Q

Monthly Archives: July 2018

Compost, Recycle, Re-use

July 27, 2018 | Leave a comment

Did you know? The take-away coffee cups we use in the café are 100% compostable. Yep, that includes the cups themselves, the lids and the stickers we use, too. So do us (and the planet) a favour and put them in the food bin, will you? It is not a new thing – we have been doing it for almost 8 years because.. well it just made sense, then as now.

Even better, bring your own cup and we’ll use that! Really good coffee in your favourite mug (you know, the one that says ‘I <3 Spreadsheets’) is an everyday kinda luxury.

 


 

Order online? We try to keep things as simple as possible here too – the cardboard and the paper we use is all recyclable.

Bubble wrap – recyclable in some areas, you better check with your local council.

Polystyrene (if you order frozen items) is recyclable in some areas – you’d better check with your local council.

The big ice packs can be reused as often as you like – here are some good ideas from the maker of them: https://www.icertech.co.uk/packaging-coolant-guide/

Don’t need them anymore? You can recycle the plastic – but the gel inside has to go in the bin for now. Do not pour it down the sink as it can block your drains.

If you order chilled food we also include ice packs to keep the food fresh. These can be re-frozen and re-used as long as they are not damaged, in which case, for now, they have to go in the bin.

Recipe: How to make the best ever real Scandi Cinnamon buns

July 19, 2018 | Leave a comment

Real Scandi cinnamon buns

We call them Kanelbullar, or just bullar (buns). In Danish, Kanelsnurrer – twists – or snegle, snails. We eat these with our coffee, late mornings or afternoons. It’s the treat you see in all Scandi coffee shops. It’s our favourite thing, ever. 

So, here are some facts: Real cinnamon buns, the ones Mamma makes at home, are made using a yeast dough, not a laminated dough. Real buns are strong, full of cardamom and cinnamon. Real buns don’t have icing on them. There are as many different buns in the world as there are people who make them. This is because the essential ingredient in cinnamon buns is love. Yes, love. Everybody bakes differently, and adds some of themselves in the kneading, so the result is… Buns that taste the way they were made. Why do you think Mamma’s buns are always best?
 I’ve been making buns since I could find my way around the kitchen. The recipe has evolved and grown, but always I go back to the same things: Good cardamom, lots of spice, lots of love and never skimp on the butter. This recipe makes a big batch of buns. You can halve it, but if you have a freezer, I say don’t bother: make a full batch, freeze some and pop them in the lunch box or simply just take one out and wait 20 mins and you have a lovely bun with your afternoon coffee. Alternatively, give some warm buns to your neighbours. Trust me, as long as you put a bit of love into it, they’ll love you forever. Kanelbullar really are a magic currency all of their own. 
Servings: 36 Buns
Author: Bronte Aurell

Ingredients

Bun Dough:

  • 50 g fresh compressed yeast (or 26g active dried yeast granules).
  • 500 ml whole milk heated to 36–37°C (97–99°F) – no more or the yeast will die
  • 150 g butter melted and cooled slightly
  • 80 g caster/granulated sugar
  • 900-1000 g white strong bread flour
  • 3 generous teaspoons ground cardamom I like it strong – and use freshly ground
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg beaten

Filling:

Instructions

  • Cream all the ingredients for filling together until smooth and set aside.

Make the dough:

