Monthly Archives: January 2017

You know you’ve turned Scandi when….

January 27, 2017 | Leave a comment


You’re one of us, now…

You remove your shoes before entering any house. Your own or anyone else’s. Without being asked.

Start getting to work for 7:30 am.

You have lunch at 11:30 am. Get annoyed with anyone who tries to arrange meetings in the middle of your lunch break.

Be out of the office on time, every day. Do not stay a minute past 16:30.

Fika twice a day, every day. Together with other people, and never at your desk.

(Just look at how happy those random people in this stock photo is).

If you want to be mostly Danish, only every cycle everywhere, no matter the weather. Keep one trouser leg rolled up, just in case you need to get somewhere on your bike.

You’re never late for anything. Also, never early. Just on time. What is the point of having a time to be somewhere, if you don’t adhere to it?

Fridays mean Fredagsmys or Fredagskos/hygge – tacos, crisps, soft drinks, Netflix and chill. Who needs pubs when you can stay in, right?

Saturdays mean a big bag of pick’n’mix. Like a big huge bag. But only ever on Saturdays. Refer to it is ‘Lördagsgodis’.

Start lunch with a piece of bread with little herrings on it. Automatically pour yourself a cold shot of aquavit to enjoy with it. Before you drink it, always look everyone in the room in the eye. Down in one.

Every meal table has a plate with a big lump of cheese on it. Just sitting there, alongside whatever else you are eating. Never allow others non-initiated-Scandies to slice it because they might do it wrong. Only slice it like a Scandi: Keep it level. Photo below = cheese crimes of the WORST kind.

Salty liquorice becomes a thing you MUST have. And when you cannot, you will seek it out at any cost. Also, it becomes fun to make other people try it and watch them squirm (see picture).

Add dill to things. Lots of dill. Potatoes, salmon, dips, crisps, waffles. Whatever, just add dill. The more the better.

Hotdogs become little rituals of how to do the topping right. Danish? Red dogs, Raw onions, pickled, remoulade. Swedish? You’re adding prawn mayo on top. AND Ketchup. Norwegian? Wrap it in a potato pancake.

Your London flat has become a collection place for a lot of lamps. More lamps than you have space for, you throw out other possessions to make room. Clean lines, simple furnishings and a lot of lamps to create ‘good atmosphere’.

On any spare surface, add candles to compliment your lamps. Lots of candles. Light them at every opportunity, to create even more atmosphere.

Weekend? You go walking. Just walking, with no purpose other than to walk. In fact, you’re so Scandi, you walk everywhere now. Even better if there’s snow.

You say things like ‘This is not cold.” And “No such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes”. Also, you have replaced your handbag with a practical backpack and your coat with a practical jacket.

You’re one of us, now.

Semla Season – Everything You Need To Know

January 26, 2017 | Leave a comment


Semla Season – 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;


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.

Remoulade – King of the Cupboard

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Danish Remoulade – An Introduction

Remoulade is usually being credited the French, but we think the Danes deserve most of the credit for the everyday version (don’t tell the French, s’il vous plaît). The everyday version is the kind you keep on hand for any piece of breaded and fried fish, for topping your hot dogs, burgers, or open sandwiches in need of some extra oomph. Try mixing it with diced chicken and apple for a lovely sandwich topper.

If you haven’t tried it, let us explain the wonders of this fancy-sounding sauce. Pale yellow in colour, with a mild flavour combining sweet, tangy, spicy and savoury. Often containing finely minced pickles, cabbage, mustard and spices – it is a prime example of something bigger than the sum of its parts that is hard to explain properly. If you have ever had a British fish & chips – it is a milder, creamier  and altogether more delicious alternative to the tartar sauce that often comes with it.

Danish Mayo – A Cupboard Essential

January 24, 2017 | Leave a comment

Danish Mayonnaise & How to Enjoy It

Ask any Dane, and they will tell you Danish mayo is superior to all other mayo. Now, critical minds may say they are biased, but Danes do have a unique relationship with their mayo. It is not only used on their fab open sandwiches, paired with a variety of things, each combination more stunning than the other.

  • Mayo and prawns with a squeeze of lemon
  • Mayo and potato, chives and crispy onions
  • Mayo and salami
  • Mayo and egg, perhaps with tomato and parsley.
  • Mayo and everything – oh yes. Just be sure to consult the Danes so you don’t violate any open-sandwich rules (there are many and they are complex).

