Swedish Language Blog

Swedish Foodstuffs Abroad Posted by on Nov 14, 2008 in Culture

I am abroad again and this time, I’m proud to say that Dearly Beloved is managing quite well. He went shopping all by himself today and bought what he needed. But he did respond with a sigh of relief when he heard I’m coming back on Monday.

This time it was me who needed his help. I was asked to prepare something typically Swedish for my hosts and my mind went blank. “Typically Swedish?” I thought… hmmm, that would have be to falukorv and pasta with ketchup, but sadly, or rather happily, they’re not aware of the existence of falukorv in this country and I plan to keep it this way.

I went to a local supermarket to search the shelves looking for Swedish products. The idea was that maybe I could put together something Swedish using what I could buy in normal grocery stores. You see, when abroad I never really go shopping with a specific goal of buying only Swedish products. To be honest, I tend to do the opposite and sample the local specialties. But this time, I had strict orders – show us something native to Sweden. And so instead of trying 537 different varieties of sausages, I was diligently going through the supermarket looking for Swedish stuff. It turned out easier than expected.

In the refrigerated section I found a slew of Abba fishies in jars. All made the Swedish way – with copious amounts of sugar. I bought some sickly sweet dill herring (dill sill). In the bread and cracker section, there were several shelves of Wasa cracker bread. All the kinds we have back home and probably a few more made specifically for a foreign market.

In the dairy section half of the stuff was made by Arla – a brand we know from home (and from my post about dairy products) but I couldn’t find any typically Swedish cheeses, like Kloster, for example. But in a different isle, tiny jars of lingonsylt were neatly lined up. And in the ice-cream freezers, SIA hjortron glass (couldberry ice cream) was smiling at me.

Still, not enough to put together a proper Swedish dinner. And since I’m too lazy to make my own meatballs, I had to listen to the advice of my DB, which went more or less like that “Go to IKEA, stupid!” Yes, for those who don’t know – this Swedish furniture emporium also sells a variety of Swedish yummies. So, needless to say, I’m off to IKEA tomorrow.

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  1. Kenia:

    Hej Anna!

    Seems as if everything in Sweden had something to do with IKEA, right?. They’re probably like the Abbas of furniture!! haha
    Hope your Dearly Beloved doesn’t have to do the laundry this time =)
    Good luck on your swedish dinner, please tell us how it went.



  2. Mo:

    we can’t find ANYTHING swedish here ! älskling complained a lot 😉 thank god we have Ikea !!!

  3. David from Oregon:

    So what did your “proper Swedish dinner” consist of? I’ve never quite understood the fascination people have with meatballs or why they are associated so much with Sweden. When I was in Sweden I had the impression that meatballs were mainly a children’s dish.

  4. Anna:

    Hi there guys!
    My “proper” dinner consisted of meatballs from IKEA, dill potatis, and Swedish cucumber salad. Next time I’ll be sure to travel with some falukorv stashed in my luggage. LOL!

    Mo, are you in Paris? AFAIR, there is a “Swedish” shop there. I will have to look up where exactly. I met a Swedish woman on a flight from Paris once and she gave me her business card, she owned that joint. I will search for it.

  5. David from Oregon:

    Sounds like you had a great meal. When I’m at IKEA, I always eat lunch there. They have great open-face sandwiches and salads. And good coffee at a very low price. I always leave with some knäckebröd and Kalles Kaviar.

    As for ketchup and pasta, have you ever tried barbeque sauce and pasta? That brings back memories of my poor college days. And I bet your guests would be very pleased with smuggled out isterband korv instead of falukorv.

  6. Luke (Sydney):

    My favorite Swedish experience is having meatballs with chips and lingonsylt for lunch on Friday at Ikea. It’s a bit cheaper than a return ticket for Sydney to Stockholm. hahaha… I think I should have falukorv and pasta next time though. How about the hot dog (varmkrov?) at Ikea? Is it really Swedish?

  7. David from Oregon:

    Luke(Sydney), Sweden has lots of different sausages but I don’t think that hot dogs are traditional Swedish food. I would guess that most food served at IKEA restaurants comes from local vendors. On the other hand you can buy hot dogs in Sweden. It says “HOT DOGS” right on the package. And one brand has a picture of the cartoon character Dennis the Menace on the package so you know it must be quality food. See for yourself at http://www.matservice.se. On the left side, click on KÖTT and then on KORV.

  8. Luke (Sydney):

    Hej David(Oregon),

    Thanks for the link. It’s a very useful website to pick up a full range of some all important words. It’s quite out of this world to me actually!


  9. Dag Øystein:

    The swedish shop is (appropriately) called Affären and is in the Pigalle district.

    Telephone 01 42 81 91 75.