  • If using fresh yeast, add the luke warm milk to your mixing bowl in a stand mixer and add the yeast; stir until dissolved.
  • (If using active dry yeast (granules), pour the warm milk into a bowl, sprinkle in the yeast and whisk together. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes to become bubbly. Pour into the bowl of a food mixer fitted with a dough hook).
  • Start the machine and add the cooled, melted butter. Allow to combine with the yeast for 1 minute or so, then add the sugar and mix for a minute.
  • In a separate bowl, weigh out 800g of flour, add the cardamom and salt and mix together. Start adding the flour and spices into the milk mixture, bit by bit. Add the beaten egg. Keep kneading for 5 minutes.
  • You may need to add more flour – you want the mixture to end up a bit sticky, but not so much that it sticks to your finger if you poke it. It is better not to add too much flour as this will result in dry buns – and you can always add more later. The mixture has enough flour when it starts to let go of the sides of the bowl.
  • Once mixed, leave the dough in a bowl and cover with a clingfilm. Allow to rise for around 30 minutes – or until it has doubled in size (this time can vary depending on the temperature in your kitchen).
  • Dust a table top with flour and turn out the dough. Using your hands, knead the dough and work in more flour if needed. Cut the dough into two equal pieces and using a rolling pin, roll out one lump of dough to a 40 x 50 cm/16 x 20 in. rectangle.
  • Using a spatula, spread the filling across the dough in an event, thin layer.

Traditional Swirls:

  • Simply roll the dough lengthways into a long roll and cut into 15-16 pieces, place on a lined baking tray, and leave – covered – to rise for another 20 minutes. Repeat with the remaining lump of dough.

Beautiful Twists:

  • Want to make cinnamon bun twist, like in the photo? Just scroll down to see how to twist (video at the bottom of the page). The twists are shown at around 4 minutes in.
  • Roll out the dough, and fold it once you have spread the filling on it. Make sure it is even and flat – then using a pizza cutter, cut out even sized strips. Hold one end of the dough while you twist the dough back on itself and allow it to roll into a twist. Always make sure the ends are tucked underneath or they will unravel during baking. Leave to rise for a further 20 mins before brushing with egg.

Bake:

  • Heat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius (fan). Brush the buns lightly with beaten egg, then bake for 7-9 minutes or until golden and done. Watch it, they can burn easily and different ovens vary in temperature: My oven bakes these on 180C fan in 8 minutes.
  • While they are baking, heat the golden syrup and date syrup in a pan until warm and liquid. If you cant get hold of date syrup, just use golden –but Date syrup does add a lovely flavour to the buns.
  • When the buns come out of the oven, immediately brush lightly with the syrup, then add pearl sugar (nibbed sugar) on top of the buns and cover with a quite damp tea towel. The tea towel stops the buns from going dry and forming a crust – leave it on there for at least five minutes.
  • If you cannot get hold of nib sugar (pearl sugar), you can use chopped hazelnuts etc instead as an alternative.
  • The buns last only for 24-36 hours – as with all fresh bread – so freeze as soon as they have cooled down if you cant eat 36 buns in one go.

Notes

Note for cardamom and cinnamon: buy the seeds (already de-podded) online and grind as you need, using a spice grinder (you can do it by hand, but its hard work). Or buy pre-ground, but it loses potency quickly. For cinnamon, never skimp on the quality – buy good ground cinnamon – the cheap stuff is not great and you need lots more to get a good flavour.

[/vc_column_text]

How to make perfect cinnamon twists

[/vc_column][/vc_row]

Crayfish: 7 Random Facts

July 16, 2018 | Leave a comment

7 Random Facts About Crayfish

Interesting, useful and impressive all the same. Now just wait for those crayfish questions next pub quiz.

  1. Across the world, there are several types of crayfish – and they go under various (more or less common) names; mud bug, crawdad, crawfish and crayfish. In Swedish, they’re called ‘kräftor’.
  2. In Sweden, a crayfish party is referred to as a ‘kräftskiva’ and stems from the 1930s – although crayfish has been popular food in Sweden since the 1500s.
  3. Until 1994, there were laws dictating when you were allowed to fish for crayfish – after over-fishing in the 1800s led to significantly lower crayfish numbers. These days good export means you can have it year round, but in Sweden it is still an ingrained August-September (end of summer) event.
  4. Crayfish parties vary from smaller gatherings of you, your cousin and his friend, to massive street parties with thousands of crayfishinados. Most common in Sweden and the Swedish-speaking part of Finland, but also popular in Norway.
  5. Crayfish season unofficially starts the first Wednesday in August.
  6. When attending a crayfish party, you will be expected to wear a crayfish bib (useful), a crayfish hat (makes you look silly), use crayfish napkins, be surrounded by crayfish garlands and various crazy looking man-in-the-moon lanterns.
  7. Aquavit is a must at crayfish parties – the rule is one shot per claw (make them small or you’ll be experience the infamous ‘drunken legs’ before you know it).Skål!
    Image result for kraftskiva

