Monthly Archives: April 2014

Ten Scandinavian words that mean something a bit different in English…

April 28, 2014 | Leave a comment


At the end of every fairy tale, they all lived happily ever after. Slut. You also slut when you finish a phone call. It means ‘end’. If you change your settings on your iphone to Danish, Swedish or Norwegian, every call will end with a ‘slut’.


We have fart controls. We have fart hinders. Our lifts fart. As do our buses. Fart means speed.


A little prik will do. It means dot. You can also prik someone on Facebook and it means ‘poke’. But this isn’t 2008 so no prikking on Facebook.


We’ve got many slags of herring at ScandiKitchen. It means ‘type of’. Can also mean to beat or hit. Don’t slag me.


In Swedish, your laundry is known as your tvätt. Your washing powder could be ‘for all slags tvätt’.


There’s lots of slutspurting going on in the shops of Denmark and Sweden at sale time. It means ‘the final spurt’. It’s better than saying ‘end of sale’, isn’t it? In Sweden, it’s referred to as ‘Slut Rea’.


Nothing to do with boobs. It means ‘good’. But if you speak Scots or read The Broons, you already knew that, because it’s the same word in Glasgow too. Braw.


Titta ye not, because there’s no smut with this word in Sweden. It means ‘to watch’. People who watch TV are called ‘tittare’.

Kock / kok

You can be Head Kock in Sweden. Or a Master Kok in Denmark. But only if you can cook, because that’s what it means.


When a Swede has a kiss, it means they’re urinating. Remember that one.


How to be more Danish

April 24, 2014 | 8 Comments

Lots of little things makes someone really, really Danish… Here’s a few of our quirks.

Wear a lot of black.

For some reason, we still do this. Black trousers, tops, jackets.


Eat open sandwiches.

In the morning, topped with cheese and jam. Yes, jam. It’s a thing, this cheese and jam.


Lunch breaks: 11:00 am. This is how we like it. Please, non Danes, stop arranging meetings in the middle of our lunch, will you?

Get annoyed: Are you Dutch?

No. Danish. It’s not even next to each other. What’s wrong with you?

Throw the word “hygge” randomly into sentences, then pretend to try really hard to find an English translation. Yet again.


Never use the word please, with the excuse that “but we don’t HAVE a word for please in Danish” (we really don’t, you know…)


Test ANY non-Dane on whether they like salty liquorice – and laugh when they don’t (as you watch them squirm).


Have an awkward sense of humour and laugh at Nordic jokes such as “Do you know how to save a Swede from drowning? No? Good!” HarHarHarHar…

See also: making fun of everything Swedish. And Norwegian. And Icelandic. And German.  #hilarious


You don’t eat Swedish meatballs. Because they are SWEDISH. In Denmark, we eat DANISH meatballs. Don’t confuse the two. Danish meatballs are bigger and better and probably pays more tax and can balance on one leg whilst humming ‘Der Er Et Yndigt Land’.


Get excited when you see THIS. A bowl of some white soup with biscuits. If you’re Danish, you know this means: Summer. Cold, sweet buttermilk soup with delicious biscuits (Koldskål med kammerjunkere).


Have a flagpole in your garden and raise the Danish flag at every opportunity (Sundays, public holidays, birthdays, announcing you’re popping to the shops…). Add smaller Danish flags on sticks to your cakes, Christmas tree, window, walls. The more the more Danish you are.


If someone asks you how you are, be sure to really explain to them how you are really feeling. 


Top most food groups with a dollop of remoulade. Especially chips, beef, fish and hotdogs. And salami. And meatballs.

Remoulade is the best thing in the whole world.  Danes don’t bother with ketchup for their chips – it is all about remoulade.


Speak as you take an in-breath

As one of only a few languages, we sometimes speak on an in-breath, usually saying ‘yes’ (‘ja’).

Try it, it’s weird.

Always have one white sock over one trouser leg (or roll one trouser leg up, if not wanting to wear white socks over your all-black outfit). You never know when you might be going cycling. This way, you can be ready in a flash.


This is a word. It has many different meanings, depending on how you pronounce it:

  • Nå – short pronunciation = surprise
  • Nå-nå (two short pronounciations after eachother) = is that so?
  • Nåaaaaaaaa – Ohhh, so THAT’s how it is….

Learn the many more different ways of pronouncing ‘NÅ’ and you can pass for a Dane just using one word.

Do you know other ways that makes someone more Danish? We’d love to hear them…

Need a ‘Kransekake’ for 17th Mai?

