Tag Archives: Sweden

Handy Nordic sayings

November 8, 2019 | Leave a comment

So, we seem to have started this thing over on social media where we help you learn useful facts and sayings from the Nordics. We are going to start posting those here, too, so you can forward them onto others who could do with learning more about how we live.

Follow us on Facebook for your daily dose of these golden nuggets









Recipe: Nordic rice pudding

November 1, 2019 | Leave a comment


Scandi Rice Pudding - the ultimate comfort dish

To Scandinavians, rice pudding means comfort, winter and probably Christmas. We don't just eat it at Christmas, we eat it all through the cold, dark month.
The main difference between British rice pudding and Nordic pudding is that we don't put that much sugar in the actual porridge, nor nutmeg  - and we cook it on the stove top, rather than in the oven. Our chosen topping is cinnamon sugar and a knob of butter. Therefore, it can be a meal it itself, or breakfast or a treat for pudding.
In Scandinavia, rice pudding is also traditionally eaten at Christmas. In Denmark and some parts of Sweden and Norway, bowls of hot rice pudding is often left out in the barns or attics for the 'Nisser' - the little house elves that we have to treat with extra gentle care during the festive seasons, or they will play tricks on us during the rest of the year (house elves are the ones who hide your remote control and steal your socks... Now you know).
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Nordic
Servings: 4
Author: Bronte Aurell


  • 200 g pudding rice
  • 300 ml water
  • 1 litre whole milk
  • ½ vanilla pod or
  • a bit of vanilla sugar
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • salt


  • Pour the water in a thick-bottomed saucepan and add the rice. Bring to the boil and cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring.
  • Turn down the heat to low and add the milk in one go. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the vanilla pod to the pudding (if using icing sugar, wait until the end before you add).
  • Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan and continue to cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally as to ensure the rice does not stick to the bottom of the saucepan.
  • When the rice is cooked (keep tasting: You don't want overcooked rice) and the pudding is nice and creamy, add a spoonful of sugar as well as a good pinch of salt. Do not add the salt until the rice is cooked and the dish is almost ready.
  • You may find the rice pudding seems a little 'wet' - don't worry, it will thicken up as it cools and it will become a lot thicker. At any point, if you pudding starts to thicken too much, it means your rice are very starchy - just add more milk or water to thin it and continue cooking as instructed.
  • Serve with a knob of butter in the middle - and dust with cinnamon sugar (1 part cinnamon, 5 parts sugar).

Nordic Christmas 2019

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Nordic Christmas Markets in the UK 2019

Here is a list of the Nordic markets for the festive season 2019.

If you want your event added, write to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk

Swedish Chuch Julmarknad 2019

Church of Sweden, 6 Harcourt Street,W1H 4AG London

Thursday 21st Nov 12-8pm

Saturday 23rd Nov 10am-6pm

Sunday 24th Nov, 12-5pm

Norwegian Church Sjømannskirkens Julebasar 2019

The Norwegian Church, 1 St. Olav’s Square, SE16 7JB London

Friday, 22nd Nov 12-7pm

Saturday 23rd Nov 10am-6pm

Sunday 24th Nov 10am to 5pm.

Dansk Julemarked 2019

Danish YWCA KFUK, 43 Maresfield Gardens, NW3 5TF London

Saturday, 23rd Nov 11am-5pm

Sunday 24th Nov 11am to 4pm

Finnish Church Joulumyyjäiset 2019

The Finnish Church, 33 Albion Street, SE16 7HZ London

Wednesday 20th to Sunday 24th Nov – daytimes

ScandiKitchen will have a Glögg stall at Albion Street next to the Finnish and Norwegian Church Fri 22 Nov – Sun 24 Nov. We will be selling ginger biscuits and snacks, too.

Liverpool International Nordic Community

at Nordic Church and Cultural Centre, 138 Park Lane, Liverpool L1 8HG

Bazaar Saturday 23rd November 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Danish Seamen’s Church   

104 Osborne Street, HU1 2PN, Hull, UK

Christmas Market 29th and 30th Nov from 11 am.