Recommended product

    Pandalus Kräftor – Crayfish in Dill Brine 1kg
    £15.99 £12.99
    Norrmejerier Västerbottensost – Mature Cheese 33% 450g
    £9.99 £9.00
    Pågen Kanelgifflar – Mini Cinnamon Buns 260g
    £2.39
    Leksands Normalgraddat – Rye Crispbread 830g
    £5.59
    Reimersholms OP Anderson 40% – Aquavit 700ml
    £31.49

How To – Crayfish Party

July 15, 2018 | Leave a comment

How to host a Crayfish Party

  1. Invite a bunch of friends over to yours.
  2. The setting: Outside in the fresh air, ideally – but if you have to be inside, decorate with lots of greenery and bring the outdoors inside. This is a celebration of the last of summer.
  3. Get the crayfish: a good guide is around 500g per person (1 box is a kilo). Defrost for 24 hours in fridge before using. Decorate with fresh dill sprigs.
  4. Hats, bibs and serviettes and man in the moon lanterns all add to the festive feelings. Bibs are practical, hats just make you look silly.
  5. What to serve? Bowls of crayfish, VästerbottenCheese tart, some nice salads (beetroot salad and potato salad are good choices). Crusty bread and crispbread on the side – with more cheese (Västerbotten is the traditional choice) on the side. Some dips and dressings – mayonnaise, aioli and romsås. If you’re worried there won’t be enough food, just add some Smorgasbord essentials such as meatballs, smoked salmon, herring and sliced meats.
  6. is a must. Little shots are essential – one per claw, the Swedes say, but mind how you go on the strong stuff, it tends to affect people from the feet and up. Singing is not optional – it adds to the mood. Swedish language skills improve greatly as the evening goes on.
  7. Music: Sing-a-long-stuff works. ABBA is a must!

Recommended products

    Pandalus Kräftor – Crayfish in Dill Brine 1kg
    £15.99 £12.99
    Norrmejerier Västerbottensost – Mature Cheese 33% 450g
    £9.99 £9.00
    Leksands Normalgraddat – Rye Crispbread 830g
    £5.59
    Nils Oscar God Lager 5.3% – Beer 330ml
    £2.39
    Hallands Flader 38% – Aquavit 700ml
    £34.99

The Crayfish Season

| Leave a comment

Crayfish Season

Picture this: a little, red wooden house set by a calm, blue lake that sparkles silver from the rays of the summer sun. Rolling green hills and never ending meadows full of wild flowers and berries, surrounding everything and everyone on pure postcard bliss.  Welcome to the picture perfect Swedish late summer evening and welcome to the Crayfish Season: it’s time for Kräftskiva (or, if you’d rather: a somewhat messy event involving lots of crustaceans and hard liquor).

Every year in August, Finnish and Swedish people all over the world get excited by the start of the crayfish season. The timing of the season is founded in local law which dictates that Scandinavian freshwater crayfish must only be fished in late summer and early autumn. Although in this time of easy imports where crayfish is available all year round, tradition still holds strong and the season is very much part of the Swedish and Finnish calendar of events, thirdly only to Midsummer and Eurovision.

Crayfish was first mentioned by Aristotle back in the really old days but as a delicacy its big break came in the 1800’s when Monsieur Napoleon developed a thing for the ‘écrevisses’ and got the whole of France hooked as a result. Initially crayfish were plentiful in rivers and lakes all across central and northern Europe, but as this gastronomic trend spread across the continent, the crayfish stock was in steep decline. A lethal pest almost wiped out the entire stock in the early 1900’s and local laws were quickly introduced to limit the availability of the delicacy thus saving it from extinction.

