotten cheese, our own deli salads, a bottle aquavit and some yummy cinnamon buns (kanelgifflar) to round it all off. Yum!

Swedish Midsummer Picnic

To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer this super easy question:

How many flowers do you put under your pillow to dream about your future husband/wife?

A. 3
B. 10
C. 7

Send your answer by email to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before Tuesday 14th June 2016 at midday. Winner will be drawn from all correct entries.Send your answer by email to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before Tuesday 14th June 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. Over 18s only as this contains alcohol.

A Scandinavian Barbecue

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.

The nibbles:

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.
We like crisps – especially dill chips and sour cream and onion. They’re especially nice with a refreshing dip – such as Estrella Dill dip mix or Holiday.

    Estrella Sourcream & Onion Chips – Sourcream & Onion Crisps 175g
    £2.50
    - +
    Estrella Holiday Dipmix – Onion & Pepper Dip Mix 26g
    £1.20
    - +
    Estrella Dillchips – Dill Crisps 175g
    £2.50
    - +

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.
We LOVE the barbecue range from Per I Viken – which includes spicy chorizo, herby Salsiccia and the super savoury Bratwurst. For kids, red hot dogs or classic wienerkorv always go down a treat.

    Per i Viken Salsiccia Korv – Salsiccia Sausage 250g
    £2.80
    Per i Viken Bratwurst 3-pack – Bratwurst Sausage 300g
    £2.00
    Per i Viken BBQ Chorizo Korv – BBQ Chorizo Sausage 250g
    £2.80

    Per i Viken Wienerkorv – Wiener Sausages 8-pack
    £4.00
    - +
    Gøl Røde Pølser – Red Hot Dogs 375g
    £4.80
    - +

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.
Not traditional, but very nice, is Swedish soft flatbread. Take it easy on the toppings, though, as this tends to be more fragile than the other two.

    Polarbrod Sarek – Thin Flatbread 8-pack
    £2.00
    Korvbrödsbagarn Korvbröd – Hotdog Buns 10-pack
    £2.00
    - +
    Bjørken Lomper 10-pack – Soft Potato Flatbread 260g
    £2.15
    - +

The condiments:

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.
The Dane: Remoulade. Other bits, optional.
The Norwegian: Ketchup, mustard, crispy onions. In lompe.

    Johnnys Senap Sötstark – Hot and Sweet Mustard 500g
    £3.30
    - +
    Bähncke Stærk Sennep – Sharp Mustard 380g
    £3.00 £2.40
    - +
    Bähncke Hotdog Ketchup 405g
    £3.00
    - +
    ScandiKitchen Skagenröra – Seafood Salad 200g
    £3.00
    - +
    Felix Bostongurka – Pickled Cucumber Relish 375g
    £2.65
    - +
    Beauvais Agurkesalat – Pickled Cucumber 550g
    £2.90
    - +
    K-Salat Remoulade – Sweet Piccalilli Sauce 375g
    £3.00
    - +
    K-Salat Mayonnaise 375g
    £3.00
    - +

Drinks;

Cold beers and soft drinks.

    Ringnes Solo – Orange Soft Drink 330ml
    £2.00
    - +
    Nils Oscar God Lager 5.3% – Beer 330ml
    £2.30
    - +
    Hansa Pilsner Beer 6x500ml
    £14.00
    - +

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.

    Pick’n’Mix WITH Liquorice 200g
    £2.50
    - +
    Pågen Kanelgifflar – Mini Cinnamon Buns 260g
    £2.25
    Ahlgrens Bilar Original – Fruity Marshmallow Sweets 125g
    £1.95
    - +

To view our Barbecue corner – click here. Happy barbecuing!

How to be Swedish

March 30, 2016 | 1 Comment

How to be Swedish, even if you’re not in Sweden – A quick guide.

      So, you want to be Swedish? You don’t need to go to Sweden to be Swedish – just follow this quick do-it-at-home guide and you’ll be saying jo-jo at the beginning of every sentence before you know it.

1. Drink a lot of coffee.

Even if you think you drink a lot of coffee, double it right now and still not out-do the average Swede. We drink more coffee than anyone in the world, (except the Finns). Go for strong filter coffee.

coffee

2. When you get up in the morning, follow this ritual:

2 slices of crisp bread, 1-2 boiled eggs, a squirt of Kalles creamed cod roe with your eggs. Some sliced cheese, if you are feeling fancy. Drink a large glass of milk. Coffee.

osten 2

3. How to slice the above cheese

Using the designated correct slicer for the job, you always follow the slicing rules: DO NOT MAKE A SLOPE. This is a cardinal sin. Simply slice a bit from each side every time and the cheese will stay level. If it’s not level, you lose 3 Swedify points.

thebest

4. Every time someone says anything about anything, just say: in Sweden, we have that. Except ours is better.

As in:

Your friend: Oh, taste these lovely British crisps I just bought.
You: We have these in Sweden, too, except ours are dill flavoured. And better.