    Karen Volf Pebernødder – Ginger Biscuits 400g
    £3.19 £2.99
    Annas Pepparkakor – Ginger Biscuits in Red Tin 400g NOTE: FRAGILE PLS READ INFO
    Odense Original Marcipan (63% almonds) – Marzipan 375g
    Tuborg Julebryg 5.6% – Christmas Lager 24 x 330ml
    Nygårda Julmust – Christmas Soft Drink 1.5 litre
    Rated 5.00 out of 5
    Nidar Liten Julegris – Small Marzipan Pig 65g
    Lerum Julebrus – Christmas Softdrink 500ml

Recipe: Scandi Christmas – Creamed rice puddings

October 5, 2019 | Leave a comment

Risengrød / Risgrynsgrøt

At Christmas, rice pudding (we actually call it ‘rice porridge’) is a big deal all over Scandinavia. We eat warm, unsweetened rice pudding with cinnamon, sugar and a knob of butter the night before Christmas, usually, and on Christmas Eve we serve the pudding cold with a few delicious additions.
Scandinavians always make rice pudding on the hob/stovetop, never in the oven, and we don’t sweeten it because the toppings are sweet. This recipe makes enough for rice pudding for 23rd December - as well as dessert on Christmas Eve. If you only want to serve one of the two dishes, reduce the recipe by half.
It’s said that Scandinavian Christmas elves love rice pudding, so we always leave out a bowl for them as a thank-you for taking care of the house, farm and animals throughout the year. If you forget to do this, they will play tricks on you in the coming year (ever wondered why you can never find the remote control?)
Servings: 4 people + 4 next day for dessert
Author: Bronte Aurell


  • 400 g pudding rice
  • 2 litres whole milk
  • 1 vanilla pod/bean
  • salt
  • sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • butter to serve
  • cinnamon sugar to serve


  • In a heavy-based saucepan, add the rice and 600 ml/21/2 cups water and bring to the boil for a good few minutes, then add all the milk and the vanilla pod/bean. Bring to the boil for around 5 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid the rice sticking to the bottom of the saucepan. Turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rice is cooked through but not overcooked (around 25–35 minutes – do check). It’s important to keep a close eye on the pan as it can burn or boil over.
  • Once cooked, add a little salt to taste (never add the salt until the rice has cooked through). You can add a little sugar if you prefer a sweeter pudding or a few drops of vanilla extract.
  • The pudding may still be a little liquid when the rice is cooked.
  • Don’t worry as the milk will soak into the rice as it cools if using with the dessert. If you are keeping half of the rice pudding for the dessert and eating the other half immediately, reserve half in the fridge for the dessert and simply boil the rest with no lid for a little while longer until the rice pudding is thicker. Remove the vanilla pod/ bean once cooked and discard.
  • Serve the hot rice pudding in bowls topped with a knob of butter in the middle and a generous amount of cinnamon sugar sprinkled over (mix one part ground cinnamon with three parts granulated or caster/ superfine sugar).
  • Tip: If you are trying to reduce the fat in your food, you can use skimmed milk instead. The result is less creamy, but still delicious.

Risalamande/Ris à la malta/Riskrem - CHRISTMAS CREAMED RICE PUDDING

‘A loved child has many names’ is a Scandinavian saying that is apt for this dish – Danes adopted a French name meaning ‘almond rice’, while it seems Swedes misunderstood Danish pronunciation and called it ‘Maltese rice’. Norwegians rightly just call it ‘rice cream’.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Danish
Servings: 4 people
Author: Bronte Aurell


  • 50 g blanched almonds
  • 250 ml whipping cream or heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar
  • ½ quantity of rice pudding chilled, see above

For Apelsinsås – Swedish Orange Sauce

  • 2-3 tbsp orange juice
  • 75 g sugar
  • 2 oranges peeled, pith and pips removed

For Rød saus – Norwegian red sauce

  • 250 g frozen berries (raspberries or strawberries are good)
  • 50-100 g sugar to taste
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional_

