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May 01, 2014

Essentials for a Danish Eurovision Food Party

 

Click here for our essential list of the top Danish Eurovision food for your themed party.

This May, Eurovision comes to Copenhagen. We’ve been inundated with requests about how to best make a Danish-themed Eurovision party for the grand final on 10th May.

Across Scandinavia, we treat ourselves on Eurovision evening. This means snacks, sweets and crisps. Nothing healthy. We love our treats, and this is one evening when we don’t hold back on the bad stuff. Below is a list of essentials, and a suggestion for a dinner or open sandwiches that you can easily make at home.

All the crisps

Some form of cheesy puffs – either Kims Ostepops or Cheez Doodles are fine.

Kims Snack Chips – pricier, but really good and worth the extra.

Sourcream & Onion from Estrella – a Swedish brand but sold in Denmark, too.

We love to dip our crisps - such as the Estrella ones, so we always make some form of dip mix. Our favourites here at SK are the dill or Holiday brands from Estrella.  Mix the powder with a mixture of half-crème fraîche and half yogurt (100ml of each). Stir, and leave to set for about 20 minutes. If too thick, add a dash of milk.

All the sweets

Pick’n’Mix. Get the actual Scandi favourites from SK. A big, huge bag for everybody to share with as many kinds as possible.  If you don’t like liquorice, make sure to order bags without.

Familie Guf or Matador Mix come in smaller bags – no strong stuff. Both very Danish.

All the liquorice

Super Piratos – strong, but solid

Tyrkisk Peber – strong. Just strong. So strong.

For comedy value, try packets of salty Spunk. (We also do a fruit version).

All the chocolate

Marabou is sold all over Scandinavia and is a firm favourite amongst Danes. 

We also love Yankie bars, Holly bars and little mini chocolate turtles such as “skildpadder’.  For comedy value, try Skum Banan.

All the open sandwiches

So very Danish and super easy to make. The most traditional way to prepare an open sandwich is on dark seeded rye bread, but choose which ever bread you prefer. We don’t eat much crispbread in Denmark, so stick to rye, crusty or brown bread.

It is easy to make an open sandwich – it is, after all, just a piece of bread with a little something on top. However, to make it the Danish way, it’s all about decorating the open sandwich in a way to make it look really nice – and ensuring the toppings provide both crunch, texture and taste.

Some ideas:

Cut the bread to the sizes you want.  You can make these as canapé sizes (it will take quite a while to prepare so give yourself good time).  Canapé size is around 4 x 4 cm.  A larger finger food option is 4 x 8 cm – still fine to eat standing up.  Any larger than this and your guests will need cutlery, plates and a place to sit.  Traditional Danish open sandwiches are always eaten sitting down, except when made to canapé size.

Dark rye bread with liver pâté, chopped crispy streaky bacon and sliced, fried mushrooms. Alternatively, just add crispy onions on top of the liver pâté if you don’t want to faff around with frying bacon.

Boiled egg and prawns on dark rye bread. Add a few sliced of boiled egg to your buttered bread, a squeeze of mayonnaise on top and then add prawns. Decorate with a sprig of dill or chopped chives. 

Danish cheese. We love Riberhus, it has a great bite to it. We love it with some form of jam on top (yes, really. TRY IT). Dark rye bread or crusty white bread, a slice of cheese and a dollop of cloudberry or strawberry jam is perfection.

Smoked salmon is a favourite all over Scandinavia. The bread can either be dark rye or crusty white. Butter your bread, top with smoked salmon. You can choose either a dill and mustard sauce, or make it extra Danish with some cold scrambled egg on top to decorate. Top with chives or dill.

Our meatballs are not the same as Swedish meatballs. Danish meatballs are bigger and are made with a mixture of veal and pork, as opposed to beef.  If you have made Danish meatballs, you can slice them and pop them on a piece of dark rye bread. Topping is cooked red cabbage and a sprig of parsley or chervil. 

Roast beef and Danish remoulade. One of the classic combinations. This one needs dark rye bread and very thinly sliced rare roast beef. Arrange the roast beef carefully to give the sandwich some height, then add a dollop of ‘remoulade’ dressing on top (Danes cannot live without remoulade – this isn’t the French version, so make sure you use Danish). Add a dollop of horseradish sauce or freshly grated horseradish, crispy onions and maybe some pickled cucumber.

Fried fish on bread. Does it sound weird? It’s not. A slice of dark rye bread is in order here. Either buy fillets of plaice in breadcrumbs and heat them up, or bread your own mini-fillets of plaice (if you buy them, you may need to cut them in two as they tend to be quite big). It is fine that the fish is cold when you add it to the bread. On top of the fish, add either a dollop of remoulade, or go with the classic combination of a bit of mayonnaise and some fresh prawns. Don’t forget slices of lemon to decorate.

A veggie option is dark rye bread topped with slices of boiled egg and tomatoes, topped with a bit of mayonnaise and chopped chives.

Finally, herring. Don’t be scared of the herring. We love herring. It is hard to pre-prepare open sandwiches with herring because the brine from the herring will soak your bread and it will be impossible for you to eat it with your hands.  Instead, butter pieces of bread and serve the herring on the side for guests to add their own just before eating.  This way, you can make the herring fillets as small or large as you like.  Danish people absolutely favour plain onion herring and curried herring. The latter is very delicious and not at all as bad as it sounds if eaten with rye bread.  Serve herring with shots of Aalborg aquavit. Down in one, sunshine, and the whole show is much more entertaining. Maybe.

No time to make open sandwiches? You need all the hotdogs

Scandi hotdogs.  The easy option.

Danes eat two types of hotdogs, the red ones or the brown ones.  The red one is red. It tastes a bit like the brown one.  We just like the colour.

Red hotdog sausages here

Brown version here

Get yourself some hotdog buns – small ones, not the massive one. Finger rolls are also good.

A standard Danish hotdog will have the following toppings:

 - Ketchup (Bahnke does a good version – we like our ketchup a bit spicy)

- Sweet or strong mustard – find the real Danish ones here

 - Remoulade here

 - Crispy onions here

 - Raw chopped onions (optional – we don’t blame you for not doing this one)

 - Sliced pickled cucumbers (agurke salat) here

To prepare the sausages, bring a pan of water to simmering point then turn it off. Add the sausages for 4-5 minutes until heated through. Wait. Wait some more. Heat the buns and voilà, it’s done. If you try to fry or boil the sausages, they will split. Don’t do it. 1-2 hotdogs per person should be sufficient.

Velbekomme – and enjoy the show. #JoinUs!

Illustrated Beginner's Guide to Eurovision Voting

Click on the image for larger version.

Oh yes, Eurovision fever has begun. Six days to go...

Voting

 Via i.imgur.com

April 28, 2014

Ten Scandinavian words that mean something a bit different in English…

B_4-slutspurt

Slut

At the end of every fairy tale, they all lived happily ever after. Slut. You also slut when you finish a phone call. It means ‘end’. If you change your settings on your iphone to Danish, Swedish or Norwegian, every call will end with a 'slut'.

Fart

We have fart controls. We have fart hinders. Our lifts fart. As do our buses. Fart means speed.

Prik

A little prik will do. It means dot. You can also prik someone on Facebook and it means ‘poke’. But this isn’t 2008 so no prikking on Facebook.

Slag 

We’ve got many slags of herring at ScandiKitchen. It means ‘type of’. Can also mean to beat or hit. Don’t slag me.

Tvätt

In Swedish, your laundry is known as your tvätt. Your washing powder could be ‘for all slags tvätt’.

Slut-spurt

There’s lots of slutspurting going on in the shops of Denmark and Sweden at sale time. It means ‘the final spurt’. It’s better than saying ‘end of sale’, isn’t it? In Sweden, it's referred to as 'Slut Rea'.

Bra

Nothing to do with boobs. It means ‘good’. But if you speak Scots or read The Broons, you already knew that, because it’s the same word in Glasgow too. Braw.

Titta

Titta ye not, because there’s no smut with this word in Sweden. It means ‘to watch’. People who watch TV are called ‘tittare’.

Kock / kok

You can be Head Kock in Sweden. Or a Master Kok in Denmark. But only if you can cook, because that’s what it means.

Kiss

When a Swede has a kiss, it means they’re urinating. Remember that one.

8635947_fullscreen

 

April 24, 2014

How to be more Danish, in ten easy steps.

We asked the good people on Twitter how to be a Dane in 10 steps…

 Here are some of the top replies:

 

1. Wear black. And only black.

  Blackwear

 

2. Eat open sandwiches. Preferably topped with cheese and jam. Yes, jam.

  Ostemad1

 

3. Throw the word "hygge" randomly into sentences, then pretend to try really hard to find an English translation. Yet again.