Today most crayfish in the world is farmed, although the ultimate delicacy for a crayfish party is still locally sourced Swedish or Finnish beauties. These are seriously pricey, though, so most people settle for the almost-just-as-good imported, cooked and quickly frozen type, usually imported from China, Turkey or other fancy far-away places. Alternatively, if you happen to have your own Swedish lake handy, you can opt for some night time fishing with wire traps – these buggers are nocturnal and will do much to avoid your dinner plate.

The difference between crayfish you buy at your local fishmonger outside Sweden is that the Scandinavian kind is cooked in a brine sauce of dill, then some dill and a bit more dill thrown in for good measure. Crayfish is, like lobster, cooked alive (sorry if you are vegetarian and reading this) which is why most people who do not have access to live crustaceans tend to buy the frozen kind – these have been cooked to the Scandinavian recipe already and all you need to do is remove from freezer and wait a while.

6a00e5521f4a6888340191047b8c32970c

So, how do you go about celebrating the humble crayfish, Scandinavian style? A traditional Kräftskiva, or Rapujuhlat as it is called in Finland, typically starts late afternoon or early evening. A long table, which is usually outside in the garden or park, is decorated with colourful tablecloths; there are silly special crayfish party hats and bibs available for all guests to wear (surprisingly, with pictures of crayfish on them), lanterns depicting the Man in the Moon as well as festive crayfish cut-out garlands.

The crayfish is served cold in a big bowl on the table, lovingly decorated with some more dill. Eating crayfish is a long process: a crayfish party can last well into the night, so mountains of toasted, white bread is also served to ensure the aquavit is soaked up along the way. It’s always preferable that the guests don’t end up too wobbly too quick and get ideas about skinny dipping and sing-songs before time.

Blocks of the infamous Västerbotten cheese (a 12 months aged Swedish cheese from the Västerbotten area, not unlike parmesan in consistency but without the smell of feet) is also served. Along with this is an abundance of cold beers and, of course, no Scandinavian party is complete without the presence of the old Aquavit – a grain based, flavoured strong liquor that is served ice cold.  Some people practice “one shot for every claw” but as you’ll eat your way through a good dozen crayfish during the course of an evening, pacing yourself below this is recommended – at least until someone starts singing.  Singing is a good sign that you may as well just give in and join the fun – and there’s no drinking without any singing, according to Swedish law (nor is there any singing without drinking, or any time for silence, according to most local Crayfishionados).  A few of those aquavit and you’ll automatically be able to sing all the songs in fluent Swedish.

Crayfish is eaten with the hands and it is a lovely, messy affair.  If you are invited to one of these special parties during the season, do remember that it is absolutely a requirement to slurp noisily as you suck up the dill juices from the claws and belly of the “kräft” as well – a sign that you are truly initiated into this wonderful tradition.  Before you know it, all the people around the table will be your best friends, you’ll be planning next year’s holidays with Björn and Agneta in Uppsala and maybe even having a cheeky footsie session with Lars under the table.  Suddenly, after you’ve thrown in a swarm of evil mosquitoes, that little red house by the lake doesn’t feel that far away after all.

Crayfish Essentials

Happy Birthday to us: We’re 11 years old

July 8, 2018 | Leave a comment

 

Happy Birthday to us: We’re 11 years old

Back in July 2007 when we were busy painting the walls of what was to become our little ScandiKitchen café, we didn’t realise just what a journey we were about to go on. London didn’t have a Scandinavian food scene, there was no Nordic food buzz. We’d never run a café before.  We were about to step into a lot of unknowns.

Firstly, we didn’t quite expect to become parents for the first time in the same 24 hours we opened our ScandiKitchen cafe & deli. Of course, it wasn’t a complete surprise, but still, who has a baby on the actual due date, that is also their own birthday AND the opening of their first café? We do, apparently (Astrid will also be 11 this week, the same time as the café – and her mother will age another year, too). Since 2007, we get to celebrate three birthdays the same day every year.

