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Useful Swedish Kitchen Utensils

2/04/2011

In a particularly deep conversation last night with a Swede and a Canadian, we realized Swedish kitchens (especially in student korridors) have several things that are incredibly useful, but we don’t really have back in North America.

1. The knife magnet

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So much easier than those stupid things you stick the knives in and then can’t see their relative size and/or if they’re serrated… magnets for knives appear to be more common here.

2. The cheese slicer

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EVERY kitchen has not one, but MANY cheese slicers. Giant blocks of cheese? No problem, still make a convenient snack. No knives and cutting boards to mess around with. Swedish friend was astounded we don’t have these. HOW DO WE SLICE CHEESE!?? It’s a hard life in the US.

Apparently, cheese slicers are a Scandinavian invention.

3. The disco ball

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Because festing is an important part of Swedish culture. Almost, but not quite, as important as IKEA. But you don’t have to choose, since Swedes get to fest right in their IKEA-decked-out kitchens.

This may be a good time to bring up the fact that there will, in fact, be a fest in MY korridor tonight. The very disco ball pictured above will be there. So should you. I’ll be there around 11 maybe, but you can text me. If you bring any cheese, you’ll be all set.

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Swedish Candy Store

28/03/2011

I was going to tell you guys all about how I went to Hamlet’s Castle (Kronborg, in Helsingør, across the water in Denmark), but Joanna who also writes for Lundagård totally stole my thunder with her post A Reminder of the Old Days. I did the exact same trip (though it was less icy when I went), and all I have to say about Hamlet is that he must’ve had some killer parties in that ballroom of his.

However, I did find another major Scandinavian attraction that’s almost as good: a candy store.

Behold:
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Since I haven’t explained, candy in Sweden is definitely a “thing”. Every grocery store, 7-11, or other convenience store has an entire aisle devoted to candy in bins that you scoop out. I think there’s actually two candy aisles in the smallish ICA I shop at. You get a bag and buy it by weight. It’s cheap, and grown adults can often be seen doing this too, not just children.

Here’s what the candy bags from ICA look like:
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And one might choose an assortment like this:
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However, the candy store pictured above puts ICA and 7-11 to shame. There’s 3 huge rows of lösgodis (the candy in bins), as well as packaged candy.

Check out that entire WALL of bilar in the background:
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(Bilar, for those of you who don’t know, is Sweden’s best-selling car. Even more popular than Volvo:)
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I can’t really offer advice on WHICH candy to buy — typically I put in just one or two pieces of anything that looks mildly appetizing into my bag (lösgodis is very low-risk, it’s the speed-dating of candy…) and 80% turns out to be edible, and 20% turns out disgusting (to me, anyway. Swedes are really into licorice and it has a tendency to pop up when you least expect it).

For more advanced blogging about lösgodis and why you eat candy on Saturdays check out these two posts on Welcome to Sweden.

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No color-changing lights? The packaged candy feels ignored

For all I know, this is an average everyday candy store in Sweden, but to my untrained American eye, it was like walking into Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.

They also have a whole row of kitschy toy-like candy (think 1000 variations on ring-pops).

They also sell cigarettes.

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How to find this magical place:
The store is called “Candy People” and located at Bankgatan 6 (downtown). Walk in, grab a bag and a plastic shovel. Thank me for your next sugar rush.

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Ode to Sydskånska’s Scones

23/02/2011

I am in love and I can’t not tell the world. About these scones.

Every Tuesday afternoon, at Sydskånska, there is a wonderful event called “Teasdag” — basically a very cozy cafe where you drink tea, eat snacks/desserts, and hang out and talk with your friends (aka fika). “Teasdag” is a play on the word “Tisdag” (“Tuesday” in Swedish). Tea + Tuesday. Anyway.

Teasdag is probably my favorite weekly event at a nation. It’s also the only one I can think of where no one is either drunk (pubs, clubs) or hung over (rehab/Sunday brunch).

But all the aforementioned things explain only about half of why Teasdag is magical. The other half, is the SCONES.

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Seriously, these are the best scones I think I have ever had. They are the perfect texture – slightly browned and crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside. They come with raspberry jam, marmalade, and a milky/creamy dip. With a cup of rooibos or lapsang tea, I am floating on a cloud made of happiness and fika.

Sydskånska, you really outdid yourselves with these. The only drawback? Knowing the BEST SCONES EVER are only available once a week, at Teasdag. I’m already dreading the inevitable withdrawl when I return home. But for now, if it’s Tuesday, you know where I’ll be.

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