  Ayumi-hygge

 

4. Never use the word please, with the excuse that “but we don’t HAVE a word for please in Danish”.

Please

 

5. Test ANY non-Dane on whether they like salty liquorice and laugh when they don't.

  Salt_liquorice_skulls__87498_zoom

 

6. Have an awkward sense of humour and laugh at jokes such as “Do you know how to save a Swede from drowning? No? Good!” HarHarHarHar... See also: making fun of everything Swedish. And Norwegian. And Icelandic. And German.#hilarious

  JokesGroupPhoto

 

7. Have a flagpole in your garden and raise the Danish flag at every opportunity (Sundays, public holidays, birthdays, popping to the shops…)

  Dansk_flag_thumb[3]

 

8.  If someone asks you how you are, be sure to really explain to them how you are feeling. 

  How-are-you

9. Top most food groups with a dollop of remoulade. Especially chips, beef, fish and hotdogs. And salami. And meatballs. 

  Grillmad_06

 

10. Always have one white sock over one trouser leg (or roll one trouser leg up, if not wanting to wear white socks over your all-black outfit). You never know when you might be going cycling. This way, you can be ready in a flash.

Pumps

April 22, 2014

Need a 'Kransekake' for 17th Mai?

Kranse

Our good friend Karen is really good at making Kransekake / kransekage.  In fact, she's been making them for years. We don't make them but we're very happy to recommend you to speak to Karen.

Soon, Norway's National Day is coming up - if you need a Kransekake for the event - or for any other Danish/Norwegian event - do get in touch with Karen and she can help you out.

17 Mai is drawing closer but you still have time to order your kransekake / kransekage.

Whether you want a small stack, a few fingers or the full 18-ring cake, Karen can provide you with a taste of home.

Karen will be taking orders until she's booked up, so get in as early as possible.

For prices, see www.karens-kitchen.com/kransekake

FB: thisiskarenskitchen

Email: karenkitchen2@yahoo.co.uk

Tel: 07818 405501

Do tell her we sent you to her so she knows.

Bye for now

April 17, 2014

Easy Easter Smorgasbord - a guide

Smörgasbord-0-10_original (1)


A traditional smörgåsbord doesn’t have to be complicated. It is, in essence, the Nordic version of a buffet, so as long as you follow a few traditional rules and know when to eat which bit, you won’t go wrong. We basically have the same smörgåsbord for every high season, with a few seasonal dish changes.

This version is designed so that you can shop and put it together in a morning, provided you’re organised about the whole thing. For this reason, we have provided UK supermarket equivalents for some ingredients, but if you do have time, pop by our shop and pick up the authentic Nordic essentials or make everything from scratch if you want to impress.

The basics

How to serve and arrange a smörgåsbord.

Laying the table: Arrange in the middle of the table or, if serving for many people, at a side serving table. Served as a lunch and should take around 2-3 hours to eat. The focus here is on slow eating and drinking, with much talking and being together.

Drinks: Lagers such as Tuborg and Carlsberg will provide authenticity – but any good bottled lager is fine. Wine is fine, but less traditional (wine really doesn’t go with herring and shots of aquavit).

Aquavit (aka snaps): We recommend shots of a good, super-chilled OP Andersson or Ålborg. Crisp and strong, they’re perfect partners for pickled herring. If you can’t get hold of aquavit, you can use chilled Absolut Vodka. Leave the bottle in the freezer for a good few hours before serving in shot glasses.

How to arrange the dishes

If arranging on a separate buffet table (recommended for 15 people or more), always arrange the fish at one end, starting with the herring, followed by any other fish dishes. Follow it with cold meats, then warm meats, side dishes and finally bread and butter. Cheese can be placed by the bread section or served separately at the end as a cheese board. Dessert is not brought out until the main smörgåsbord has been eaten. If arranging the food where people are sitting around a table, add all fish dishes first, then cold meats. Bring out any warm dishes as needed. The main thing is to let your guests know that they have to:

1) Always start with herring and aquavit (butter some rye bread or crisp bread, add a few slices of herring on top, eat with a knife and fork, drink a shot of aquavit, and everybody cheers together).

2) Once the herring is eaten, enjoy any other cold fish dishes – from prawns to salmon, egg with roe, and so on. Make your own little open sandwiches on the plate, but always use knife and fork. Never hands!

3) Sliced meats are next, and so on. Then repeat.

4) Warm dishes come next!

5) Replenish as you see fit throughout. We graze for hours, going back to our favourite sections again and again.

Plate arrangement

Arrange each seating with a large plate for main part of the meal and one small plate on top, for herring only. Herring has a very strong flavour, so once everybody’s done with it, the first plates are usually collected so the rest of the meal isn’t herring-flavoured. If you hate washing up or simply just love meatballs that taste of herring, knock yourself out.

Singing

We do like to sing a few songs as we drink our snaps. These are called ‘Snaps-visor’. After a couple of shots of aquavit, it is generally accepted that most people speak fluent Danish, even if they come from Middlesbrough and the closest they have been to Copenhagen is watching The Killing. Plenty of songs to be found on the internet. If you don’t fancy trying real Nordic songs, just pretend to be the Swedish Chef from the Muppets.

Every family has they own version and way to make a smörgåsbord. This is our version – make changes as you see fit. There is no smörgåsbord police (there might be smörgåsbord police in Sweden, actually).

ScandiKitchen’s Easy Easter Smörgåsbord for six people

Two kinds of herring

  • 1 jar of ABBA Mustard herring
  • 1 jar of ABBA Onion herring

Waitrose and Ocado have good versions of pickled herring, but don’t go for rollmops, as those are too sour.

Prawns and boiled eggs

6 hard boiled eggs, halved, placed on a serving dish. Add a bit of mayonnaise on each egg half and top with good quality prawns

Smoked salmon with lemon

Arrange about 60-70g of smoked salmon per person on a serving tray. Decorate with lemon wedges and a bit of fresh dill

Gravadlax Salad

Fold together in a bowl the following:

  • 200g gravlax cured salmon cut into bite size pieces
  • 150g cooked, cooled, sliced new potatoes
  • 100g blanched asparagus cut in pieces
  • A handful of green peas
  • 100g cooked, cooled green beans
  • 8-10 halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1-2 tablespoons of dill and mustard sauce

Arranged on a serving tray, top with chopped chives

Dill & mustard sauce:

You can make your own or get it at our place.

Most UK supermarkets have some form of it too these days.

Sliced and cold meats tray

6 slices of good quality ham

12 slices of Danish salami (or whichever you prefer)

Pork liver pâté – we love Stryhn’s or Per I Viken, but you can go for a good quality UK version too – just keep it smooth.

Warm dishes

Meatballs. Always meatballs.

Make your own, or use a ‘Swedish Meatball’ variety from the supermarket to keep it simple

In Sweden, we also eat a lot of ‘prinskorv’ mini sausages (heated).

We stock these, but you can get frankfurters in supermarket and cut to smaller pieces and serve alongside the meatballs

Where’s the lamb?

We actually don’t eat much lamb on the Easter buffet table. We agree that this does seem like a bit of an oversight. If you want lamb, have lamb. Make a small lamb roast and serve alongside the warm dishes. Lamb goes well with Jansson’s Temptation

Additional Side dishes

Choose as many of these to make as you fancy… (you do not need to make them all)

Beetroot Salad

  • 300g jar of drained beetroot, chopped
  • Mix with mayonnaise and crème fraîche until you have a pink creamy mixture.
  • Add salt, pepper, lemon juice (and sugar, if too tart). Leave to set.

Cheat: Ocado sells real ScandiKitchen Beetroot Salad. As do we in the shop

New potato salad

  • 500g of new potatoes, cooked and cooled.
  • Mix with a simple vinaigrette and chopped red onion.

Cheat: Buy a potato salad, but not the type drenched in mayonnaise

Jansson’s Temptation (warm)

A potato and cream gratin made with Swedish Grebbestads Ansjovis

(NEVER anchovies - this is one dish where no alternatives will suffice) and cream

(approx. 1 hour prep time)

Cheat: Get a potato gratin at the supermarket. Add small amount of chopped Grebbestads Ansjovis before baking

Västerbotten Paj (warm)

Swedish cheese quiche (1 hour prep time plus pasty making)

Cheat: Buy a good quality cheese quiche

Skagenröra (Swedish seafood salad)

  • 200g prawns and 200g crayfish trails, mix with chopped chives and chopped dill
  • Add a gentle helping of mayonnaise
  • Salt, pepper, finely chopped shallot. Combine.
  • Cheat: Add some chives and seasoning to a prawn mayonnaise.

