Monthly Archives: April 2018

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.
    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.
    4. Snoronga (Swedish, has Danish and Norwegian equivalents) – Lit. Snot child – someone snotty and spoilt; a brat.
    5. Klaptorsk (Danish) – Lit. Clapping cod – Someone doing something very stupid; much like a cod attempting to clap .
    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.
    8. Skitstövel (Swedish) – Lit. Shit boot – someone full of shit.
    9. Kronidiot (Norwegian) – Lit. Crown idiot – As stupid as you can get. The leader of the idiots.
    10. Korkad (Swedish) – Lit. Corked – Someone stupid.
    11. Bytting (Norwegian) – Lit. Swapee (ie. Being swapped) – someone so stupid or evil you think they have been swapped for someone from the underworld.
    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



WIN ScandiKitchen Summer Cookbook

April 20, 2018 | Leave a comment


WIN ScandiKitchen Summer Cookbook

The sun is finally here and we’re celebrating by giving away one of our fancy new ScandiKitchen Summer cookbooks, signed by Bronte Aurell. Oh, and we may just include some Scandi sweet treats, too, for the winner.

Swedish Mess

Danish breakfast rolls

You can buy signed copies of the book here 

To be in with a chance to win, all you have to do is answer this ridiculously easy question:

Which of these is not a famous Scandinavian singer?

1. Sigrid
2. Peter Schmeichel
3. Zara Larsson

Send your answer to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before Tuesday 24/4/2018 and we’ll pick a winner at random from all correct entries.

Terms: UK residents only (it’s a legal thing, guys), one entry per email, winner will be picked at random. No prize alternative, no cash value. No cheating.

ScandiKitchen Summer is published by RPS. Photographs by Pete Cassidy.


You Know it is 17th May When…

April 18, 2018 | Leave a comment

    • You skip out of bed at 6 to be at a Champagne breakfast at 7.


    • You happily prance around in a heavy wool dress and your least comfortable shoes. And since it was a gift when you were 15, chances are it is a little tight around the middle, too.
    • You read several articles on how to dress for the big day – all in red white and blue, of course. Otherwise people may think you don’t take it seriously.


    • You plan a menu around the same colour scheme. Yep, very festive!

      picture via matprat.no


    • You happily iron shirts and polish silver for the entire family, and curse silently that you didn’t do this sooner.


    • You spend half a day either walking in or watching a parade whilst singing ‘Ja Vi Elsker’, then refuel on hotdogs, ice cream and more bubbles. Congrats!
      17mai parade norway


    Smash – Choc Covered Corn Snacks 3 x 100g
    £8.97 £7.99
    Freia Melkesjokolade Walters Mandler – Milk Chocolate with Almonds 250g
    Noras Hjemmelaget Jordbærsyltetøy – Strawberry Jam 400g
    Tine Norvegia – Mild Cheese 500g
    Cocktail Flag – Norwegian – 20-pack
    Norwegian Lomper 10-pack – Soft Potato Flatbread 260g
    Tine Gudbrandsdalen Brunost – Brown Cheese 250g
    Rated 5.00 out of 5
    Ringnes Solo – Orange Soft Drink 330ml
    Rated 5.00 out of 5
    Toro Vafler – Waffle Mix 246g
    Nidar Stratos – Bubbly Milk Chocolate Bar 65g
    Idun Tomatketchup – Tomato Ketchup 530g

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

23 ways to annoy a Scandinavian person

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23 ways to annoy a Scandinavian person

We’ve updated our list which now includes no fewer than 23 ways on how to annoy us. So, if you ever find the need to want to really get to one of us, this is a helpful start. Proceed with caution.

1. Sweden, Norway and Denmark, it’s all the same, right?

Not right. Different countries, cultures and languages. Yes, really, and don’t make it worse by tilting your head to one side and saying ‘oh really?!’ as if you don’t believe us.

(Finland is sometimes included, but officially, it’s not really Scandinavia).

2. Ah, you’re Dutch, are you?

When you insist that Danes are Dutch. As in: “Oh, I love Copenhagen, I always wanted to go to Holland for my holidays”.


3. Ah, you’re Swiss? Sweden, right?

No, Swedish, like ABBA and Volvos. The Swiss have cheese with big holes, an army with small knives. We have blondes and meatballs. They speak five languages, not one of which is Swedish.

4. Do you have polar bears in Oslo?

Sure thing. They also roam the streets of Copenhagen. Some of us keep them as pets, next to our penguins.

5. Scandinavian? Do you eat herring, like, all the time?

No, we mostly eat sharks and whales, covered in liquorice.

