Archive for Typically Swedish

16 Jun 2010

Candy from Sweden

No Comments Typically Swedish

Abroad and have a craving for Swedish lollies?

Then I found the perfect website for you – Candy from Sweden! There are no better lollies than Swedish ones so of course it’s good business selling them on the web even though the website’s clients of course are mainly Swedes living abroad. You can order ‘Kexchoklad’ (Chocolate biscuit), ‘Ahlgrens bilar’ (Ahlgren’s cars), ‘Snören’ (Strings), ‘Gott & Blandat’ (Good & Mix) and much more. You can even pick your own bag of ‘lösgodis’ (pick & mix) and have it sent to you where ever you are in the world. How good isn’t that idea!

Go have a look at the website, the English names of the lollies are funny too. How about Jungle Howler (‘Djungelvrål’), Spum Chanterelles (‘Skumsvampar’), Polkapig (‘Polkagris’) or Wiry Rats (‘Sega råttor’).

14 Jun 2010

The Swedish Smorgasbord

No Comments Typically Swedish

Smorgasbord or Smörgåsbord as we Swedes would say is a type of Scandinavian meal served buffet-style with multiple dishes of various foods on a table, originating in Sweden. A special type of smörgåsbord is the julbord which is the standard Christmas dinner in Scandinavian countries but smörgåsbord is traditionally served for Easter and Midsummer as well. Spiced schnapps is also often a feature connected to the Smörgåsbord. No smörrgåsbord can be too big or too varied but they should always contain some of the typical Swedish dishes mentioned below.

The traditional Swedish smörgåsbord consists of both hot and cold dishes. It’s served buffet-style and diners go around the table themselves picking the dishes they want. Bread, butter and cheese are always part of the smörgåsbord as well as eggs and different types of cold fish dishes which are generally various forms of pickled herring, smoked salmon and eel. There are often omelettes, gratins, sausages, meatballs and pates among the hot dishes. The point is to eat much protein, so that potato and vegetable dishes have a rather modest role on the smörgåsbord, as opposed to a buffet where salads and potato gratins occur more frequently. Dessert may or may not be included. Read more

07 Jun 2010

Royal wedding

No Comments Typically Swedish

There is a bit of a hysteria going on right now since the Crown Princess of Sweden; Victoria Bernadotte is getting married on the 19 June. She’s marrying fitness trainer Daniel Westling. A royal wedding seem to be the perfect antidote for recession blues :).

Read more

06 Jun 2010

6 June – National Day

No Comments Typically Swedish

It’s the 6 June today – Sweden’s National Day. In many countries the National Day is a very important day and there are big celebrations, that’s not really the case in Sweden. Maybe it’s because Sweden hasn’t taken part in any wars of the modern era. We are proud of our country but don’t seem to feel any great need to show it :).

It’s only been a public holiday since 2005 which doesn’t really matter this year since it falls on a Sunday. There are celebrations going on nowadays, parades and speeches, but before 2005 for many people the only sign that this was a special occasion was the decoration of buses with Swedish flags.

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia.

Every year, the King and Queen take part in a ceremony at Skansen, Stockholm’s open-air museum, where the yellow and blue Swedish flag is run up the mast, and children in traditional peasant costume present the royal couple with bouquets of summer flowers.

History behind the Swedish National Day
Since 1983, Sweden has celebrated its National Day on 6 June, prior to that it was only known as Swedish Flag Day celebrating that Sweden had acquired its own flag following the dissolution of the union with Norway in 1905.

This is the date on which Gustav Vasa was crowned king in 1523 and on which a new constitution was adopted in 1809. The original idea came from Artur Hazelius, who founded the Skansen open-air museum in Stockholm and held a national day celebration there on 6 June as early as the 1890s.

The Swedish national anthem – Du gamla, du fria (“Thou ancient, Thou free”)

Du gamla, Du fria, Du fjällhöga nord
Du tysta, Du glädjerika sköna!
Jag hälsar Dig, vänaste land uppå jord,
/: Din sol, Din himmel, Dina ängder gröna.:/
Du tronar på minnen från fornstora dar,
då ärat Ditt namn flög över jorden.
Jag vet att Du är och Du blir vad Du var.
/: Ja, jag vill leva jag vill dö i Norden.:/
And a translation in English

O glorious mountain crown’d land of the North,
thou quiet thou joyous land, I love thee,
I hail thee as fairest of lands on this earth;
/:Thy meadows green, the sun in heav’n above thee.:/

Thy throne is the mem’ry of great days of yore,
when all through the world thy name was carried,
thou art this, I know, the same as of old.
/: In thee I’ll live, in thee I’ll die, thou North Land. :/

04 Jun 2010

Fil

No Comments Typically Swedish

One of the things I miss most when I’m abroad (besides family and friends :P) is filmjölk, also known as fil. Came to think of it today when I woke up and was craving it for breakfast. There is no English term for filmjölk but it’s normally described as sour milk or fermented milk which describes what it is but doesn’t differientiate it from other types of sour/fermented milk. And it is different from anything I ever tasted.

There are heaps of different kinds of fil and there are types with our without flavour. My personal favourite is unflavoured A-fil, a fil with added lactobacillus acidophilus, a commonly used probiotic bacteria. Read more

30 Apr 2010

Walpurgis Night

No Comments Typically Swedish

It’s April 30th today, in Sweden a day known as Valborgsmässoafton or simply Valborg (in English Walpurgis Night). The day is a festive occasion associated with the bonfires but also singing of traditional songs of Spring and parties of course. The day is particularly popular with students as they have usually just finished their exams and it is a time to let their hair down and enjoy their new found freedoms.

The celebration has ancient traditions possibly going back to pre-Christian times in Europe. The day marks the birth of Saint Walpurga, who is believed to have been born in Devon, England around the year 710. This tradition of lighting bonfires on this day originates from Germany, where they lit bonfires to scare off witches. In Sweden we used to let cows and goats out into the forest on May 1st to begin their summer grazing. The Vikings picked up the habit of lighting bonfires to keep away evil spirits and wild animals so that the livestock would not get harmed. They also used the bonfires to celebrate and hurry up spring, and to purify nature. Read more

05 Mar 2010

Vasaloppet ski race

No Comments Sverige, Typically Swedish

Having breakfast and watching the traditional Vasaloppet ski race on TV (it’s always held the first Sunday in March). Vasaloppet is the oldest, the longest (90 km) and the biggest (this year it’s about 15 800 participants) cross country ski race in the world. It’s held in north-western Dalarna between the towns Sälen and Mora. The race was started in 1922 being inspired by the run that the future King Gustav Vasa had made in 1520. Read more