Gubbröra (Egg and fish salad)

  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • Finely chopped shallot onion
  • 6 chopped fillets of Swedish Grebbestads Ansjovis
  • OR chopped matjes herring (as preferred)
  • Chopped chives, pepper.

Mix together. Serve in a bowl.

If you prefer a creamier version, add a dollop of crème fraîche.

Egg & Roe 

Arranged sliced, boiled eggs on a serving tray. Top with either Kalle’s Kaviar (creamed cod roe, in a tube, available in the shop or at Ocado)

or

Dollops of lumpfish roe kaviar and finely chopped shallot onion.

Sauces, pickles, dressings (As needed).

Bowls of pickled cucumber, sliced pickled beetroot, Mustards, mayonnaises, remoulade. And whatever condiments you fancy.

Bread

  • Selection of crisp bread (we love Leksands and Pyramid from the shop)
  • Selection of sliced rye bread
  • Crusty white bread
  • Butter
  •  

Cheese selection

Our ideal cheese selection would be:

  • Västerbotten cheese (Our place, Waitrose, Ocado)
  • Norwegian Brown Cheese (our place, Ocado)
  • Riberhus Danish cheese (our place)

A good quality blue cheese

Cheat: Get whatever cheese you like.

Dessert (optional)

Cloudberry Mess

Arrange in each serving glass:

  • 1 lightly crushed meringue nest
  • 1 dollop of whipped cream
  • 1 scoop of good vanilla ice cream
  • Heat up some cloudberry jam – and pour 1 tbsp. hot jam on top just before serving.

March 21, 2014

Waffle Day 25th March - 'Våffeldagen'

Vaffel21

Waffle Day (25th March) began in Sweden as Våffeldagen, allegedly due to confusion between the Swedish “vårfrudagen” meaning “Our Lady’s Day” which falls on the same date. The day historically marks the beginning of spring and is celebrated by the eating of many, many waffles.

Nordic waffles are made in a special heart-shape waffle iron. The waffles are sweet and soft – and best eaten straight out of the iron, with jam and whipped cream. Or brown cheese, if you are Norwegian.

Pop by all day Tuesday 25th for waffles at the café.  Get any coffee and a waffle for a fiver - available all day.

Or make some waffles at home - here's a recipe that our Marte uses. There are as many recipes as there are families in Scandinavia - this is the one we use at ScandiKitchen.

If you don't have a waffle maker, you can buy them on Amazon and ebay.

March 14, 2014

Easy Recipe: Chokladbollar (Oat and chocolate treats)

Chocladbollar

March 07, 2014

WIN 'The Edible Atlas' by Mina Holland

The-Edible-Atlas-HB-poster

Sometimes, a book lands on our desk for a competition that we really don't want to tell anyone about just so we can keep it to ourselves! This is one such book. We think every serious foodie should have a copy of this. 

Mina Holland (follow Mina here) has written an amazing book entitled The Food Atlas - about food from all over the globe; a journey of 39 cuisines. How we eat it, why we eat it... It's even got a bit about our corner of the world in the book (and we're pleased to see a recipe for Danish Dream Cake making an appearance). THE EDIBLE ATLAS explores what and why people eat as they do across the world, demystifying the flavours, ingredients, techniques and dishes at the heart of thirty-nine different cuisines. With fully adaptable recipes to suit beginners and confident cooks alike, learn to recreate dishes from all over the globe.

We've got a copy of this book to give to a lucky winner. To be in with the a chance to win Mina's book, just answer this easy question:

Norwegian band 'Ylvis' sang a (quite annoying) song called...

a) What does the herring say?

b) What does the fox say?

c) What does the Swede say?

Answers to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before noon on Thursday 13th March 2014. Winner will be notified by email. Only one prize, no cash alternative, usual rules apply. No cheating. 

Russell Norman (from 'The Restaurant Man') says: "The Edible Atlas deserves a place on every serious cook’s bookshelf. Intelligent, informative, entertaining and very handsome. Mina Holland’s prose is as engaging as her recipes. She is an exciting and authoritative new voice in the world of cookery and food writing."

‘Fascinating, telling some fantastic stories about a broad range of cuisines … The food cries to be cooked’ YOTAM OTTOLENGHI

BUY MINA'S BOOK 'The Edible Atlas' here 

March 03, 2014

The very funny Sofie Hagen... Cast your votes here.

We're proud that our friend Sofie Hagen has been nominated for a Chortle Award 2014. It takes guts to stand up and be funny at the best of times - but doing it in a second language? Ohhhhh, now that is hard!

You can cast your vote here for the Best Newcomer (closes 3rd March midnight) - it takes just a few seconds to do.

Here's a clip of Sofie so you know who you're (hopefully) voting for as a UK Chortle Award newcomer

Love,

The Kitchen People x

February 27, 2014

WIN a box of SEMLOR for the office

Semlor-2_original

Ahhhh.... Imagine if there was a way to make friends with Shirley from HR in one clean swoop? Or get Brian from accounts to notice you?

Try giving them a tray of freshly baked semlor. Oh, and now you can maybe even get your hands on a whole tray of these lovely buns for free.

To be in with a chance to be Mr or Ms popular in the office (or indeed, take them all home and eat them all to yourself), just answer this easy question:

Eighties Swedish band Europe had a hit with which song:

a) All That She Wants (is another baby)

b) The Final Countdown

c) Saturday Night

Answer to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before Monday noon (3rd March).

No cash alternative, prize must be picked up from the cafe (date by arrangement - please book in the pick up so we know), one tray of semlor is 10 buns. No cheating. Winner picked at random. Usual rules apply.

 

February 26, 2014

Reindeer herding - seen from above

Creating beautiful reindeer swirls of herding. 

Shot by Jan Helmer Olsen in Norway 

Semla baking competition...

UPDATE 4th March:  THE WINNER OF THE BAKING COMPETITON IS GRETE MINUMETS - as chosen by our Shop Manager Rebekka.

Congratulations - your buns were particularly lovely looking.

Thanks to everybody who sent in pictures - we realyl enjoyed seeing all the great efforts and we cant wait to do more competitions. Cinnamon buns next?

Love, The Kitchen People x

---

First entry is in - from Rick in London.

PhotoGrid_1393182834213_20140226141325171

 

And from Martin Ashton...

Semla

 

Richard Crowe - first time Semla baker and doing a pretty good job of it!

Image-4

These, made by Anna, are dairy free. Made with the scandikitchen recipe and turned out very well. Light buns with almond filling and instead of whipped cream a confectioners custard made with rice milk.  Two Swedes have approved of them so far, Anna says...

2014-02-20 20.11.12

 Linnea Dunne's big buns below

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 21.12.26

Jude Killip made this lovely batch:

Semlor 2013

 

Julia Richard's semlor - don't they look awesome?

 

 

 

Juliarichards

Molly Gartland - first time semlor baker:

Mollygartland

 

Caroline Sinclair's great Semlor below - first time Semlor baker, too!

CarolineSinclair

 

Linda Edvardsen in London, below:

Lindaedvardsen

And lovely buns from Grete Minumets

GreteMinumets

And great buns from Jessica Resen Tfirst:

Jessica ResenTfirst

And Anne Sundquist made a lot of lovely buns:

AnneSundquist

And lovely Ian Mansfield was also baking:

IanMansfiedl


Emily Bridge baked mini semlor for the office

IMG_20140303_112001

And Gloria spiked her whipped cream with Amaretto... yum.

  Gloria

Show us your big, fat buns and WIN Lunch for Two at ScandiKitchen

Fettisdagen2014

It's Fat Tuesday on Tuesday 4th March 2014 - also known as Fettisdagen, fastelavn, Shrove Tuesday and Mardi Gras.

On this day across Scandinavia we celebrate the start of Lent. The faste is not observed that often anymore, however, the tradition of stuffing ourselves with cream buns the day before Ash Wednesday still prevails.

In Sweden, these buns are known as Semlor (plural of the word 'Semla'). They are yeast buns flavoured with cardamon, baked and then stuffed with marzipan and whipped cream.

Semlor are only served around this time of year.  Once Lent is in full swing, the buns are not baked again until the following year - it really is a huge seasonal tradition and you should definitely make sure you get your hands on one of these buns before the season is over.

We bake and serve these at the cafe - however, it is not hard ot make your own.  You can find the recipe right HERE.