April 22, 2014 | Leave a comment

Our good friend Karen is really good at making Kransekake / kransekage. In fact, she’s been making them for years. We don’t make them but we’re very happy to recommend you to speak to Karen.

Soon, Norway’s National Day is coming up – if you need a Kransekake for the event – or for any other Danish/Norwegian event – do get in touch with Karen and she can help you out.

17 Mai is drawing closer but you still have time to order your kransekake / kransekage.

Whether you want a small stack, a few fingers or the full 18-ring cake, Karen can provide you with a taste of home.

Karen will be taking orders until she’s booked up, so get in as early as possible.

For prices, see www.karens-kitchen.com/kransekake

FB: karenskitchenkransekake

Email: karenkitchen2@yahoo.co.uk

Tel: 07818 405501

Do tell her we sent you to her so she knows.

Bye for now

Easy Easter Smorgasbord – a guide

April 17, 2014 | Leave a comment

Easy Easter Smorgasbord

A traditional smörgåsbord doesn’t have to be complicated. It is, in essence, the Nordic version of a buffet, so as long as you follow a few traditional rules and know when to eat which bit, you won’t go wrong. We basically have the same smörgåsbord for every high season, with a few seasonal dish changes.

This version is designed so that you can shop and put it together in a morning, provided you’re organised about the whole thing. For this reason, we have provided UK supermarket equivalents for some ingredients, but if you do have time, pop by our shop and pick up the authentic Nordic essentials or make everything from scratch if you want to impress.


The basics

How to serve and arrange a smörgåsbord.

Laying the table: Arrange in the middle of the table or, if serving for many people, at a side serving table. Served as a lunch and should take around 2-3 hours to eat. The focus here is on slow eating and drinking, with much talking and being together.

Drinks: Lagers such as Tuborg and Carlsberg will provide authenticity – but any good bottled lager is fine. Wine is fine, but less traditional (wine really doesn’t go with herring and shots of aquavit).

Aquavit (aka snaps): We recommend shots of a good, super-chilled OP Andersson or Ålborg. Crisp and strong, they’re perfect partners for pickled herring. If you can’t get hold of aquavit, you can use chilled Absolut Vodka. Leave the bottle in the freezer for a good few hours before serving in shot glasses.


How to arrange the dishes

If arranging on a separate buffet table (recommended for 15 people or more), always arrange the fish at one end, starting with the herring, followed by any other fish dishes. Follow it with cold meats, then warm meats, side dishes and finally bread and butter. Cheese can be placed by the bread section or served separately at the end as a cheese board. Dessert is not brought out until the main smörgåsbord has been eaten. If arranging the food where people are sitting around a table, add all fish dishes first, then cold meats. Bring out any warm dishes as needed. The main thing is to let your guests know that they have to:

1) Always start with herring and aquavit (butter some rye bread or crisp bread, add a few slices of herring on top, eat with a knife and fork, drink a shot of aquavit, and everybody cheers together).

2) Once the herring is eaten, enjoy any other cold fish dishes – from prawns to salmon, egg with roe, and so on. Make your own little open sandwiches on the plate, but always use knife and fork. Never hands!

3) Sliced meats are next, and so on. Then repeat.

4) Warm dishes come next!

5) Replenish as you see fit throughout. We graze for hours, going back to our favourite sections again and again.

Plate arrangement

Arrange each seating with a large plate for main part of the meal and one small plate on top, for herring only. Herring has a very strong flavour, so once everybody’s done with it, the first plates are usually collected so the rest of the meal isn’t herring-flavoured. If you hate washing up or simply just love meatballs that taste of herring, knock yourself out.


We do like to sing a few songs as we drink our snaps. These are called ‘Snaps-visor’. After a couple of shots of aquavit, it is generally accepted that most people speak fluent Danish, even if they come from Middlesbrough and the closest they have been to Copenhagen is watching The Killing. Plenty of songs to be found on the internet. If you don’t fancy trying real Nordic songs, just pretend to be the Swedish Chef from the Muppets.

Every family has they own version and way to make a smörgåsbord. This is our version – make changes as you see fit. There is no smörgåsbord police (there might be smörgåsbord police in Sweden, actually).