Another thing you may come across in Denmark is chips served with mayo. Not ketchup, but mayo. Not Danish mayo though, but the kind you find everywhere – Hellmann’s or the like. Smooth and mild, mayo’s creaminess complements the crispy salty chips perfectly. Frankly, we’re shocked no one else have thought of this before. Danes, we salute you. Now pass us the mayo, we’ve got chips coming – but please save the good stuff for your sandwiches.


Brown Cheese – Gudbrandsdalsost – A Norwegian Staple

January 20, 2017 | Leave a comment

Brown Cheese – Everyday Hero #4

This is the fourth of six posts – each presenting one of our favourite everyday products. The things we eat again and again and that always provide a taste of home.

Brown cheese is something unique to Norway. Not very cheese-like at all, but as essential for your stereotypical Norwegian fridge. Referred to and sold as ‘brown cheese’, ski queen, goat’s cheese, geitost, caramel cheese, toffee cheese – you get the drill. Lots of names for something initially made to avoid wasting the by-product of cheese making, whey.

It comes in several varieties – the most famous is the red Gudbrandsdalsost, made from a mix of goat’s and cow’s milk, flotemysost, made from cow’s milk alone – this is milder in flavour and a dessert in itself , and Geitost. Geitost is made from 100% goat’s milk and has a sharper, richer flavour than the other – the connoisseur’s choice, if you’d like.

Brown Cheese Brunost Geitost Banner

All types go very well on fresh, still warm, bread – with a little dollop of raspberry jam or a drizzle of honey on top. A slather of salted butter underneath and prepare yourself for a cheese-nirvana. Or, take it one step further and make heart shaped waffles. A match made in Norway and loved everywhere. Oh, and if you know any homesick Norwegians – get them one of these.


How to swear in Scandinavia

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How to swear (a little bit)

Look, it’s not our job to educate you on the worst swear words. That simply isn’t a nice thing to do. We do live in Britain, after all, where swearing is frowned upon. So, we’ve made a little handy list of the most common, less offensive ways to adding bad Scandi words to your everyday life, if this is what you’re after. 

You can start with these and then move on to the strong stuff, if you so fancy. These words are, by and large, relatively safe to attempt and will bring giggles from your attempts in our native languages, rather than a slap in the face. We hope.


  1. Add ‘shit’ in front of everything – the word is ‘skide’ (soft d). Anything you add ‘skide’ in front of becomes negative. Skide-work, skide-cleaning, skide-everything. Although if you add skide in front of the word ‘godt’ it means shitty-good, which is a really positive thing.
  2. Satan. The devil. ‘For Satan’ means for the devil. It’s okay to say this in front of grandma, she probably does that, too. Sentence: Aj, for Satan, hvorfor blew Trump president? (‘For the devil, how did Trump become president’?). You can also use ‘for fanden’ which means the same but it’s a nicer word to say ‘devil’ than using the name Satan. If you want to be really nice about it, replace Satan with ‘Søren’ which is a guy’s name. Poor Søren.
  3. Kraftedeme. This is a baddie that you shouldn’t really use because it literally means ‘cancer eat me’ – it’s awful to say such a thing, so people don’t. Except they do when they forget what it really means, because its such an old saying that people don’t always remember. Used to emphasise a point, as it ‘I kraftedeme don’t want to go to work to day’. People have mostly forgotten the origin of the word, so anyone who does use it likely won’t link it to illness.
  4. Pis.  This just means ‘piss’. Everything can be ‘pis’. Just used on it’s own. ‘Argh, I missed the re-run of Eurovision on telly. Pis!’
  5. Rend mig i røven! – this basically means f*ck off. Literally, it means ‘run to my ass’ but it’s used as a way to say f*ck off.

It’s worth noting that for some reason, Danes (including people on Danish radio and also really young kids – even aged around 5-6) have adopted to swearing in English, using mainly the words f*ck and sh*t. This sounds incredibly rude to a British person, but to Danes, the words means very little so they carry on and dollop a good unhealthy dose of F*ck and Sh*t in their every day language. To most ex-pat Danes returning to Denmark after a few years in Blighty, this means there is a month long period of re-adjustment where they spend most of their time in toe-cringing situations when the guy at the local super market uses the word f*ck to describe being out of bacon flavoured crisps. It is entirely normal, though, to swear in English in Denmark.

Because it has no meaning in the Danish language, kids also swear at school, at home and to their grandmother – in English. They’d likely never do it in Danish, though.

You may encounter the expression “f*ck dig” which is the Danish way of saying ‘f*ck you’, except in a way that doesn’t really mean anything.

Yes, we know. Un-curl those toes now, it is perfectly normal.