For Kirsebærsovs – Danish Cherry sauce

  • 1 tbsp corn flour or arrowroot
  • 2 x 300 g cans of black or morello cherries in syrup
  • 1 tsp orange juice
  • 2 tbsp rum


  • Roughly chop the almonds, except for one which must be kept whole.
  • Whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla until thick, then gently fold it into the chilled rice pudding. If the rice pudding is too cold and hard to fold, leave it out at room temperature for a while. Add the almonds, including the reserved whole one, and pour into your serving dish. Pop it back in the fridge until ready to serve with one of the sauces below.
  • Some people prefer a very creamy version, and some less so – you can vary the quantity of cream accordingly. The rice is served cold, while the sauce is usually hot.
  • The person who finds the whole almond wins a price, usually a marzipan piggy or a box of chocolate pralines.

The different toppings:

    Apelsinsås – Swedish Orange Sauce

    • When making the creamed rice pudding, add 2–3 tablespoons orange juice to the whipped cream before folding into the rice.
    • In a pan, bring the sugar and 100 ml/7 tablespoons water to the boil until the sugar is dissolved and slightly thickened, then take off the heat. Slice the oranges 5-mm/ 1/4 –in. thick, add to the warm sugar syrup. Add a few slices to top the ris à la malta.

    Rød saus – Norwegian red sauce

    • Place the frozen berries in a pan with 100 ml/7 tablespoons water and sugar to taste. Bring to the boil, then simmer to let the berries break up. Whizz it with a stick blender until smooth. If it needs a little something, add a few drops of lemon juice before serving with the riskrem.

    Kirsebærsovs – Danish Cherry sauce

    • Mix the cornflour/cornstarch with a small amount of syrup to make a paste. Bring the cherries and 250 ml/1 cup syrup to the boil in a pan, add the paste and stir. Boil for 1 minute to thicken, then take off the heat and add the orange juice and rum. Sweeten with sugar, if needed. Serve hot over cold risalamandes.


    Recipe from ScandiKitchen Christmas by Bronte Aurell, published by Ryland Peters and Small. Photography by Pete Cassidy. RRP £16.99
      Torsleff Vaniljesukker – Vanilla Sugar 100g
      £3.19 £2.89
      Fynbo Kirsebærsauce – Cherry Sauce 500g
      Toro Risengrøt Snarkokt – Rice Porridge 148g
      Felix Risgröt – Rice Porridge 500g (Risengrød ferdiglavet)
      Geisha Grøtris – Porridge Rice 800g

    Fermented smelly Swedish fish: Surströmming

    September 26, 2019 | Leave a comment

    If you have ever had to smell the Swedish fermented herring Surströmming it is often hard to imagine that this is a popular delicacy in Sweden.

    Some people say it smells so bad they can’t even describe it. It was once voted the worst smelling food in the world. Durian fruit has nothing on this little fish – it really stinks.

    Why does it smell so bad? The little herrings are caught and then salted and left to ferment for quite some time before being canned. Even inside the tin, the fermentation process continues which is why the tins are pressurised when you open them (be careful).

    It’s known as ‘fermented herring’ or ‘surströmming’ – or some just call it ‘rotten fish’ (but it isn’t: it’s fermented, which is a different thing).

    The smell might be bad – but the taste is quite nice – and a lot of people really enjoy the whole process of eating it. There are even surströmming parties and get together when the season starts in about August.

    Quite surprisingly, here in the UK, this is quite a popular product – a lot of people buy it as joke presents and just trying to see if they can handle the #surstrommingchallenge.  Can you?

    How to serve and store

    • Always store the tin IN THE FRIDGE when unopened. It needs to be chilled. Do NOT keep it ambient.
    • ALWAYS open outdoors – never, ever indoors. The smell will hang around. Most surstromming is eaten outside, too.
    • Hold a cloth around you hand when you open the tin as it is pressurised. Some people open it under water which stops this a bit – and limits the smell, too. Gloves are good…
    • You need to wash and gut the fish before you eat it. This is quite easy: Hold the fish on a chopping board with the fork and scrape along the body with the knife to remove meat from the fish.
    • Serve with Swedish flatbread, with new potato, red chopped onion and sour cream. Enjoy beer and aquavit on the side for a true fermented herring party.