5. Fika a lot.

At least twice a day, stop what you are doing and go get another coffee. Sit down. Eat a cinnamon bun. Talk to others who are doing the same. This is now something you do twice a day for the rest of your life. It’s called Fika. It’s a noun and a verb, so you can meet for a fika or you can fika with someone. Never ever use another word for it, such as “coffee break”, because it just won’t do. Always say fika. See point 4.

thor

6. Cinnamon buns

Because you are now eating two a day, learn to make them properly, because Swedes bake at home. If you ever add any kind of icing on top of cinnamon buns, go back to Swedish School: you just lost the game.

RPS1805-VanillaCardamom_knots01

7. Swedify your apartment or personal space.

Paint everything white (walls, doors, floors… everything). This is your canvas on which to express yourself. Add a few block colours, maybe some Poäng chairs or tastefully selected ikea key pieces with names such as DalaBördiholm or something (laugh that all things you step on in Ikea have Danish names). Add some cushions with tasteful Swedish patterns. Add candles everywhere, ready to go as soon as darkness falls.

Stockholm-apartment-7

8. Make your Swedish dinner

Meatballs with mash and gravy is too stereotypical. Instead, the real Swedish the national dish: Kottbullar & Snabb Makroner. SnabbMakroner is basically quick-cook pasta. Because real Swedes refuse to wait 8 minutes for pasta to cook, so they invented one that cooks in 3 (See point no 4). Add Köttbullar meatballs, squirt Felix Ketchup all over the plate and award yourself another 5 Swedify points.

e536f629b7e30ff6b164f2a259fff48f

9. Eat in the dark

As a Swede, you will know that eating in the dark is quite normal. So, as soon as darkness falls, light 20-30 candles and turn off all electric light (keep heating at 24 degrees, which is natural indoor Swedish temperature). This is to be referred to as ‘mysigt’, or ‘really cosy’. At any time where darkness falls, do this, especially when eating, even if you can’t see your quick cook pasta with ketchup.

darkdining

10. Schedule your washing time.

It’s a Swedish thing, tvättstugatid, or ‘booked washing machine time’ – because if you live in an apartment in Sweden, you have shared laundry rooms. Feel more Swedish by doing this at home – just write a note and stick it to your washing machine. Put all your clothes in a blue ikea bag, go to the machine at your allotted time and loudly sigh when you find your flatmate has rudely taken the machine when you’ve so Swedishly pre-booked it. 3 points.

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11. Announce when you need to pee.

It really is a thing. At a board meeting in the city? Stand up and confidently announce: “Jag musta kissa” (I need to wee), leave the room and do not look the least bit embarrassed. You’ve just earned 5 Swedify points, my friend.

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12. It’s Friday night. Your friends are going out.

You plan to stay in and do Cosy Friday, Fredagsmys . This involves opening a large bag of dill crisps, adding these to a large bowl. Make some ‘dip mix’ (mix spices with exotic names such as holiday mix with crème fraiche; stir) and dip every crisp before eating. Don’t forget to do all this in the darkness.

For extra Swede points, start every Friday evening by eating homemade tacos. Only ever do this on Fridays, tacos are only for Fridays.

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13. It’s Saturday. You go to the shop and buy a bag of pick’n’mix.

Because from now on, you only eat sweets on Saturdays and you refer to it as Lördagsgodis: Saturday sweets (by definition, you then can’t eat it on other days). Stay in and watch things like På Spåret, which is the best thing on Swedish TV, except for Melodifestivalen (Swedish Eurovision). Don’t forget to tell everybody you hate Eurovision, but watch it anyway.

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14. Sports

Anytime anyone says anything about football, realise you can’t really compete, but just add at the end of every sentence:
“We have this guy called Zlatan. We don’t need a full team to win anymore”.

At any other given opportunity, explain the off side rule for handball or ice hockey into conversation to give yourself the edge on Swedish Popular Sports.

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15. Keep fit like a Swede.

When you realise that 2 buns a day isn’t going to be guilt free, take up any or all of the following:
Skiing, cross country skiing, walking, hill walking, stick walking, Nordic walking, stock Nordic walking, dog walking, walking Nordic dogs… Or anything that requires you to go outside and get rosy cheeks on two legs. During these outdoor pursuits, do not engage in conversation with strangers, other than a quick ‘dag’ grunt. Always make sure you wear a mössa, a woolly hat.

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16. Queuing

If you need to queue, do it like a Swede. At bus stops, ensure at least 2 safety metres between you and the closest stranger to you. Do not make conversation, not even about the weather. Ask your local shop to re-install the ticket queuing machines that went out of fashion here in 1987 – because Swedes need these so they don’t have to stand in line (see issue with bus stop queuing and safety metres). See point 4, if in doubt of this particular practise.

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Congratulations, you are now a bit more Swedish.

Fancy some Swedish food to complete your Swedification?

Get 10% off your first order – just enter ‘scandilife10’ at checkout.  

 

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