WE WANT TO SEE YOUR BIG BUNS: Your own creations and variations.  Send us a snapshot of your Fat Tuesday buns and we'll post the pictures online - and we'll pick a winner who gets Lunch for Two People at the cafe in London (if you live too far away, we'll send you a voucher for the webshop instead).

Mail your photos to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before 4th March 2014. Usual competition rules apply.

First entry - from Isabelle in Brighton who made her first ever batch of Semlor, having never tasted them before. Verdict: "Amazing - and my flatmate had 3 of them, I'm not sure how she managed!".

IsabelleEva_Semlor

 

 

 

 

February 23, 2014

Ahhh, Iceland... What a nice tourist advert.

Watch, book flight, enjoy. It's a very lovely place.

February 13, 2014

WIN: 'The Almost Nearly Perfect People' - by Michael Booth

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Did you read the article that got everybody talking a few weeks back? (if not, read it HERE) Are we Nordics not all we're cracked up to be? Who decided to put us on a pedestal in the first place and how do we get down from there without ruining everything? Are we really obsessed with Midsomer Murders? (Ed: Yes).

Michael Booth, writer and journalist, currently living in Denmark (and, we can vouch, speak Danish pretty well) is not sure all is as it is cracked up to be. Well, actually, that is if you only read the article (so don't be offended just yet). In the book, you see, Booth goes deeper into the psyche of what makes us Scandinavians special and finds that, in fact, we might just be almost perfect...

Confused? Don't be. It's a good book and it is worth a read. You can buy it here

We've got a copy of the book to give away - fancy being in with a chance of winning it?

Just answer this easy question:

The statue of the Little Mermaid is in which Nordic town:

a) Stockholm

b) Copenhagen

c) Skagen

Answers by e-mail, please, to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before Monday at noon (17/2). Winner will be drawn at random from correct entries. No cheating, no cash alternative, no non-sense and all usual terms apply. 

February 11, 2014

Boris Johnson's alternative methods of transport during Tube strike

Borisstrike 2

February 06, 2014

WIN tickets to the BP exhibition Vikings: life and legend at the British Museum in London

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It's the most exciting exhibition for anyone interested in the history of the Vikings. Oh yes: This spring, we're invading the British Museum in London (This time, we're a bit friendlier...sorry about the plundering last time).

The exhibition is on 6 March – 22 June 2014 at the Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery, British Museum.

Discover the Viking world in this major exhibition – the first at the British Museum for over 30 years. Swords and axes, coins and jewellery, hoards, amulets and religious images show how Vikings created an international network connecting cultures over four continents. At the centre of the exhibition will be the surviving timbers of a 37-metre-long Viking warship, the longest ever found.*

Book tickets here

Booking strongly recommended - this exhibition is going to be super popular.

Price per adult is £16.50, children under 16 free (Group rates available) britishmuseum.org/vikings 

We've got a pair of tickets to give away to one lucky winner. To be in with a chance to win, simply answer the following question:

Which Viking is often credited with discovering North America?

a) Leif Eriksson

b) King Canute

c) Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye

Answers to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before Valentine's Day. Winners will be drawn at random from correct entries.

T&Cs: Pair of tickets subject to availability. Tickets are non-transferrable, non exchangeable and there is no cash alternative. Additional expenses are the responsibility of the prize winner. Promoter reserves the right to exchange all or part of the prize for one of greater or equal value. No cheating.

The exhibition is supported by BP. Organised with the National Museum of Denmark and the Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

Image credit:

Sword, late 8th–early 9th century. Kalundborg or Holbæk, Zealand, Denmark. Photo: Arnold Mikkelsen. © The National Museum of Denmark. Background: Kim Westerskov/Getty Images.

*We're not sure if the viking ship arrived flat-packed. It's likely.

January 30, 2014

'Monthly Art/Photo Space' at ScandiKitchen: Artists wanted.

We've got a few empty walls where we like to ask artists and photogrpahers to display their work. We usually change artworks every month or so.

This is a last call to be in with a chance to be February/March artist.  

Send a few examples of your work to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk and we'll chose the artist or photographer we feel is best for the space.

The few simple ground rules are:

- The art work comes to us frame and ready to hang, ideally no larger than 40 x 80cm.  We can accommodate up to 4 paintings or frames.

- The work MUST be either by a Scandi artist or photographer OR someone depicting Scandinavia in some form.

- The write up about the artist has to be no larger than A5 - we can add this on the wall next to the frames

- We will not sell or be responsible for any sales of the art work - all comms about the art work will need to be on the A5 note including contact details

- When the art months is up, the artist is responsible to picking up the art work again.

- We accept no responsibility for damage etc to any works - we will do out best to keep things nice, but the items are hung here on owners responsibility.

- No moving of nails or hooks - we have only what we have here and can't start moving nails around

- Please, no frames that are massively heavy, it is just a basic wall.

Other than that, it is up to you.

Ps - please dont send massive images by email. Small example versions of your work is good.

WIN a box of our favourite liquorice selection

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To celebrate our liquorice week at ScandiKitchen, we're giving away a selection box of our favourite liquorice.

The lovely gift box contains:

Tyrkisk peber (both normal and firewood), Johan Bulow No 2 Salty, Franske Saltpastiller, Skolekridt chalks, Salty fish, Super Piratos, Lakrisal, Marabou Black Chocolate, Skipper's Pipes and Djungelvrål.

Want to win a selection of our Top Ten?  You better like licourice, then. Or know someone who does.

To be in with a chance of winning, answer the following question:

Salmiakki is a word originating from which language?

a)  Norwegian

b)  Icelandic

c)  Finnish

Email your answer before Midday Wednesday 5th Feb 2014 to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk  – usual rules apply. No cheating. No cash alternative. 

Liquorice: A mini guide.

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LAKRIDS, LIQUORICE, LICOURICE... 

We Nordics have a favourite pass time: to try and get non-liquorice lovers to taste the stuff we enjoy eating by the bucket load. We cannot comprehend why you do not enjoy these (usually) super salty and often peppery sweets.

To be fair, we are aware that liquorice is one of those tastes that have to be developed over time. The enjoyment of liquorice (to us) start in the sweetie shops when we’re kids and it grows over a great number of years. By the time we’re adults, we’re so accustomed to the taste of salty liquorice that we can eat the liquorice-equivalent of crack and still think straight. Most likely, we can consume bags at the time.

First, the nature bit: Liquorice comes from the liquorice root. It’s a plant that has medicinal powers known for centuries. Admittedly, commercial liquorice isn’t that similar to the root. However, did you know that pure liquorice is actually 20 times sweeter than sugar? 

Liquorice is popular all across the world but especially in Europe.  The further North you go, the saltier we like it.  The Nordic countries as well as the Netherlands, seem to have developed the taste for the particularly Strong Black Stuff. Many believe this is because the salty/sweet combo is very much part of our food heritage.

When you talk about Salty Liquorice, what we usually mean is Salmiakki.  The word Salmiakki is a Finnish word and we prefer using that because the actual word is Ammonium Chloride, which doesn’t sound so nice. Ammonium Chloride is a powder that taste like salt, but isn't really actual salt as you know it. It’s this stuff that gives some of our liquorice the distinct edge of saltiness. But let’s just call it Salmiakki, shall we? Or saltlakrids, if you want to be specific about it.

The way to start appreciating liquorice is to start with the mild stuff then slowly move towards the saltier varieties, much like you would when enjoying spicy foods.  There are many varieties of liquorice – from the gourmet to the less gourmet, from the mild to the super strong… Where to start? 

Here’s our mini-guide to some of our favourite liquorice – and a guide to the strength, as measured in good old skulls.

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Our favourite has to be the gourmet liquorice by Danish maker Johan Bülow. When we say gourmet, we really do mean gourmet: hand made using the finest raw ingredients. Not strong, just very fine liquorice.

No skulls - this stuff is very mild, although Liquorice number 5 does have a good kick at the end as it has added chilli.  For beginners, try number one - the sweet one.  

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Tyrkisk Peber.  The most infamous of Nordic liquorice, these babies come in the original super hot flavour (boiled sweets with a peppery inside).  We also love the Firewood selection: chewy, but less strong. Still, we rate both as 3-skull due to the consistent salmiakki delivery while eating.

if you get hold of a few bags of the blue one, crush the sweets then add them to a bottle of vodka. Leave for a week or so to marinade - and voila! A very salty pepper shot. Also know as 'Little Grey Ones' in Denmark ('Små Grå). 

