Ahhhhh food. And Swedish food at that. The Scandinavian food movement has been gaining recognition with the help of popular cookbooks like “Scandilicious” by Signe Johansen. We’re beginning to see that the Swedes are on to a good thing. Exceptionally tasty, local, wholesome, seasonal cooking that perfectly reflects a nation. Earthy, meaty, salty, woody flavours help to keep you warm during the long cold winters, and fresh, foliage and seafood produce celebrate the best of the Scandinavian summers.
I have wonderful memories of my grandmother’s cooking. New potatoes dug from her garden with salty butter and dill. Hard crackerbread with creamy, nutty jarlsberg and smoked fish. My own mum keeps the food in the family with one of my favourite’s Jansson’s Temptation (Crispy potato bake with anchovies) and famous Swedish meatballs.
You cannot forget the importance of the Swedish institution of coffee mornings with cakes, biscuits and pastries. The Swedish childhood is one with a sweet tooth – liquorice, chocolate, gummy sweets.
All in all people are finally getting the memo about Swedish cuisine. You’ve heard about some of my favourites but try to explore it for yourself. The British Isles share a not too dissimilar climate and terrain to that in Scandinavia, so we could really benefit from learning some of these local and seasonal techniques to compliment our own cooking.
Jansson’s Temptation Recipe (http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/642276)
- 75 g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 3 onions, thinly sliced
- 16 sweet-salty anchovies, preferably Swedish ones
- 1 kg Ratte potatoes
- 400 ml whipping cream
- salad, dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
5. Butter a large ovenproof casserole dish. Place a layer of the cooked onions and anchovies in the bottom, then add a layer of potatoes and top with a small knob of butter. Layer a few anchovies over, then repeat the layering process again with the onions, potatoes, butter and anchovies, finishing with a layer of potatoes. Season each layer with salt and freshly ground black pepper as you go.
6. Pour over the cream and dot with the remaining butter. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the potatoes are tender and golden-brown on top. Serve with a salad dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to cut through the richness.