    Please note most airlines do not allow these tins to be transported as they are pressurised (and can you imagine the smell?) so do not plan to take these tins on any flights. We only ship inside the UK.

    This is when our Jonas opened fermented herring in Hyde Park


      Oskars Surstromming *(Ship to UK ONLY) – Fermented Herring 300g
      Mjalloms Gammeldags Tunnbrod – Wheat & Rye Flatbread 320g FRAGILE ITEM – MAY BREAK IN TRANSIT
      Polarbrod Sarek – Thin Flatbread 8-pack – (frozen item – see notes)
      Arla Gräddfil – Sour Cream 300ml
      Hallands Flader 38% – Aquavit 700ml
      Skane Akvavit 38% – Aquavit 700ml

    7 Nordic ways to talk about hangovers

    July 28, 2019 | Leave a comment

    Seven Nordic ways to talk about hangovers

    ‘Bagstiv’ is a Danish word for when you wake up the next morning, still drunk. Literally: Backwards drunk – in Sweden and Norway, its Bakfull and bakrus.

    2. A drunk Dane might say he has a “Stick in ear” (en kæp i øret)

    3. The Finnish word for hangover is “Krapula” 

    4. The Old Norse Viking word for hangover was ‘kveis’, meaning “uneasiness after debauchery” 

    5. In Denmark, if you drink a beer on a hang over, it is known as a Reperationsbajer – literally, a ‘repair beer’

    6. In Danish, hangovers are known as Tømremænd  – literally, carpenters.

    7. “Fylleangst” pronounced (foola angst) means “drunk anxiety” in Norway and is the unsettling feeling one has the day after drinking when you can’t remember what you did, how you acted or who may have seen you do it!

      Marabou Mjolkchoklad – Milk Chocolate 200g
      Reimersholms OP Anderson 40% – Aquavit 700ml

    Västerbotten Cheese Tart

    June 9, 2019 | Leave a comment

    Västerbotten Cheese Tart (Västerbotten Paj)

    This savoury tart can be found on every Swedish family’s dinner table several 
times a year. It’s essential to get hold of Västerbotten cheese as it really does have
a very unique taste and it is exported to speciality shops across the world. You can substitute with a good aged Cheddar, but for the ‘real’ taste, do make this if you have Västerbotten cheese. This one is normally served at room temperature rather than hot, and it is marvellous as part of a summer smörgåsbord or served just on its own with a leafy salad. It is also an essential part of an August crayfish party.
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time40 mins
    Total Time55 mins
    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: Scandinavian
    Keyword: sweden
    Servings: 6


    The pastry

    • 125 g/11⁄8 sticks butter cold and cubed
    • 200 g/11⁄2 cups plain/all-purpose flour
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 egg
    • small dash chilled water if needed


    • 3 eggs
100 ml/1⁄3 cup whole milk
    • 250 ml/1 cup double/heavy cream
    • 1 ⁄2 teaspoon paprika
    • 250 g/9 oz. Västerbotten cheese finely grated
salt and freshly ground black pepper


    • In a food processor, briefly blitz the pastry ingredients together
to form a dough, only adding a tiny bit of chilled water if needed to bring it together. If you don’t have a food processor, you can do this by rubbing the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it is crumbly, then adding the rest of the ingredients and mixing until smooth. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm/plastic wrap and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes before using.
    • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.
    • Roll out the chilled pastry until nice and thin and use to line the
tart pan evenly. Prick the base with a fork a few times, then line the pastry with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Blind bake in the preheated oven for about 12–13 minutes. Remove the beans and baking parchment and bake for a further 5–6 minutes. Remove from the oven but leave the oven on.
    • For the filling, mix together all the filling ingredients except
the cheese, seasoning well with salt and pepper. Evenly scatter the Västerbotten cheese all over the base of the pastry, then pour over the egg mixture.
    • Return to the oven for about 15–20 minutes. It’ll puff up quite 
a bit towards the end and will turn golden on top. It’s done when the middle is set, so do keep an eye on it. Leave to cool before removing from the pan and slicing.
    • Note: This dish goes very well with romsås, a caviar sauce (pictured). To make this, mix together one small jar of red lumpfish roe with
 3 large tablespoons of crème fraîche and leave to set. Just before you serve the tart, stir the romsås again. Alternatively, if you can get real bleak roe (löjrom – a beautiful but quite pricy caviar delicacy), serve the tart with a spoonful of this caviar and some crème fraîche and chopped red onion.