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Lakrifun / Skolekridt.  A firm childhood favourite, these little sweet 'chalks'. The liquorice centre is sweet with a slight hit of salt. Coated in a white sugary glaze. A great sweet – most people will admit to liking this after a few tries. 1 skull

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Djungelvraal – literally, JungleScream. Sweet liquorice covered in salmiakki. Initially the shock is a 3 skull taste – but quickly you will realise it is just the coating. If you can take the initial ten seconds, you can join the club. The rest is easy.

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Marabou Black – yes, chocolate with liquorice in it. Also available in the Salmiakki version by Fazer. Eating chocolate and salty liquorice together is something only true lakriphiles do. The liquorice enjoyment is long, drawn out and constant. Not strong, just very liquorice.   Is it really called lakriphile?

Lakrisal copy

 

 

Lakrisal -little liquorice powder tablets. A bit of a kick, but nothing serious.  A good salmiakki starter. 1-2 skulls.

 

Tyrkisk 

Super Piratos – salty liquorice coins. Actually, this is the extra salty version. If you can eat this, you’re in the club. 3 skulls.

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Franske Saltpastiller – French salt pastilles. Also a good beginner at 1 skull strength. Blue and white coated sugar sweets with slightly salty liquorice inside. Chewy. Not really French; doesn’t even know how to ask for directions to the nearest Metro. 

 

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Liquorice pipes – under threat from the EU and might be banned, the pipes are sweet and not strong. And a bit fun, too.  One skull strength. Great for starters and for pretending you are some kind of weird liquorice pipe eating pirate or sailor. 


Salty_Fish copySalty Fish – those Swedish Fish, but the liquorice version. 1 skull strength with a nice salty finish. A good beginner fish.

We're celebrating a bit of a liquorice week at ScandiKitchen Cafe starting 31st January.  Pop by and have a few tasters, chat to us about the strong stuff and get advise on what to try. We'll be most happy to try and help you develop your own liquorice addiction.

Click here to shop for liquorice in our online store.

 

January 23, 2014

Five easy ways to use Lingonberries at home

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With all the chat in the media about the amazing Nordic Lingonberry and how it fights off the fat, we thought we'd give you a few ideas on how to incorporate more Lingonberries into your day to day.

Lingonberries come in several forms. Firstly, fresh - this is very hard to get hold of outside the Nordics. Secondly, you can get it frozen (right here) and thirdly, in a jam style jelly (the most common form). We also love Lingonberry cordial and juices.

In Scandinavia, Lingonberry Jam is used a bit like cranberry sauce is in the UK: with savoury dishes. We love a good dollop of lingonberry jam with our meatballs, for example, or game dishes. Some people do use it as a jam on toast as well, but it is mostly used as a savoury sidekick.

Five nifty ways to add lingonberry to your daily foodie routines:

1) Lingonberry porridge. Make a simple porridge of oats, water and milk. When it starts to thicken, add a good handfull of frozen lingonberries. Keep stirring until they are incorporated and heated through. We serve this lovely 'pink porridge' at ScandiKitchen all the time. It has a slighty tart taste to it. Add sugar if desired. We also love it served with mixed seeds on top.

2) Add frozen lingonberries to your morning smoothie or juice. Because it is not a sweet berry, best pair with sweeter fruits. We think it works quite well in a banana based smoothie - add a pinch of cinnamon too and a squeeze of orange.

3) Easy red cabbage salad: Sliced raw red cabbage, diced pears, a dollop of lingonberry jam and creme fraiche to lightly coat. Season with salt. Add berries for extra tartness. 

4) Use Lingonberry jam (along with extra berries) on top of a sweet cheese cake.

5) Make a soft gingerbread cake ('Mjuk Pepparkaka') and add a cup of lingonberries to the mixture. Alternatively, make a vanilla buttercream icing and add a handful of lingonberries before spreading on a cake. 

Enjoy!

Tuut tuut, that's our trumpet blowing... And our recipes.

We were in S-Magazine in The Sunday Express last Sunday.  

Starring roles to our open roast beef sandwich, Jansson's Temptation, Vasterbotten Pie, Kladdkaka, Marte's Kale & Grape salad and the infamous Apple Cake that we serve at the cafe.

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Lingonberries - the new super berry

Ahhh, we knew it already, but now the cat is out of the bag: Lingonberries are the new super berry according to researchers at Lund University. 

Read the article here 

It can be very hard to get hold of Lingonberries in the UK - but we stock them frozen at the cafe in 500g packs. Perfect to keep a stash in your freezer so you can add a handful of berries to your morning smoothie or on top of your yoghurt or cereal.

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Recipe: Semlor - Swedish lent buns

Fancy baking some Semlor? This amazing cardamom buns stuffed with marzipan and whipped cream. We enjoy these mainly on Fat Tuesday (Shrove Tuesday) - but also in the weeks leading up to it.

Here's a nice recipe.

If you can't get hold of the 50% marzipan (you can get it at our place and also on Ocado), you can use a UK marzipan, such as Waitrose 25%. It will not be as almondy, but it works).

We've tested this recipe with both fresh yeast and dry active yeast (comes in a little tub) - if using the latter, you should add the granules to the warm milk.

Get a PDF of the recipe here

If you cant be bothered baking, we're baking daily at the cafe until Easter, so pop by and get your bun-fix.

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January 10, 2014

January's artist: Åsa Wikman

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We love our wall downstairs in the cafe. Most of all, we love that every month, we have lovely new amazing art work displayed there. From photography to paintings and illustrations.

This month belongs to the brilliant illustrator Åsa Wikman.

You can see more of Åsa's work here

See her lovely display at the cafe all of January.

Do you fancy being having your art work displayed at ScandiKitchen? Here's your chance.  Each month we pick a new artist to decorate our wall.  

We have a few rules, though:

- The art work comes to us frame and ready to hang, ideally no larger than 40 x 80.  We can accommodate up to 4 paintings or frames.

- The work MUST be either by a Scandi artist or photographer OR someone depicting Scandinavia.

- The write up about the artist has to be no larger than A5 - we can add this on the wall next to the frames

- We will not sell or be responsible for any sales of the art work - all comms about the art work will need to be on the A5 note including contact details

- When the 1 months is up, the artist is responsible to picking up the art work again

- We accept no responsibility for damage etc to any works - we will do out best to keep things nice, but the items are hung here on owners responsibility.

- No moving of nails or hooks - we have only what we have here and can't start moving nails around

- Please, no frames that are massively heavy, it is just a basic wall.

Other than that, it is up to you.

To be considered for February's Art Person, send some suggestiosn of your work to bronte@scandikitchen.co.uk.

We'll let you know by mid January if you're the chosen one.

Ps - please dont send massive images. Small versions of your work is good.

Asa2

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WIN tickets to Nordicana Film Festival 2014

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We are so excited: Nordicana is BACK in London on 1st and 2nd February 2014.

This year the event takes place at the Truman Brewery in East London and they have everyone there this year. From the stars of The Bridge to (Sofia Helin and Kim Bodnia) to Sidse Babett Knudsen from Borgen - and even Wallander himself: The one and only Krister Henriksson.

You can get your hands on tickets HERE - but be quick: they are going to sell out, we're pretty certain of that.

We're very lucky to have been given a Weekend Pass for the whole event as well as a signed The Bridge DVD.  Want to be in with a chance to win this fantastic prize?

Just answer the following question:

The Bridge referred to in the title of the programme is the bridge between...

a) Sweden and Norway

b) Denmark and Sweden

c) Norway and Denmark

Answer by e-mail to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before Tuesday 14th January 2014 at noon. Usual competition rules apply, including no cheating, no exchange of prize, to cash alternative. Winner chosen at random from correct entries. Winner will be notified by e-mail.

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January 02, 2014

Cinnamon buns: A perfect way to start the year.

This is a basic recipe for cinnamon buns.  Try this and then adapt to suit you: Less sugar, more sugar, more butter (can you ever have too much butter?), vanilla sugar in the filling, no egg, a whole egg, thinner roll out, nuts, marzipan...  If you're going to make cinnamon buns, get a hang of the recipe and then start making it your own.  Use your hands for the kneading and get a feel for the yeast dough and really learn how to work it. We even know someone who uses Messsmör in the filling (soft, spreadable brown cheese) - and it is delicious.  Slightly unorthodox, but still: he made the buns his own and they are lovely.

We'd love to know what you do to your buns to make them yours? 

Downlod the PDF here  Download PDF of the Cinnamonbuns Recipe Here

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December 22, 2013

Last stock update (22nd December)

Hallo.

Just a little update.

We've still got Julmust and loads of mulled wine from Blossa. We've also got a whole heap of Danish 'pålæg' in - from saltkød to rullepolse, røget filet and hamburgeryg. We've still got Swedish Xmas hams, frikadeller, beetroot salad, cherrysauce and more...

