July 17, 2014

The Five Top Strange Things to Eat That I am Now Used To

Top Five Strange Things to Combine that I am Now Used To

or - It's funny how your taste changes

Market stand with lots and lots of hot chillies in different colours, the colour of fire.
In no specific order, here they are, the top five weird taste combinations, triggered by my last post (see link 
  • Mayonnaise with potato wedges/chips/fries 
  • Butter, or anything savoury on pancakes 
  • Sprinkles on bread 
  • Sweet popcorn
Why? Well, here are my reasons 

  • Mayonnaise with my chips, or, as they like to call them in US, french fries (aka pommes frites).
Weird combo for Swedes. We use ketchup! Or nothing. I was completely chocked, and quite repulsed by the question "Do you want mayonnaise with that" the first time I heard it. But since then I have tried and tried again, and you know what; I prefer it to ketchup. Not ON my food, but on the side, so I can dip the fries I want in the mayonnaise. Or maybe a little of both. But mayonnaise has really grown on me. 

July 12, 2014

Flavours that don't marry well. Or do they?

When my friend's now husband moved to Sweden from Turkey he found it weird  - and pretty disgusting - how Swedish food was always very sweet. Even the herring he found sweet. We all stared at him and wondered what on earth he was going on about, and then I slowly started to realise how right he was.

No, it is not sweet as in "American style cakes and cookies-sweet", that's a whole different level of sweetness, but there is definitely a lot of truth in what he said; Even in the pickled herring, so common in Sweden, we have sugar;

  • Cooking vinegar
  • Salt
  • Sugar

Mix, bring to a boil, add the spices you want, pour over the cleaned and rinsed salted herring, let it sit for at least two days before you eat it.

Sauces, pickled gherkins, and of course, the one condiment they say only one other country uses more of; Ketchup. Ketchup that only the Americans eat more of than we do.  All is with sugar. Even much of the bread you buy is with sugar. Turkey is a land of crazy sweet sweet - hello Baklava - but the sweet is generally served in smaller portions. I can understand why a Turkish man feels that Swedish food sweet, because it is, I just never really realised until I left Sweden. 

As you may have gathered by now, food is my passion and of course that means I am also a member of discussion/inspiration group where we discuss food online, and recently we started to talk about different flavours and what they mean to us, and that also helped trigger this blog post. Some are repulsed by cumin, a spice I love to use, others can't stand cilantro, a spice I used to have problems with myself, but now adore. But not in everything, definitely not in everything. 

It fascinates me how different cultures uses different types of spices and condiments completely different, and how one combination can be considered disgusting in one culture can be considered to marry really well in another; One of the girls in my food discussion group said to me how "dill can really only be used with fish".  In my world, dill works well with either crayfish/craw fish or lobsters as well as with fresh potatoes but I can't think of many other areas where I would use it. 

We also serve the same type of food but for the time of day when we would serve it is different. Omelet or pancakes is a typical lunch or perhaps a supper in Sweden, pancakes even more a dessert - in North America this is typical breakfast food, at least for a weekend breakfast. No Swede would ever dream about having pancakes for breakfast, unless there are some over from the Thursday traditional dinner - pea soup and pancakes, you can read more about the tradition here - it's a tradition that dates back hundreds of years.