  1. Fy flate (fy faen) – literally, for devil. Meaning shock/annoyed/angry expression (like English f*ck)
  2. Dra dit peppern gror (dra til helvete) – go to hell. You’re an idiot, go where the pepper grows.
  3. Helsikken (Helvete) – Similar to fy flate, shock/angry. ‘Helsikken heller, for en smorje!’ ‘Helsikken, what a mess!’ If you want someone to go to hell, which seems to be where most angry Norwegians send people, say Kjøss katta (kiss the katt, means go to hell) – mainly in northern parts of Norway. If you’re angry at someone up north, thell them to ‘Kiss the cat!’
  4. Søren klype (F*ck sake) – Søren (the name) is a change from Satan, like in Danish.
  5. Fy Farao – similar to fy flate – fuck.
  6. Fytti katta – A version of fy faen – Fytti (from fy, meaning bad/shame), the -tti added for emphasis or it could be for linguistic reasons, ending on -tti easier in many cases. Katta – the cat. So, here’s the cat again and this time he’s very bad. Similar to ‘f*ck’ – if your angry, ‘Fytti katta’.
All three languages have many similarities in their daily swearing and it is easy to see how connected we all are when you look at our less nice ways of saying things.
  1. Fan – the devil. Used all the time by Swedes. You may also hear Satan, which is stronger, but fan is everyday cursing. Is it bad? No, your boss might well use Fan. And your mother.
  2. Helvete – hell. Again, quite a normal ‘nice’ swear word in Swedish, that just means ‘hell’. Add it together with ‘fan’, though and you have a stronger curse – För fan i helvete! – For the devil in hell! – which would be ‘You missed the bus? For the devil in hell, how annoying’. ‘Dra åt helvete!’ means ‘go to hell’.
  3. Jävla – damn. Used in every day speak, it literally roots in ‘devil’, too. Yes, Scandinavians mainly swear about the devil, have you noticed? You can add jävla to everything. Jävla this and jävla that. Not too strong.  It’s usually the only Swedish curse words the Danes will know so they will add it to say ‘Jävla Svenskar’ and mutter this under their breath when they encounter a drunk Swede in a bar in Copenhagen. It makes them feel like they speak fluent Swedish and that the message has been well and truly delivered (Yes, we know. Sigh. But Danes…) ‘Din jävla idiot!’ is more freely translated: ‘You stupid idiot!’
  4. Skit. This means sh*t. Exactly like the Danish ‘skid’, except in Swedish, Skid mean to ski and has nothing to do with sh*t, but it does confuse Danes when they go skiing in Sweden and there are signs for the Skidskola (sh*t-school), but that’s another story altogether. Just as in Danish, ‘skit’ can use use in front of any word to make it negative (skit också – sh*t too) etc – and if you add ‘bra’ – which means ‘good’ – in front, meaning ‘really great’ (lit:  ‘shit-great’).
  5. Skitstövel: Lit. ‘shit-boot’. Offensive term used to describe a person, like “as*hole”, “f*cker”, or ‘bastard’.
  6. More specific words that are not nice include rövhul (asshole), kuk (c*ck), knullare (f*cker).
    It’s worth mentioning that both Swedes and Norwegians will also use English curse words frequently, but no where near as frequent as the Danish use them.

And that concludes our short helpful curse guide. We accept no responsibility for people getting annoyed with you for swearing in our languages.

WIN! A Big Lovely Scandi Fika Bundle

January 19, 2017 | Leave a comment

WIN! A Big Lovely Fika Bundle

Fika must be our all time favourite Swedish word. The concept of a little break in your day, with coffee and maybe something sweet, or even better – a conversation with someone you find interesting, is lovely. Just the right antidote to a hectic day-to-day.

So – this week, we’re giving you a chance to win a big bundle of everything you need. A selection of treats and pastries from Delicato, mini cinnamon buns (gifflar) and a big bag of pick’n’mix, a bag of our favourite Swedish coffee and a signed copy of ‘Fika & Hygge’.

Fika Bundle Prize

Fancy winning this and inviting your friends over for a little fika?  Just answer this simple question for a chance to win..

Fika is a word most commonly used in…

      1. Denmark
      2. Norway
      3. Sweden

Send you answer by email by lunchtime of Tuesday 24th January; to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk.

We’ll pick a winner at random – the winner will be contacted directly.

