Swedish food series

I didn’t expect to like Swedish food so much, considering how simple it is compared to Chinese or French cooking. Though I should have realized, there are very few foods I dislike, and variety is (insert cliche here). I see Swedish food as being simple but made with good ingredients, whereas Chinese food uses a lot of smoke and mirrors to disguise and change foods that might have been less appetizing otherwise (i.e. tripe, for one example). Swedes’ food habits also mirror the way they live – their menus are seasonal, and menus change as the seasons (and food availability) change.

Part of my grocery store misadventure included only being able to find split yellow peas instead of yellow peas, and not really knowing what cut of pork to buy. I planned to make Yellow Pea Soup, or Artsoppa, a traditional Swedish meal served on Thursdays, followed by pancakes, and served with warm punsch (an alcoholic sweet drink). The recipe called for salt pork, which I wasn’t sure I would find. I looked up an alternate cut of meat I could use by searching recipes on the internet, and quickly wrote down “ham hocks” on my grocery list just in case. Couldn’t find salt pork in the grocery store like I anticipated, so bought ham hocks instead.

Came home, and rechecked the other recipe… Only to find that I was supposed to buy “SALT ham hocks”. Doh! Well, I tried making the soup the ingredients I had on hand anyway.

The ingredients – very simple!

15 minutes from completion, before adding spices… Not looking very promising, hmm…. Rather runny.

After cooling, I separated the meat from the fat, to put back into the soup. Yikes! Don’t want that stuff floating around my arteries and ending up around my midsection!

Served with grainy brown mustard on the side. No pancakes or punsch unfortunately. Soup wasn’t as good as Per’s mom’s soup, but not bad for a first trial.

I put half of the soup into the freezer for one of those inevitable busy days. So easy, cheap, and filling! Plus, you could justify having pancakes with whipped cream and jam if you make it ๐Ÿ™‚

By the way, here’s one of two jars of herring I smuggled into Canada ๐Ÿ™‚ So yummy! Again, very simple, and full of good-for-you omega-3’s. I should have tried smuggling more, though my luggage was already at 39 kg not including my carry on. Makes a fantastic quick and easy meal.


2 thoughts on “Swedish food series

  1. MMmmmm… despite just eaten, getting little hungry again just looking at the pictures. I’m glad you liked it. Don’t tell any swedes you like pea soup though, then they probably look strange at you and wonder why you could like something they were forced to eat as kids in school??? Still some meals we missed, such as blodpudding (literally blood pudding) but we can’t do all food at once, you have to come back ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Good night! (and maybe send u some herring by mail?)

  2. Hej! So you’re back in Canada! Is it really forbidden to take foodstuff into planes? I also smuggled some marinated herring to Manila before. All that work… and my parents didn’t like it! Well, you can’t argue about taste… especially if its literal “taste”.

    Had fun reading your sweden vs. canada. I would also go back to her, if not to prove a point, just to annoy her. Often here in Sweden, I experience that they treat the customers as always being right. Once, a friend of mine bought shoes whose soles detached a few months after she bought them. She went to the store, even though she had already thrown the receipt a long time ago (who expects shoes to break down like that after half a year?), and the staff were so apologetic. They took back the shoes and gave her a new pair of a different model. I mean, they didn’t even doubt that she could have been telling a lie!

    I also “took advantage” of free tuition fees in Sweden, and for a term I also got entitled to study aid. I wouldn’t call it mere taking advantage though – after all, if you do start learning Swedish, it’s a sign of investment that you’d be contributing to the Swedish economy through work at one point or another. And we buy Swedish goods with the salary / student aid / saved money, which isn’t bad for them either. A year ago there was a show on TV featuring how some immigrants who actually knew Swedish flunked their exams deliberately so that they could repeat SFI and get more money for it – I think that’s totally bad style. On the other hand, if they stay in Sweden, doesn’t the money just go around? I mean, it’s bad for them that they don’t progress beyond SFI, more of like their loss really.

    To other things: I never made pea soup from scratch. At least not yet. Maybe I should… would you say homemade is still better than instant even if it’s not as good as Per’s mom’s?

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