    This recipe is taken from the book ScandiKitchen Summer by Bronte Aurell, published by Ryland, Peters, Small. Photo by Pete Cassidy. You can buy singed copies of this book on our website. Also available in all good bookstores and on amazon (both in the UK and US)
      ScandiKitchen Meatballs cooked 3-Pack (3 x 300g)
      £11.97 £8.99
      Abba Klassisk Matjessill – Classic Matjes Herring 200g
      ScandiKitchen: Summer – Bronte Aurell
      Rated 5.00 out of 5
      Norrmejerier Västerbottensost – Mature Cheese 33% 450g
      ScandiKitchen Rödbetssallad – Beetroot Salad 200g (Rødbedesalat)
      Rated 5.00 out of 5

    A guide to being Swedish

    June 6, 2019 | Leave a comment

    You think you can be Swedish? We’ll give you a helping hand. Here’s the ScandiKitchen guide to basic Swedishness.

    Be lagom

    Everything is balance. Not too much, not too little: just right. Don’t be flashy, but don’t be too frugal either. From now on, you like semi-skimmed milk. Not too fatty, not too lean. From the car you drive, to the house you live in to the clothes you wear; everything from now on is comfortable shade of lagom.

    Sweden is the BEST

    When someone non-Swedish says anything about anything, just reply: “In Sweden, we have that, except ours is better”.

    Your friend: “Oh, taste these lovely British chocolates that I just bought”.

    You: :We have the same sort in Sweden, too, except our chocolate is lingonberry/liquorice/dill flavoured. And better. Also, have you SEEN our nature? Better.”

    Perfect your cheese slicing

    If you make a ski slope on your cheese, you will never be Swedish. Always use the correct slicer and always keep your massive block of cheese level. Also, only buy blocks of cheese that are the size of your own head.

    Remove those shoes

    Every time you enter someone’s house, remove your shoes. Also when you enter your own house. Tell your guests to remove their shoes, too. Nobody is wearing shoes indoors from now on.

    Drink coffee

    A lot of coffee. Go for the strong filter that keeps you going like an old Volvo. Whenever you think you’ve had enough coffee, just add one more cup. The more coffee, the Swedish’er. No milk (what are you, Danish?!)

    Breakfast like a Swede

    It’s a ritual: Bread (ideally, the crispy stuff), add boiled egg, creamed cod roe. Top up with a lot of coffee. Drink a glass of milk. More coffee.

    Sweden is closed

    July is now when you holiday. All of it. Sweden is closed.

    Fika practice

    At least twice a day, stop what you are doing and go get another coffee. Sit down. Eat a 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. You can even fika-date.

    All the beautiful buns

    Seeing as you’re now eating two buns a day, you need to make your own. Most Swedes bake buns 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.

    Live like a Swede

    Paint everything white (walls, doors, floors… everything). This is your canvas on which to express yourself. Add a few block colours, maybe some Billy bookcases or tastefully selected IKEA key pieces with names such as DalaBördiGurdiHolm or something (laugh at the fact that all things you step on in IKEA have Danish names). Add some cushions with tasteful Swedish patterns. Add candles everywhere, then add some more candles.

    Eat like a Swede

    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 2). Add Köttbullar meatballs, squirt Felix Ketchup all over the plate and award yourself another 5 Swedish points.

    Eat in the dark

    Swedes know that eating in the dark is good. 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.

    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 room. Feel more Swedish by doing this at home in England: just write a post-it 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 because you pre-booked it. 3 points to you.

    Avoid neighbours

    From now on, every time you need to leave your home, you need to check the titthål (door spy hole) first, in case there are neighbours outside. Neighbours mean small talk and you no longer wish to engage in this. Consider going to work at 5:00 and returning after 20:00.