6. When you sing the Swedish Chef song from Muppets.

When you go hurdy, gurdy bork bork bork, we die a little bit inside.

7. When you kill the cheese

Seriously, it’s a cheese, it needs to be respected. Get a proper cheese slicer and do NOT make a ski slope.

8. When you say: “To be honest, you don’t LOOK Swedish/Norwegian/Danish…”

I don’t? And you don’t look English, either.

9. “Ahh, you’re Swedish? I used to have a Norwegian girlfriend once…”

Fail. Go back to start and read point one.

10. When you don’t remove your shoes before entering our house

Because we don’t like dirt being dragged all over the house. It’s the ultimate sin.

11. Refuse our offer of coffee

Hva?! Don’t you like COFFEE? Don’t you know we drink more of it than anyone else in the entire world and we don’t know what to do if you don’t want coffee?

Our bodies are full of caffeine. It’s like a Eurovision final in our veins and we’re wired, from morning to night, from drinking litres of strong filter coffee. We even drink coffee at 9:30pm.

12. When you talk to us in a queue
This applies to any queue. Queues are not places for talking, they are places for not standing next to other people. Places to pretend people do not exist. A good approximate distance of 1 ½ metres minimum either side will do.

13. When you refuse to go outside because, well, THE WEATHER!

It’s just weather. There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes. Suck it up, dress for it and get out side.

Even worse: When you claim you can’t get to work because of snow/wind/rain/leaves/sun.

14. When you say: “You’re cold? But you’re Scandinavian!”

Yes, and we feel cold. Just like you, fellow humans. Our veins are not made of ice, they are filled with hot Eurovision coffee, remember?

15. “So, what do you all get up to in the sauna, then? You’re all really NAKED?”

Yes. We don’t have an issue with nudity. It’s really just skin. The sauna is for health reasons (And also for drinking home brew aquavit, but we’ll never tell you about that).

16. “And here’s your new bathroom, the sink has separate hot and cold taps…”

We are Scandinavian: this does not please us. We cannot function with separate hot and cold taps, we grew up with mixer taps and water at nice temperature… We invented Ikea and we are the kings of common sense design in houses.

See also: Showers with no water pressure, carpets in bathrooms, cold floors…

17. “Kvikklunsj, it’s just a KitKat, right?”

Say that to a Norwegian and they are unlikely to invite you for any more hygge candle evenings up at the Hytte (cottage). KitKat is nothing like a Kvikklunsj, except that it looks the same. It’s better, far superior and the taste test has been won more times than we care to remember. Don’t go there.

Photo: The Guardian

18. When you tell us we invented Hygge and Lagom just to be cool.

Ehh… you took our words and made candles, socks and underpants out of them.

See also: People who pronounce hygge to rhyme with jiggy (you’re dead to us)

19. When you question our milk consumption

It’s perfect normal to drink a massive glass of milk with your breakfast. And dinner.

20. When you laugh at Eurovision

We know that it clearly is one of the highlights of the year – alongside Christmas and Midsummer and all our birthdays put together.

Without Eurovision, you’d have no Waterloo, no Euphoria, no nada. Don’t knock it: We gave cheese to you guys. Be grateful.

21. When you schedule a conference call in the middle of our lunch hour. Which is at 11 am.

We like to lunch between 11 am and midday. It’s a thing.


22. When you forget to listen to how we REALLY are

Why ask us ‘How are you’ when you don’t mean it? We do not understand this.

It’s simple: “How are you?” And we reply. Yes, we’re happy to tell you about our dodgy knee, our unfortunate incident at Tesco’s and anything else on our minds. Why do you give us that polite nod? If you don’t want to know, don’t ask us.

23. When you’re late.

As a general rule, Scandinavians are on time. Every time. Not early, not late but on time. Dinner invites, meetings, work: Be ON TIME.

Did we forget any? Leave your comments below.

Salty Liquorice – Our Top Ten

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Liquorice – Our Top Ten

Liquorice – licorice – lakrids – lakrits – lakris; as we say in Scandinavia – dear child bears many names. It doesn’t really work in English, but the point is – we love liquorice.

Scandinavians’ love for salty liquorice is unparalleled. The stronger and saltier the better! As many of the better things in life – it takes a little practice to get used to. But once you’ve got the taste for salty liquorice there’s no going back.

A little bit of background info on Liquorice – liquorice, or licorice, comes from the liquorice root. It is basically a vegetable and counts towards your 10 a day. OK, not really (although if ketchup does..) – but it has in fact been hailed for its medicinal powers for centuries. Commercial liquorice is pretty far removed from its virtuous medicinal roots, but nevertheless worth knowing so you can console yourself if you overdo it on the black stuff. And did you know – pure liquorice is an astonishing 20 times sweeter than sugar? Now you do.

