More Than Just Swedish Fish!

28 Jan

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.” –Julia Child

Over the past few weeks I have tried many Swedish foods that I must discuss. At my favorite café in Uppsala called Ofandals I recently had a blueberry pastry and hot chocolate. The blueberry pastry was a layered confection that started on the bottom with a sweet and chewy substance, next a layer of fresh blueberry sauce, and streusel crumbled on top. The dessert was vey tasty but about as sweet as taking a bite out of a sugar cube. Needless to say I could only eat a few bites of it. However, the hot chocolate was to die for. I’ve gone back for it at least 3 times since then. It is served in an oversized mug and topped with real whipping cram that melts on top and swirls and twirls with the cocoa until the last sip. Yum!

I also tried an interesting shrimp sandwich and cauliflower soup at the Museum of Modern Art Café in Stockholm. The sandwich contained mini shrimp in a creamy sauce. It was a bit tangy- very unique. The soup was excellent; it was made with pureed cauliflower, apples, and yogurt. My meal at the museum was pretty adventurous but my choices turned out alright. What the meal lacked the atmosphere defiantly made up for. I could have stayed there for hours and forgotten to visit the museum itself. One wall was covered in floor to ceiling windows overlooking the water and skyline of the next island over. It was great for taking in the scenery and people watching. I went to the museum on a Sunday which was family day. I saw so many adorable Swedish toddlers who were dressed to the nines and much more put together than most American adults.

The last meal that is worthy of noting was a dinner that I just had last night. My friend Alison and I went out to a Swedish restaurant in Uppsala called Carl Philip located near the square. We both had a dish that was loosely translated to us as beef pasta. It was a savory dish that was full of flavor from pieces of tender and juicy beef, mushrooms, and a creamy cheese sauce. The dish was lovely and reminded me of a stroganoff. Both Alison and I commented on the portion size when our waitress brought us our plates. We were so surprised to be served a sensible amount of pasta at a restaurant. An army of hungry men was not needed in order for us to finish our dinners. We both ate almost our entire plates and were completely satisfied afterwards. This comfort food totally hit the spot, especially since we ate it sitting by the fireplace at a cozy table watching the snow fall out the picture window.

Hungry yet? If so I urge you again to go to Ikea and get the Swedish meatball meal and the orange soda, delicious!

Grocery Shopping

One of the things that I never thought about before I came to Sweden was the difficulties that I would face in the supermarket. For starters in Sweden there is no such thing as a “super” market. The grocery stores are small and located within walking distance to most of the town’s neighborhoods. At the store called Ica, there are very few carts. The shopping carts they do have look more like the kiddy carts at Trader Joe’s than the standard behemoth-sized ones we swear by in the US. So instead most people take a basket for their groceries that doubles as a wagon. It’s really ingenious. The baskets (which are the same size and shape as the ones in the states) have a movable handle that can be used to pull around the basket which is also on wheels. This makes the basket easier to manage when it becomes too heavy. There are inevitably wagon-basket traffic jams and collusions but overall it works out well.

The other obvious difference in a Swedish grocery is that everything is written in Swedish! Yikes, it’s a lot harder than you’d think to try and buy all of your groceries based on pictures and intuition. But that is what I’ve ended up doing the last few days. For example, I was standing in the butter area where there were dozens of sticks, spreads, and containers. I had no idea if I was buying fat free, organic butter or the lardiest lard known to man. But I just shrugged my shoulders and pretended I knew what I was doing. I haven’t used the butter yet so I can’t tell you how that worked out. However, I have tried my cheese that was labeled cheddar (that looks and tastes nothing like cheddar) but it was fantastic! I already know I’m going to miss the cheese when I get back home. The milk that I bought was a bit different too. It comes in a box that is difficult to open . . . after attempting to peal it open and stab it with my spoon I finally resorted to opening it with a butcher knife, which I don’t recommend. The milk here comes in super skim which is awesome! It expires in 5 days but it’s really delicious. If you’re ever in Sweden and you like skim milk I would strongly recommend trying it.

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4 Responses to “More Than Just Swedish Fish!”

  1. April January 29, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

    Gaaa!!! A woman on a diet should not read this blog :-). Hi Amanda! Been following your exciting adventures. Keep it up! Hey have you tried the Swedish muesli served with a heavy cream-like or lightish yogurt-like milk? Yum!

  2. Janet Zohorsky January 29, 2010 at 8:58 pm #

    What a great report. I can just picture you trying to get that milk open. Sounds like you are coping with a sense of humor. Just make sure you don’t fall too much in love with this place and not come back to us!

  3. Nancy February 5, 2010 at 4:22 am #

    Love it, love it, love it! You will miss so many things the bread, cheese, lifestyle, people but just enjoy it and live in the now!

    You’ll always have the memories and someone will be able to take you back to this time by writing or talking about it, as you just did for me!

    Can’t wait to visit. Any idea where we are going yet?

  4. Curt February 12, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    Amanda,
    I am glad your back with us carnivores!
    Stay away from Bailey and those vegetarians
    on the dark side.

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