    Have a lot of days for things

    Days when you can eat more cinnamon buns? No problem: 4th October. A day in spring when you have permission to stuff yourself silly with whipped cream buns? Yes, it’s Fat Tuesday. There are also a month for crayfish, days for chocolate cake and much more. Fill the calendar.

    Announce pee-pee intentions

    It’s a thing. At a board meeting? Stand up and confidently announce: “Jag måste kissa” (I need to pee), then leave the room and do not look the least bit embarrassed. You’ve just earned 5 Swedish points, my friend.

    Cosy Friday

    It’s Friday night. Your friends are going out. You’re not, because you’re doing

    Cosy Friday (except now you call it Fredagsmys). This involves opening a large bag of dill crisps and making some dip mix, then you dip every crisp before eating. Don’t forget to do all this in darkness.

    For extra Swedish points, start every Friday evening by eating Old el Paso tacos. Only ever do this on Fridays; tacos are only for Fridays.

    Sweet Saturday

    It’s Saturday. 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 game show on Swedish TV (except for Melodifestivalen). Don’t forget to tell everybody you hate Eurovision, but watch it anyway.


    Anytime anyone says anything about football, realise you can’t really compete, but just add at the end of every sentence:

    “We once had this guy called Zlatan. We didn’t even need a full team to win, we just used to send him”.

    At any other given opportunity, explain the off side rule for handball or ice hockey into conversation.

    Keep fit like a Swede

    Two buns a day isn’t going to be guilt free, so take up any or all of the following:

    Skiing, cross country skiing, walking, hill walking, stick walking, Nordic walking, stick Nordic walking, dog walking, walking Nordic dogs with sticks… Or anything that requires you to go outside and get rosy cheeks and fresh air. During these outdoor pursuits, do not engage in conversation with strangers, other than a quick ‘hej’’ grunt. Always make sure you wear a mössa, a woolly hat.

    How to Queue

    At bus stops, ensure at least 1 ½ 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 2, if in doubt of this particular practice.

    Congratulations: you are now a bit more Swedish.

      ScandiKitchen Kottbullar – Swedish Meatballs 300g
      ScandiKitchen Falukorv – Swedish Smoked Sausage 400g  
      Abba Kalles Kaviar Original – Smoked Cod Roe 190g
      Rated 5.00 out of 5
      £3.29 £2.50
      Pågen Kanelgifflar – Mini Cinnamon Buns 260g
      Cocktail Flag – Swedish – 20-pack
      OLW Cheez Doodles – Cheesy Corn Snacks 160g (Ostepop)
      Rated 5.00 out of 5
      Malaco Gott & Blandat Original – Fruity Wine Gum Mix 160g
      Kungsörnen Snabbmakaroner – Pasta 750g
      Rated 5.00 out of 5
      Marabou Mjolkchoklad Daim – Milk Chocolate With Daim 200g

    Little Scandinavian lessons: Lagom

    January 30, 2019 | Leave a comment

    Little Scandinavian lessons: Lagom

    People talk a lot about the word ‘Lagom’ – but what does it actually mean?

    Lagom is the most important Swedish word you will ever learn. Used every day, multiple times, by Swedes the world over, it goes deep into the soul of every Swede. It’s part of being quintessentially Swedish.

    The word lagom is said to derive from the folk etymology in a phrase used in Viking times: “laget om” – meaning ‘around to the group – allegedly used to describe just how much mead or soup one should drink when passing the bowl around in the group. This etymology is commonly accepted to be right, although some parallels are made with the Law of Jante and the common set of rules about how much one should have of something – again, things go back to the greater good for the whole group. You would take a lagom sip of the bowl, thus allowing everyone to have a ‘sufficient amount for them’ – and everyone to be satisfied. Fairness and balance.

    The word itself means ‘just right’. It also means ‘just enough’, ‘sufficient’, ‘the correct amount’ (In Finnish, the word is sopiva; in Norwegian and Danish, the word tilpasselig is the most fitting, although is not used it in exactly the same way or as often – but the meaning of lagom is still engrained in every person across the Nordics). It means ‘not too much, not too little’ and also means ‘fair share’. This single little word, Lagom, denotes all of those meanings, simply depending on the context in which you use it.

