The height of summer brings me to a sweaty itchy edge. Coastal towns, resorts and islands provide a sanctuary from the turbo heat and tiger mosquitoes. I am in Stockholm to cool off. July sees Sweden in full bloom with an average of 20 degrees, long daylight hours and pitch dusk stands for night. Long sunlit days and a lack of darkness, I could feel a sense of relative elevation in relation to southern territories. Somehow, everything is a little different. Uncannily so.
Then there are the Swedes, high quality eye candy; blonde, tall and beautiful Viking descendants, strutting around in stylish summer clothes that are aired for several weeks of summer.
From this quick deviation and back to the subject of oral pleasures, I was pleasantly surprised to find the local Nordic cuisine fresh, colorful and vibrant with a world of dolci, pastries I relate to as well as Fresh seafood, cured fish, local greens and herbs, spices and butter yeast pastries, wholesome moist breads and robust Italian coffee.
There is an appreciation for strong Italian coffee that goes very well with the bundled knot of sweet yeast pastry filled with cinnamon or cardamon. Perfect for a Fika.
Swedish rye bread
In Italy I buy the powder mix version of Swedish rye bread in Ikea in search for a wholesome, dark, explosion of seeds, nuts and grains. Swedish bread was education. With is a wide variety ranging from crisp dark bread to a molasses colored dense bread that’s all chewy, crunchy, sweet and moist. To enjoy with a good butter, and locally brewed Swedish beer (see below).
Sweden doesn’t make wine, its far too cold for that.
In terms of other types of alcohol, that is if you can
a. find it
b. afford it
there's locally made schnapps and aquavit.
A slightly fermented milk that’s somewhere between milk and yogurt, it has the smoothness of cream, the tartness of yogurt and the consistency of butter milk. and no aftertaste. To have with cereal, dried fruit and nuts.
Everything in paste form
There seems to be a preference for the toothpaste packaging with an exceptionally large variety of food stuffs kept in paste form; mayonnaise, fish roe, salmon mousse, lobster & dill, and smoked bacon puree. See ‘Swedish rye bread’ for optional serving suggestions.
I haven’t mentioned dill, potatoes, the passion for mayonnaise, buffet eating (smargasbord), salmon and Swedish pancakes. But they too were there, for a demonstration of support.
A tough act to follow, next stop is the Bourgogne region in France. A Doppo.