ScandiKitchen’s Easy Easter Smörgåsbord for six people

Two kinds of herring

1 jar of Abba Mustard herring
1 jar of Abba Onion herring

Prawns and boiled eggs

6 hard boiled eggs, halved, placed on a serving dish. Add a bit of mayonnaise on each egg half and top with good quality prawns

Smoked salmon with lemon

Arrange about 60-70g of smoked salmon per person on a serving tray. Decorate with lemon wedges and a bit of fresh dill

Gravadlax Salad

Fold together in a bowl the following:

200g gravlax cured salmon cut into bite size pieces
150g cooked, cooled, sliced new potatoes
100g blanched asparagus cut in pieces
A handful of green peas
100g cooked, cooled green beans
8-10 halved cherry tomatoes
1-2 tablespoons of dill and mustard sauce
Arranged on a serving tray, top with chopped chives

Dill & mustard sauce:

You can make your own or get it from us – Dill & Mustard Sauce

Most UK supermarkets have some form of it too these days.

Sliced and cold meats tray

6 slices of good quality ham

12 slices of Danish salami (or whichever you prefer)

Pork liver pâté – we love Stryhns but you can go for a good quality UK version too – whichever you prefer.

Warm dishes

Meatballs. Always meatballs.

Make your own, or use a ‘Swedish Meatball’ variety from the supermarket to keep it simple – we would strongly recommend these from Swedish producer Per i Viken – they have a lovely mildly spiced taste that is just right.

In Sweden, we also eat a lot of ‘prinskorv’ mini sausages (heated) – these are always super popular with children.

We stock these, but you can get frankfurters in supermarket and cut to smaller pieces and serve alongside the meatballs

Where’s the lamb?

We actually don’t eat much lamb on the Easter buffet table. We agree that this does seem like a bit of an oversight. If you want lamb, have lamb. Make a small lamb roast and serve alongside the warm dishes. Lamb goes well with Jansson’s Temptation

Additional Side dishes

Choose as many of these to make as you fancy… (you do not need to make them all)

Beetroot Salad

      • 300g jar of drained beetroot, chopped
      • Mix with mayonnaise and crème fraîche until you have a pink creamy mixture.
      • Add salt, pepper, lemon juice (and sugar, if too tart). Leave to set.

Cheat: Get yours ready made instead, here’s our own  beetroot salad

New potato salad

500g of new potatoes, cooked and cooled, mixed with a simple vinaigrette and chopped red onion – here’s our recipe: Easy Potato Salad
Cheat: Buy a potato salad, but not the type drenched in mayonnaise

Jansson’s Temptation (warm)

A potato and cream gratin made with Swedish Grebbestads Ansjovis – here is our best recipe: Jansson’s Temptation

(Sorry – you can’t really substitute for regular anchovies – they have a completely different taste)

(approx. 1 hour prep time)

Cheat: Get a potato gratin at the supermarket. Add small amount of chopped Grebbestads Ansjovis before baking

Västerbotten Paj (warm)

Swedish cheese quiche – this one is our favourite and super easy to make: Vasterbotten Cheese Quiche

Cheat: Buy your favourite from the baker or the shop

Skagenröra (Swedish seafood salad)

      • 200g prawns and 200g crayfish trails, mix with chopped chives and chopped dill
      • Add a gentle helping of mayonnaise
      • Salt, pepper, finely chopped shallot. Combine.
      • Cheat: Add some chives and seasoning to a prawn mayonnaise.

Gubbröra (Egg and fish salad)

      • 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
      • Finely chopped shallot onion
      • 6 chopped fillets of Swedish Grebbestads Ansjovis OR chopped matjes herring (as preferred)
      • Chopped chives, pepper.

Mix together. Serve in a bowl.

If you prefer a creamier version, add a dollop of crème fraîche.

Egg & Roe

Arranged sliced, boiled eggs on a serving tray. Top with either Kalles Kaviar or dollops of lumpfish roe and finely chopped shallot onion.

Sauces, pickles, dressings (As needed).

Bowls of pickled cucumber, sliced pickled beetroot, Mustards, mayonnaises, remoulade. And whatever condiments you fancy.


Selection of crispbread (we love Leksands – and the big rounds are great to share)
Selection of sliced rye bread
Crusty white bread

Cheese selection

Our ideal cheese selection would be:

Västerbotten cheese 
Norwegian Brown Cheese
Riberhus Danish cheese
A good quality blue cheese

Cheat: Get whatever cheese you like.

Dessert (optional)

Cloudberry Mess

Arrange in each serving glass:

    • 1 lightly crushed meringue nest
    • 1 dollop of whipped cream
    • 1 scoop of good vanilla ice cream
    • Heat up some cloudberry jam – and pour 1 tbsp. hot jam on top just before serving.

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