    There is an old saying in Sweden: lagom är bäst (‘lagom is best’), which really sums up how Swedes think and act in everyday life:
    – How big a slice of cake would you like? Lagom.
    – How are you? Lagom.
    – The weather is lagom.
    – You drink a lagom amount of wine.
    – The dress is lagom.
    – You have one cinnamon bun, not two. Lagom.

    Lagom is positive as well as sometimes negative, it’s also the middle of the road and the average of everything. It is as it should be. It does the job, but it’s not too much, not too little.

    To understand lagom, you first need to first understand the Scandinavians – in particular, Swedish cultural psyche, which is one of consensus and equality for all. Swedes don’t overdo anything, there are no over-the-top buildings, no flashy show-offs. Everything is middle of the road, fair and just the right amount. It works, just right.

    People often wonder why, with the amount of cake we eat in Scandinavia and the number of sweets consumed, are we not all as big as houses. It’s because, well, lagom. Most Scandinavians won’t have two buns with their fika break, only one. One of those big bags of to-share crisps may be opened alone, but you won’t eat it all in one sitting. There will be mayonnaise on the open sandwiches, but it’s on one slice of rye bread, making it all very lagom and balanced. ‘Super-size’ in fast-food restaurants isn’t really that popular – it just isn’t lagom. We eat sweets on Saturdays – when we pig out completely. But we don’t eat them Sun-Thu, because, well, lagom.

    It’s impossible to define the word lagom as a specific amount because it varies so much between people. How much cake is it appropriate to eat? How hot is lagom when it comes to your coffee? It’s a feeling, it’s something engrained in the culture and psyche of the people that is almost impossible to learn. But the amazing thing is: if a Swede asks you how much milk you want in your coffee – and you say “lagom”, they will know exactly what you mean.

    How do you define Lagom in your every day? Does balance matter that much?

    This post is a part extract, part re-write from Bronte Aurell’s book North, published by Aurum Books, available in all good bookshops. Photograph “lagom’ by Anna Jacobsen (North, Aurum) 2017.

    Get the book here https://amzn.to/2sYz9ZW

    Swedish Princess Cake: 7 Random Facts

    August 24, 2018 | Leave a comment

    7 Random Facts About Swedish Princess Cake

    1. 70% of all cakes sold from Swedish pastry shops are princess cakes in some shape or forms. About half a million are sold each year. 

    2. Since 2004 the last week of September has been dedicated to the cake – yep – a whole week where you can indulge (although maybe best not to, not every day!)

    3. Marlene Dietrich once warned against men who don’t enjoy cake (and food in general) – she deemed them ‘lousy lovers’.

    4. The cake came about in the 1930s when the home economics teacher of the three Swedish princesses published her cookbook, named ‘the Princesses’ Cookbook’. The book contained a recipe for a green cake that was their favourite and it quickly became known as the princess cake instead. 

    5. Sometimes you’ll see the princess cake in different colours. Traditionalists insists that the real deal has to be green – other’s say it doesn’t matter. Some places it will be called Opera torte if it is pink, Carl Gustaf torte if it is yellow, and any other colour simply called Prince torte. We don’t mind – they’re all delicious.

    6. To jam – or not to jam? We like raspberry jam in ours – but this is a fairly new addition, it seems. We also like adding fresh raspberries in season. Traditional or not – it goes so, so well with the luscious vanilla cream and sweet marzipan.

    7. In 2016, someone thought it would be interesting to see what happened if you cross a princess cake with the Swedish semla – the marzipan cream bun they eat for pancake day. We tried it – it was delicious. Like a mini cake, but all to yourself. 

    Recommended products

      Dr Oetker Kagecreme Vanilje – Instant Vanilla Creme 3x85g
      Odense Marsipanlock – Marzipan Cake Cover 200g
      Karen Volf Lagkagebunde – Cake Sponges 3-pack

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