A reminder from our previous post about liquorice; when talking about salty liquorice what we usually refer to is Salmiakki. The word Salmiakki is a Finnish word. We prefer using that because the actual word is Ammonium Chloride, which doesn’t sound so nice. Ammonium Chloride is a powder that tastes salty, but isn’t the same salt as you sprinkle on your eggs in the morning. It’s this stuff that gives some of our liquorice the distinct edge – a salty/hot/spicy completely unique taste. But let’s just call it Salmiakki, shall we? Or saltlakrids, if you want to be specific about it.

Enough talk – let’s have some liquorice! Here are our top 10 liquorices in no particular order – we love them all.

Tyrkisk Peber

Probably the most famous Nordic liquorice, the recognisable blue bag with flames comes from Finnish Fazer. These babies are boilt liquorice sweets with a seriously salty powdery centre. Addictive to the point where you’ll need to restrain yourself to keep your mouth intact. Strong stuff. Aside from eating (too many) as they are, they are delicious to crush up and use in baked goods or a bottle of vodka – leave for a week or so for a delicious salty liquorice vodka. Great for shotting (famous last words).

Fazer Tyrkisk Peber bag web


Another classic –djungelvrål means jungle scream and the name is indicative of the saltiness of these little mongrels. Tiny and extremely salty these are delectable hits of intense Salmiakki – and once you get past the outer Salmiakki layer, the liquorice mellows into a sweeter, chewy hit. Don’t eat too many or you’ll end up with a sore mouth.Malaco Djungelvral 80gPiratos

A Danish classic, we are not quite sure why these are called Piratos (pirates) – perhaps because the sea is salt and dark? Erm we don’t know – let’s move on. Salty, chewy coin-shaped liquorice sweets that are less aggressive than the two above. They have been around for 40 years(!) and are still one of the most popular liquorice sweets out there.

Haribo Piratos 80gFranske Saltpastiller

‘French Salt Pastilles’ – these are dainty and pretty on the outside (perhaps that is why they are French? We don’t know). The cute exterior gives way to a lovely and slightly salty liquorice centre – this is a good beginner’s salty liquorice.

Lakrids by Johan Bulow

Danish gourmet liquorice made in small batches in their Copenhagen workshop. A truly premium product that comes in many varieties, both sweet and salty, with chocolate or without, and a range of limited editions depending on season. A great gift and an indulgent treat!

Salta Fiskar

Also known as Salta Sill; salty liquorice fish. Another classic and best seller, salty fish are a welcome addition in any liquorice lover’s pick’n’mix selection. Another good beginner’s choice – it is salty and strong without being too intense. Also they look nice.
Salty Liquorice Fish

Black Saltlakrids

Salty liquorice milk chocolate, oh my.. This is one for true lakriphiles (did we just make up a word?). The salty liquorice pairs beautifully with the smooth, sweet milk chocolate, and the result is a seriously addictive treat. May take a few bites to get used to, but the combination sweet, salty, creamy and crunchy liquorice and chocolate is truly irresistible. If you like salty liquorice, that is.
Marabou Saltakrits Ltd Edition 180g 1


Chalks! Every child’s favourite sweet, because it is perfect to play with. Great for fooling grown-ups with.. Just tell them they are actual chalks and you’ll get to keep the bag all to yourself. Past the innocent white exterior is a sweet, mildly salt chewy inside that is a genuine crowdpleaser. Our Rebekka loves these. LOVES them.

Skkolekridt / lakrifun



Tiny salty liquorice sweets in a handy box. Marketed as essential for a good singing voice. We haven’t noticed any improvements despite eating lots so we’re not sure this claim holds up – but delicious they are. Perfectly balanced between sweet and salty; a great introduction to salty liquorice. We like to keep a box handy in case of liquorice emergencies. Or, you know, for singing voice emergencies.
IFA saltpastiller 34g 1

Skipper Pipes

Pipes. Made of sweet, delicious liquorice. Under EU-review – these might be banned because of their resemblance to actual tobacco containing pipes. Awww EU, don’t be a kill-joy – these are just pure, liquoricey fun (actually, in light of Brexit, maybe we get to keep these after all, and become a liquorice pipe-haven?). Either way – we know, you shouldn’t play with your food – but to pop one of these in your mouth and pretend to be smoking a pipe? Go on, we know you want to…
Malaco Skipper's Pipes 8-pack 1

That is it – but far from all – to browse our extensive range of liquorice, visit our online shop here or come visit our central London shop (find us here).

Shop liquorice online
Visit our London café (contact details)

7 Random Facts About Aquavit

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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.

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