We also got a late shipment in of ready made rice pudding (risgrynsgröt) and we are selling amazing whole sides of cured gravadlax salmon (£31/kg) - all are approx 1,2kg in size.

Pop by - we're open today until 16:00 (Sunday) and tomrorow 23rd December 2013 from 8:00-19:00.

 

 

December 20, 2013

We've got loads of stuff left on the shelves... (Stock update 20/12)

Hello. This update about stock at our London store is posted 13:30 on 20th December.

We've still got julmust, prinskorv, vortbrod, leverpostej, marsipangrise, julskum, rodkaal, cherry sauce, nougat, marzipan, aebleskiver, rye bread, herring and Blossa glogg and much much more.

We're aiming not to run out. Of course, we may - but for now, we're still stocked to high heavens so pop by and help us clear those shelves. 

Oh, and we're doing buy-one-lussekatt saffron bun and get one free - all weekend. Until we simply cant bake anymore.

See you soon

The Elves x

December 19, 2013

Are you wearing underpants?

Pants

Chances are, you probably are wearing a pair of underpants right now. Comfortable, much?

One of our good, good friends is supporting a really great cause in West London called The Shelter Project. Here, they run a shelter for the homeless gentlemen - which is especially needed during these cold winter months.

It is great when people donate clothes - they can wash and recycle and use this and there are a lot of people on the streets who needs warm clothes in the cold months. One thing, however, is that people - for quite obvious reasons - don't tend to donate [worn] underpants.

This means that The Shelter Project has a shortage of underpants. The most important garment, we'd quite agree. 

So, we want to help The Shelter Project get hold of men's underpants. Can you help? Did you get some underpants in your Secret Santa that didn't quite fit your style? Are you passing by Primark or H&M and fancy donating a pair of men's underpants or two?

Ever pair of underpants count. They don't have to be fancy, they just have to be new and unworn. 

You can drop your pants (see what we did there?) by POST to The Shelter Project (c/o Helle Kaiser-Nielsen 11 Geraldine Road, London W4 3PA) - or at ScandiKitchen Cafe on Great Titchfield Street and we'll pass on the pants.  Please make sure you wrap and label your pants before dropping them off at the cafe.

What a great excuse to say to your colleagues: "I'm just nipping out for a coffee and to drop off my underpants". Not many chances in life to use that sentence.

Thanks for your support.

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The WINNERS: Pimp my Gingerbread House Competition 2013

And so, for the winners of the annual ScandiKitchen 'Pimp My Gingerbread House' competition…

We started with a basic kit and wanted to see what you could all do with it.

The winner of the Adult Artistic House is…

DSC_4673    DSC_4691

Josephine Austin.  

Chosen because of the incredible detail – from each little roof tile pressed out to the lit candles on the advent wreath on the table. The simplistic beauty of her house captured us.

Kids Category 0-7

This category always splits the judges massively. We love all the houses. However, the winner was chosen: congratulations Flora, Anna and Milo – the flag on the roof is beautiful. You win the prize of 'so many sweets your parents wont talk to us for a month'.

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Kids Category 8-15

All the judges were surprised and amazed by the talent in this category. There are some wonderfully creative kids out there! However, the winner is Esme with her Elf School.  Congrats, Esme - you also win a load of sweeties.

What a lovely way to use the gingerbread house kit: a place of learning for the little elves, complete with tables and chairs. 

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Photo 2   Photo3

Special Creative Category

This year, we had a tie in this category.  We love this category as we feel extra creative efforts must be rewarded – and thinking outside the box of a gingerbread kit too.

The prize will be split between Jens and Camilla’s Norwegian Stave Church – a genius way to make use of two kits and put them on top of each other to create something very different.

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The second winner is Kelly’s Murder in the Gingerbread House – a macabre but funny story about a terrible crime in the gingerbread house, complete with white lines around the victims, police rescue and shoot-out. You can see the whole story of the house here and here.

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See more of Kelly's photo story here and here

Congratulations to both winners of this category - we're going to work out how to split your prize so everybody's happy!

We will contact the winners to organise their prizes – and thank you to our wonderful judges Andrew Wiggins, Lucy Keeler, Nina Balstrup, David Jørgensen and our own Moa, Bronte and Laura.

Thanks to all our wonderful contestants – we wish we could award you all with prizes because you were all brilliant. We can't wait to do it all again next year.

Love

The Kitchen People x

December 17, 2013

Pimp my Gingerbread House 2013 - The Houses

It's been an AMAZING year for our Pimp My Gingerbread House - and here are all the wonderful entries to the competition...

The challenge was: Take one Gingerbread House kits from Annas and see what you can do with it. Be creative, be bold, be silly, be festive...

Tomorrow Wednesday the judging will take place... Who will win? What do you think?

-

Category - Grown up (both categories)

SAM_0744   Jessicaaxman

Norwegian stave church by Jens and Camila (made from two kits, stuck together).  And Jessica Axman's amazing creation complete with reindeer and Santa in the chimney.

Monikaandain   Madeleine Kallstrom

Monica and Ian's winter wonderland - and Madeleine Kallstrom's detailed house - she kept herself going fuelled by Julmust!

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Melissa Hedquist's mini Lilla Lilla Gumman's House - and an amazingly detailed house from Anna, Malin and Jenny (click on the picture to see close up)

AndrewBenZach   Clara-friends

Andrew, Ben and Zach's house entitled 'Camp as Christmas'... And Clara and her friends lovely house...

Emmadahlqvist   Johannadahlquist

Emma Dahlquist goes marshmallow bananas with her Svennebanan house... And Johanna Dahlquist with her awesome Santa's Holiday Home...

Rosie Barsby   John Chatterton-Ross

Rosie Barsby's fantastic 'Bordello'...  And a great entry from John Chatterton-Ross, complete with snow...

Clara-friends   Catherinehamilton
Clara and friends submitted this wonderful house - and this from Catherine Hamilton complete with sleigh and reindeer...

Rita jasper   Kelly-murder-in-da-house

 Rita and Jesper's wonderful wonderland...  and Kelly's great 'Murder in the Gingerbread house'

See more of Kelly's photo story here and here

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'Before And After It Happened' - were made by Suzanne Sims and Toby Trimby, big fans of 'The Walking Dead' - complete with zombies!

  Astridfahle   Madsandtone

Astrid Fahle and her 'celebrating all things pink' wonderland house...  Mads and Tone's tower of beauty and stars...

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Hayley North and the space invaders' winter hideaway/ski chalet. The gun is used for target practice

And finally, Josephine Austin's very detailed house - complete with handmade roof tiles and furniture...

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Kids 0-7

Krsitinastwins7-15cat  Jonas-kids7

Kristina's twins (sorry no names given) 7 years old.  Jonas (6) and his Moshi Monster house.

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Joey (6) and Noel (4) go mad with the gold  spray - and Flora (4), Milo (7) and Anna (10) made a Swedish house, complte with Dala horse.

Estherhedqvist3   Elsa3

Esther (3) made Pippi's treasure chest out of the kit - and Elsa (3) decorated with all the sweeties she could find.

Kids 8-15

20131124_134403   CharlieMiller13

Emmi Wilson's (9) Highland Cottage  - and Charlie Miller's (13) great house with snow front garden. 

Photo 1  Photo 2   Photo3

Esme (9) and her Elf School - complete with class room inside and playground outside.

December 11, 2013

Sankta Lucia - the festival of light

Swedish Lucia For Dummies from Sweden on Vimeo.

This Friday the 13th December is the day of St Lucia and the festival of light. On this day across Scandinavia you will find processions of boys and girls dressed all in white bearing candles and singing carols. This is usually done in the morning darkness, welcoming the light. 

At the front of each procession is a Lucia Bride, wearing a wreath or crown on her head with four or five candles.

On this day, we drink ‘Glögg’ mulled wine and eat either saffron buns (Lussebullar) or little pancake balls called ‘Æbleskiver’. We also over-do the ginger biscuits. Really, way too many ginger biscuits...

The history of St Lucia can be traced back to St Lucia of Syracuse, a martyr who died in 304 – however, the date of St Lucia is also a pagan date.  It was the darkest night where spirits were free to roam and animals begin to talk. So, light was needed to ward of spirits. today's tradition is a bit of a blend of the two.

On Friday we will be serving Glögg and Saffron buns all day and playing carols on repeat.  