Let’s step back a little bit. We, Bronte and Jonas, decided to set up ScandiKitchen because we missed food from home. Being Danish and Swedish, we decided to make it Scandinavian and include Norway too – and eventually Finland as well. We poured in every penny we had (not a lot, actually) – and borrowed a bit too (thanks, Mamma) – and managed to open up on an absolutely shoe string. It took us a good year to make it happen – and a lot of good will from people around us, amazing friends and a Russian builder who called himself George.

Did you know that 2/3 of all new food businesses close inside the first two years? Of those that stay open, 2/3 of these die inside another year. The stats were not in our favour. We were terrified. We had no safety net. After we’d been open for 1 ½ months, the 2007 recession hit us with such devastating force we thought we’d surely had it. We’re not going to lie: It was a pretty tough few years. There were tears and a lot of sleepless nights, and that was not just because of the baby!

Still, here we are, 11 years old, and we’re still full of energy. Still 100% independently owned and still trying to get to our big vision of making sure Scandinavian food finds a permanent place on the British dinner table. Through sheer determination and stubbornness, we’re alive and still doing it. And just look how far we’ve come in our quest: The Scandi food wave happened, people opened their minds to pickled herring and salty liquorice – and now, well, we’re under way to complete our quest. Throughout it all, the idea really was about bringing Scandinavian food to the UK – and making sure we had a nice time in the process.

Jonas with 16-hour old Astrid on 11th July 2007. We still managed to open on day 2! (don’t try this at home, kids!).

This is what we look like in 2018:

Café & Deli in Central London – our deli serves open sandwiches and lunches 7 days a week and we stock 600 food products in our shop area
Online web-shop with 1200 Scandinavian food products, shipping to all of the UK and also most parts of the rest of the EU
Own label products – from beetroot salads and sauces, with more set to come in 2018
Specialist Importers of Nordic foods and suppliers to shops, restaurants and companies across the UK
– Supplier to UK supermarket chain from our certified huge 120+ pallet warehouse in Park Royal, West London.
Agents for many Scandinavian brands wishing to launch in the UK with a specialist dedicated sales force
– Authors of six books about Scandinavia

– Proud to have 25 amazing people on our team

And some other stuff, too… Phew. We have been quite busy, but we have loved it all – mostly because we have been so very fortunate to work with THE most amazing bunch of people over the years. People from all over: from Scandinavia, the UK, Poland, Hungary and further afield. Without our people, none of this would be possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ll say it again because we can’t quite believe it ourselves: This week, we’re 11 years old. Thank you everyone who has supported us over time – and thank you to our wonderful, amazing team at the café, office and warehouse.

We will be doing lots of give-aways this week to celebrate – follow us on Instagram to be in with a chance to get 11 x of your favourite products!

Bye for now

Bronte & Jonas x

Cafe in 2007 and Cafe in 2018:

 

Meet up: London Pride 2018

July 6, 2018 | Leave a comment

 

Meet up: London Pride 2018

The first official Gay Pride rally in London was held on 1st July 1972, almost exactly three years after the revolutionary Stonewall riots in New York. Over the course of the following 46 years (and many highs and lows), Pride as we know it now is a celebration of LGBTQI+ lives, while still a vital demonstration of the need for inclusion, acceptance and equality. This weekend, we’ll come together once again for Pride in London on Saturday 7th, and UK Black Pride in Vauxhall on Sunday 8th. We’ll also be joining people around the world celebrating and demonstrating this summer – including this year’s EuroPride in Stockholm and Gothenburg, starting later this month.

ScandiKitchen, our little café, is located quite close to the start of the Pride in London parade on Saturday. Whether you’re in full rainbow gear, something more minimal (ahem), or wearing your Sweden football top (or, for that matter, England!), our doors are always open to everyone. We can also guarantee that we’ll be playing ABBA, schlager and Eurovision. So no different from usual, then.