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

Good luck!

the Kitchen people x

Makrell i Tomat – ‘Plane Crash’ – A Fishy Favourite

January 18, 2017 | Leave a comment

Stabburet Makrell i Tomat – Everyday Hero #3

This is the third of six posts – each presenting one of our favourite everyday products. The things we eat again and again and that always provide a taste of home.

The stereotypical Norwegian diet is largely assumes as ‘fish and potatoes’ – and whilst not entirely true, Norwegians are indeed fond of fish and seafood, both for availability, tradition, taste and health-boosting reasons. There’s fish cakes, fish pudding, kaviar – creamed cod roe, sardines, mackarel and salmon – all common breakfast or sandwich toppers. The most famous, and perhaps the best loved, is the iconic yellow tin of mackarel in tomato sauce.

Makrell i Tomat - mackarel in tomato stabburet

Nicknamed ‘plane crash’ by children (we won’t go into why), this little tin is a tasty combo of rich mackarel fillets in a thick tomato sauce. Delicious on bread or crispbread, and filling and healthy too. Topped with crunchy cucumber (or mayo, if you are so inclined), it is a wonderful meal any time of day (just beware of the mackarel breath – bring gum).

We’re fans – a super easy way of upping your intake of fish and Norwegianise your cupboards (we know you want to).  Here’s a simple recipe to get you started – Mackarel Open Sandwich.

Recipe: Swedish Cheesecake (Ostkaka)

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Swedish Cheesecake (Ostkaka)

If you're looking for one of those sweet Americans style cheesecakes, forget it. This is the much less sweet Swedish version - 'Ostkaka' - which simply means cheesecake. It is a really old Swedish traditional favourite, first mentioned in the 16th century - it's that old. The original version requires you to go buy some rennet and make milk curds from scratch, but cottage cheese works well too, so that's what I use in my version. Indeed, most people use cottage cheese nowadays except purists. I'd say this cheesecake is not dissimilar to the ones you get in Northern Spain, in the Basque Country - and, like the Spanish ones, work well with a glass of sweet sherry on the side. This recipe is naturally gluten free. This cheesecake is served lukewarm, never cold and never hot. Most people enjoy it with a dollop of strawberry or cloudberry jam on top, although I prefer a quickly made compote and some fresh berries. The recipe fits a standard brownie tray, approx 20 x 20 or similar, but you can use any sort of dish or even a spring form. Just don't forget to line the dish.
Course: Baking
Cuisine: Swedish
Keyword: cakes
Author: Bronte Aurell


  • 3 eggs
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 400 g natural cottage cheese
  • 100 ml double cream
  • 50 g ground almond
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar or vanilla bean paste
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp almond essence optional
  • 50 g flaked almonds
  • dusting of ground cardamom

For the topping:

  • 125 g raspberries
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • dash of water


  • Turn the oven to 160 degrees celsius fan (170 degrees normal).
  • Whisk the sugar and egg until light and fluffy. Add all the ingredients apart from the flaked almonds and cardamom and pour into your prepared tin.
  • Scatter the flaked almonds on top, then dust the tiny bit of ground cardamom (less than 1/2 tsp - it's just for a bit of flavour).
  • Place in the oven and bake until set and slightly golden on top. This depends on your oven - but around 30-40 mins is a good guideline.
  • To make the topping: Place 100g raspberries in a saucepan, add the sugar and a dash of water and boil until the raspberries have broken down and it looks like a runny jam. Leave to cool. Use the remaining berries to decorate.

Swedish Lingonberry Jam – The All-Rounder

January 16, 2017 | Leave a comment


Rårörda Lingon – Everyday Hero #2

This is the second of six posts – each presenting one of our favourite everyday products. The things we eat again and again and that always provide a taste of home. Read the first one here.

Across the world, Swedes are known for a handful of things. Flat-pack furniture, pretty girls and meatballs. But Swedish meatballs, like any great contender, is nothing without its supporting act – the lingonberry jam. Lingonberry jam comes in a range from thick and sweet to bursting with almost-fresh little morsels of red tanginess. Our favourite to enjoy with dinner is the freshly stirred version – light and bright and excellent with rich, savoury meatballs and cream sauce.

Lingonberries grow en masse in the wild across Sweden and Norway, and are as essential as salt and pepper for many. The nearest comparison for the rest of the world are cranberries, which are slightly more sour and less bitter than lingonberries – and usually prepped with a lot more sugar than its Scandi counterpart.

Our vote goes to lingonberries – so next time you’re in the mood for meatballs, add a dollop of Sweden’s favourite condiment to enjoy the way it should be.

Fancy some? Place your order today (we sell meatballs, too) – and get ready for a taste revelation.


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