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December 06, 2013

How to make Danish 'Julehjerter' - Christmas Heart Decorations

Julehjerter

You need:

  • 2 different colour glossy paper
  • scissors
  • glue
  • a template such as this one 

November 29, 2013

Recipe: Lussebullar (Lucia Saffron buns)

No December in Sweden and Norway is complete without the delicious Lussebullar - a soft saffron bun. Perfect with Glogg mulled wine.

There are many, many different ways to make these buns. Some people add Kesella or quark to the mixture (it makes a more moist bun) - if you choose to do this, replace half the milk with quark or Kesella and follow the recipe as normal, except you add the quark when adding the soft butter.

Note: Our recipe uses ground saffron powder. It can be hard to get hold of in the UK - so if you use strands, gently grind them in a pestle & mortar and infuse them in the warm milk before using. 

Click here to download the pdf of the recipe 

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November 28, 2013

Last Christmas...

Last christmas, we made a Christmas card and it made us laugh. We just found it again. We're going to make another one this year - and probably laugh a lot again.

 

November 25, 2013

Six degrees of Scandi TV (by The Guardian)

Thanks to The Guardian for composing this.

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November 22, 2013

WIN tickets for 'You & Me Forever' closing gala at Nordic Film Festival

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The Nordic Film Festival opens in London on 25th Nov and is on until 4th December 2013.

We've got a pair of tickets to give away to the closing night London premiere gala screening of new Danish drama YOU & ME FOREVER (directed by Kaspar Munk, Denmark 2012) on 4th December at 8.20pm, Cine Lumiere (South Kensington). The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the three lead actresses from the film. 

More information on the film can be found right here.

To be in with a chance to win, just answer this easy question:

Director Lars von Trier is from which Scandinavian country:

a) Denmark

b) Norway

c) Sweden

Answer to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before Monday at noon (Mon 25th Nov), winner will be drawn from all correct entries. No cheating. Usual rules apply. No alternative prize. Winner must be able to attend event on 4th December.

Recipe: Creamed rice pudding (Nordic Christmas)

Rizphoto

Photo: By the wonderful Marie-Lou Avery (copyright). 

This recipe is a must for any Nordic Christmas, in particular traditional Danish Christmas. To make it more Norwegian, use a Raspberry sauce instead of cherry. Swedes add different fruit - sometimes orange or mandarin segments is added.

Keep one almond whole and add it to the dish before serving. The person who finds the whole almond gets a present, usually a marzipan piggie or box of fancy chocolates.

Download the recipe here: Nordic Christmas Rice pudding

Recipe

For the rice pudding: (ideally, make the day before)

- 180g pudding rice

- 300ml water

- 1 litre whole milk

To assemble:

- 100g blanched almonds

- Seeds from two vanilla pods

- 4 tbsp sugar

- 250ml whipping cream

Method:

- Put the water in a thick-bottomed saucepan and add the rice. Bring to the boil and cook for about 2 minutes.

- Turn down the heat to low and add the milk. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Cover the pan and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until rice is cooked through. Cool completely, ideally over night.

- The next day, chop the almonds into chunky pieces, apart from one, which should be kept whole.

- Add the vanilla seeds, sugar and chopped almonds to the cold rice pudding and stir. In a separate bowl, lightly whip the cream and fold it into the rice pudding. Finally, add the whole almond. Chill until serving with warm cherry sauce.

Most people buy the cherry sauce topping (we recommend Fynbo Cherry Sauce). There is enough to do at Christmas without this extra task!  However, if you do fancy making it, here’s how. 

For the cherry sauce:

- 2 jars of cherries in juice (300-350g each) – such as Morella cherries.

- 100ml cherry juice from the jars

- 1 tbsp potato flour or cornflour

- 2 tbsp caster sugar

- Combine a small amount of the juice and potato flour (or corn flour) to make a ‘roux’, and set aside.

- In a saucepan, bring the sugar, cherries, and the rest of the juice to the boil.

- Add the ‘roux’, stirring constantly. Turn the heat to low until the sauce is ready so it doesn’t boil. Have a taste to see if more sugar is required, depending on what type of cherries you’ve used.

November 21, 2013

Nordic Christmas Markets 2013 - this weekend 22, 23, 24 November

Julemarkede1

This week and weekend is on of the biggest in the Nordic ex-pat calendar. It’s the week of the Christmas Fairs.

We support these fairs wholeheartedly and we absolutely love going along and help if we can. The different organisation and Churches play a very important role to all Nordic ex-pats both for general support, religious support, as a meeting point, cultural centres and just simply nice places to be and visit.

Here’s the low down for this weekend’s markets in London:

Swedish Church Christmas Fair - Marylebone

A really wonderful and warm welcome to all at the Swedish Church in Harcourt Street. Open Thursday till 20:00 and all day Saturday and Sunday. We specifically recommend the traditional Glögg mulled wine, a secret recipe by The Reverend Mikael Persson, the Swedish Priest. Heavenly (Excuse the pun). We went to the pre-view yesterday and got our hands on Pippi Longstocking umbrellas and fancy knitted kid's strawberry hats!

Swedish Church is on Harcourt Street W1 - directions here www.swedishchurch.com

Norwegian Church Christmas Fair - Rotherhide

Everything from waffles to lompe, mulled wine and a lot of Norwegian ‘Jule’ cheer. The Norwegian Church in Rotherhide is a huge cultural centre for all things Norwegian – and Norwegian people and friends of Norway. The food market is huge and bulging with goodies.

ScandiKitchen will have a stand right outside the Norwegian Church where we will be serving hot mulled wine.

Sjømannskirkens Julebasar is on 22-24 November 10:00-18:00

How to get to the Norwegian Church (nearest tube Rotherhide) click here

Danish KFUK YMCA Christmas Bazaar – Hampstead

This event is a pilgrimage for a lot of ex pat Danes every year. It’s extremely busy and packed but worth a trip – they have everything from hotdogs to Christmas beers and real Danish ‘hygge’ feelings. They do a lot of decorations too – from calendar advent candles to ceramics so you can pick up a few prezzie.

Dansk KFUK’s Julebazar is on 23/24 November 10-17.  Find the Danish Bazar here

The Finnish Church in London Christmas Market

A warm welcome and genuine Christmas cheer awaits you at the Finnish Church in Rotherhide – everything from ‘squeaky cheese’ and Rye pastries with egg (Karelian Pies) and cinnamon buns as well as a huge food market. Open all this week until Sunday at 17:00.

ScandiKitchen will be there as we are part of the Scandi Christmas Market taking place between the Norwegian and Finnish church – so pop over and see us.

Nearest tube is Rotherhide; here’s a map Click here

Scandinavian Christmas Market 2013

Scan Events are doing the Scandi Christmas Market again this year in Rotherhide, outside the Finnish and Norwegian Churches.  Open Fri, Sat and Sun all day – pop by and say hello to us, we’ll also be there, selling hotdogs and warm mulled wine. Say hi to our team: Marte, Linnea, Jonas, Little Jonas, Torben and Kaisla.

More about Scandinavian Christmas Market here

Scandianavian_christmas_images

 

November 14, 2013

ScandiKitchen 'Gold Glögg' 2013

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ScandiKitchen’s Golden Glögg

Scandinavians adore mulled wine, which we call 'glögg' (pronounce it 'glerg'). In Sweden, they drink over three million litres of the stuff every Yuletide.

While red-wine based glögg is traditional, we love to experiment with new flavours and methods. This 'golden glögg' is made with white wine, and is lighter on the palette.

For this recipe (and any white mulled wine), make the extract first and only mix it with the wine once you're ready to serve. White wine has a tendency to taste sour if heated multiple times.

For the extract, you'll need:

  • 1 large stick of cinnamon
  • ½ vanilla pod
  • 2-3 star anise
  • 6 whole cardamom pods
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 65g golden caster sugar (or raw cane sugar)
  • 100ml apple juice

Plus: 1 bottle of dry white wine (nothing too fancy, but something dry will work well)

Method: Place all the extract ingredients in a pot and bring to the boil. Leave to simmer on a low heat for about 10 minutes. Turn off, cover, and leave to cool for at least an hour - overnight, if you can. Strain the extract to remove the spices and store the liquid in a sealed container in the fridge - it can be kept for a good few days.

When you're ready to serve, empty the bottle of white wine into a large saucepan and stir in the extract. Heat until hot, but not boiling. Pour into mugs and serve immediately - for the full Scandi Yule experience, accompany the glögg with some Swedish 'pepparkakor' spiced biscuits.

For a fruiter result, add a very thin slice of orange to each mug before pouring in the warm glögg. If you fancy a bit more Christmas cheer, add a handful of raisins and a small measure of dark rum to the mugs before pouring in the glögg.