Over the past few years, we’ve become an little unofficial meeting place and pit stop for folk to get together in a calm space before the parade gets underway, and we also have two bathrooms for getting changed if needed (they’re small, but handy) – and we have a small downstairs table area for getting ready that you can use, too. So if you fancy a coffee and bun to fuel up, feel free to drop by – we’re on Great Titchfield Street just five minutes away from both Oxford Circus and Great Portland Street station.

From Oxford Circus, simply head North on Gt Portland Street – Great Titchfield Street is the street parallel to that.

Have a fantastic march.

Love to all, The Kitchen People x

How to hotdog the Scandi way

July 1, 2018 | Leave a comment

 

How to hotdog the Scandinavian way

Look, we have told the world that we’re all about nature. That we forage for weird plants, eat sour milk and lead wholesome, healthy lagom lives. This is, of course, sort of true.

There is another little thing that we Scandinavians ‘do’, though. A lot. We hotdog. Okay, it’s not a verb, but it should be – and we want to hotdog with you, too.

What’s so good about a Scandi Hotdog?

The Sausage

Obviously, the most important part. There are many varieties, but the best ones are rather high meat content (go figure) – brands such as small food producer Per I Viken do the best ones on the market. The style of sausage in Scandinavian is always a wiener type sausage.

In Denmark, they like RED coloured sausages. Why? It started as a bit of a ploy. In the olden days, the hotdog vendors were allowed to sell yesterday’s sausages for pittance to the kids – BUT they had to add red colouring to the water so people know they were getting day-old sausages. Nowadays, this type is the most famous of them all – and no, they are no longer old, but are just made like this for nostalgia reasons.

These are most popular with the Danes… The red thing, it’s a Danish thing.

The Bread

It’s a funny one, but we don’t like long buns. Our buns are short and way too small for the sausage. Yeah, we know – but that’s how we like them. We don’t do long buns. We do good, shorter buns – less bread.

Toppings

We take our topping serious. Go to the bottom of this post for the country specific ‘ways’ – but here is a low-down:

Ketchup

It’s never Heinz. It’s usually a more spiced variety that is made for our hotdogs. Try Idun for a Norway style – or Bähncke for a superb Danish ketchup.

Mustard

Again, Bähncke is a good one – or Idun from Norway, especially for hotdogs. We also have Swedish Slotts mustard, but it is quite strong, so only for the initiated.

Remoulade

Absolutely essential, if you are a Dane. It’s very nice, too. (also goes with chips, fish, beef and anything else, really)

Crispy onions

Delicious on burgers, hotdogs, sandwiches.

Raw onions

The Danes favour this: We like raw.

Pickles

Several options here. Boston Pickles is chopped pickles from Sweden, with a bit of seasoning. Or go for the ever popular Smörgåsgurka from Sweden – a crunchy pickle, quite sweet. Lastly, the Danish Agurkesalat – thinly sliced pickles – perfect on top of those red sausages.

Gurkmajonäs

Chopped pickles (usually smörgåsgurka) mixed with mayonnaise – favoured by Swedes.

The HotDogs

Denmark

A bun, a red sausage, ketchup, mustard, remoulade, raw OR crispy onions. Or both. Pickled Agurkesalat.

Norway

A potato pancake called a lompe, brown pølse sausage, ketchup, mustard.

Sweden

A bun, a brown wienerkorv, ketchup, mustard, Bostongurka or Gurkmajonäs.

Sweden 2: The above, but with a dollop of mashed potato on top. Known as Halv Special (A Half Special). Add another Sausage as it is Hel Special (Full Special)

Sweden 3: Bun, sausage, prawn mayonnaise. Well, yes, it’s a thing. Some add ketchup, too. And yes, some add mash as well. It’s a Swedish thing, we’ve given up questioning this.

Your Cart