God Jul / Happy Christmas

The Kitchen People x

Image by Marie-Lou Avery / Recipe by Bronte Aurell at ScandiKitchen

November 13, 2013

Pimp my Gingerbread House 2013

Pimp3

 

‘Pimp my gingerbread House’ is an annual event at ScandiKitchen. Take one Anna’s Gingerbread House Kit, assemble it however you want – and pimp it up with all your artistic desires. We want to see how pimped up a kit can be. Go wild, go nuts. Unleash your hidden house building talents.

Previous years we've had anything from Snow White cottage, X-Factor houses full of snow, dragons, In The Night Garden, Melodifestivalen houses and building sites and crack houses.  

Take a few pictures of your creation – then mail it to us and let us know which category you wish enter:

Under 7's (with not too much help from grown ups)

7-15 years old

Adult - for artistic talent and decorating skills

Special prize - Most genuinely pimped up, creative, crazy house and original idea (any age)

The Prizes:

Big Gift Box of Scandinavian Sweeties - so many Sweeties your parents might not talk to us for a month (both for under 7's and 7-15 categories).  

Main Adult Prize: A Christmas Hamper from Scandi Kitchen and a voucher for lunch for two

Special Prize for creative effort: Free coffee for a month (35 coffees) OR a nice Scandi Hamper (you choose which prize you prefer)

Send the photos of your creations to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk by 16th December 2013. Don’t forget to tell us your category and a bit about your creation. 

By e-mailing us your photos you agree that we can publish them on our blog and website. Please do not send us your whole house, a photo will do, thank you.

Get some inspiration here from last years entries HERE 

Happy Pimping!

November 06, 2013

J-Day at ScandiKitchen 2013 - 15th November 18:00

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Tradition in Denmark is to have a bit of a do when the annual Christmas Beer from Tuborg is released. 

So, we thought we'd have a it of a do too when our stash gets into store on the 15th November.

We're a few weeks behind the Danish event, but it does take a while for the delivery to come over... Still, better later than never, we say.

The soiree is an invite only thing - but you can get your name on the list by e-mailing bronte@scandikitchen.co.uk

There will be Julebryg beers, glogg, aebleskiver snacks, Danish hotdogs and of course some really awful Danish Christmas music.

We can only accomodate a certain number of people so get your name downon that list, pronto.

Love

The Kitchen People x

Juleweb Tuborg Julebryg Daaser

 

 

October 25, 2013

Happy Hallowe'en: The best light display?

We found this elaborate light display from America to celebrate Hallowe'en.

To the tunes of Ylvis: The Fox.

October 17, 2013

WIN tickets for JA JA JA music festival 8th and 9th November

Jajaja_1050
It’s on at the Roundhouse in Camden (London) 8th and 9th November.  Brilliant bands from all over Scandinavia (from Mew to Nonono to Kids astray and many, many more) – more info here 

Buy tickets here

Be in with a chance to WIN a pair of weekend tickets to the festival – just answer this question:

Which of these is a Scandinavian band at JA JA JA festival:

a)    NoNoNo

b)    Maybe Maybe Maybe

c)    Nå Nå Nå

Answer by e-mail iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before Monday 21st October 2013 at midday.

Usual competition rules apply. No cheating. three winners only. Random names drawn from correct entries. No alternative prize. One date only. No cash value. Entries must be received before midday 21st October 2013.

NONONO

WIN tickets for ABBAMANIA in London 16th December 2013

Abbamania_A3 pstr FINAL

ABBA MANIA is the number one tribute show to the world’s number one pop group – ABBA.  ABBA MANIA is a spectacular musical event recreating on stage the last ever live concert by the Swedish disco sensation ABBA in 1979.

ABBA MANIA brings to life the flamboyance of the 70s era – with vibrant costumes, extravagant lighting and all the endearing memories of the band that took over the disco world.

The show has been touring the world since 1999 – from Australia to Hong Kong to Russia, including a sell-out season in London’s West End in 2002.  Now ABBA MANIA makes its long-awaited return to the heart of the West End for one unforgettable night only.

ABBA fans old and new can enjoy such dance-inducing hits as Mamma Mia, Voulez Vous, Dancing Queen, Waterloo, The Winner Takes It All, and many more.

So dig out those platforms, dust off those flares and thank ABBA for the music.

We've got 3 pairs of tickets to give away for the show at the London Palladium on the 16th December.

To be in with a chance to win, answer this question:

Which of these is not an ABBA song?

a)    Dum Dum Diddle

b)    Waterloo

c)    The Final Countdown

Answer by e-mail before Monday (21/10) at noon to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk

Usual competition rules apply. No cheating. three winners only. Random names drawn from correct entries. No alternative prize. One date only. No cash value. Entries must be received before midday 21st October 2013.

October 02, 2013

Recipe: Swedish Cinnamon Buns 'Kanelbullar'

Kanel_bullar-1

There are as many recipes for cinnamon buns as there are people who bake them. 

This is a great recipe to start from because it is simple and it works. It doesn't faff around with gimmicks or fancy proving; it is simply a good base and you will, if you follow the recipe, end up with a few baskets full of lovely 'kanelbullar'.

Friday 4th October is The Day of the Cinnamon Bun in Sweden. A perfect day to get your baking mode on and show the office what you're made of - or simply treat your family to a good spot of homebaking that will also make your house smell like a Swedish country cottage as you bake.

Download the recipe here http://www.scandikitchen.co.uk/menus/1308_cinnamonbuns.pdf 

A few points to note:

Ground cardamom is essential.  Get hold of it is speciality Asian stores our at our place.  If you can only get pods, you'll need to empty the pods and really grind the seeds well before you use it.

Fresh yeast: Try to get hold of fresh yeast. We do stock it, but if you live in a place without a ScandiKitchen, try going to a local bakery and ask them nicely. Some of the big superstores have instore bakeries. Also, any Italian deli that make their own pizza dough is a good bet to try. 

Failing all of the above, use the active dry yeast - follow instructions on the packet as to how much to use to equal 50g fresh yeast.

Flour - we always use Swedish Vetemjöl flour for our breads, but if you need to buy a UK flour, use a bread flour.

Do some shopping ingredients right here - we deliver UK wide next weekday. 

We'd LOVE to hear from anyone who have used this recipe - and we'd love to see photographs so feel free to send us snaps of your creations by email to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk 

Love,

The Kitchen Team

x

October 01, 2013

FREE buns for 'Kanelbullens Dag' - Day of the Cinnamon Bun 4th October 2013

Friday 4th October is the day of the cinnamon bun all across Sweden.

We're celebrating all day in the cafe with freshly baked buns, tasters, recipe cards and much more.

Use the voucher below to get your hands on a freshly baked bun when you pop by for your morning coffee - valid from 8 am until 11 am in store.

Print the voucher or simply show it to us on your fancy smart phone. To save, right click the image and save onto your computer. To save on your phone, save the picture into your camera roll.

Please see terms and conditions on the voucher.

See you Friday x

Ps - if you are thinking of ordering a large amount of buns for Friday to treat your colleagues or just stuff your face, please mail us in advance to book as we expect to be quite busy

1310_Kanelbullesdag

September 10, 2013

Sweet dreams are made of cheese (a mini-guide to Scandinavian cheeses)

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Many of us have memories of sitting in a field on a summer’s day eating crusty French bread and sharing a kilo of creamy brie.  In fact, some of us would like to spend most of our days doing just that, if it was not for the eventual need to then be moved around by a pick-up truck.

Less people have such glorious thoughts when thinking about Scandinavian cheese – in fact, most people associate Scandinavian cheese with Eurovision.  Except those of us who know just how many amazing cheeses actually come from our northern corner of the world.

Even back in the days when old Harold Bluetooth was a nipper and busy taking over the world, the Scandinavians made cheese.  In fact, the old Vikings had a diet rich in milk, butter and cheese and are even said to have found cheese to be a sexual stimulant.

Here’s a guide to some of the top Scandinavian cheeses

1.  Gammelost (Old cheese)
A recipe dating back to the Viking times, “Old cheese” needed very little help to mature.  Most people say both taste and smell resembles something that has spent a few months inside a sweaty old sock.  As you know, nothing pleases a true tyrophile more than a slice of stinky old sock. Admittedly, perhaps due to the taste, younger Norwegians are falling out of love with it, even if it is does have the nickname of Norwegian Viagra.

2.  Danablu (Danish Blue)
We had to include this as it is the most popular export and it is a darn fine cheese.  Invented originally to emulate Roquefort, and quickly making its own mark on the cheese scene, Danablu has a sharp, salty note and is excellent served on just about any kind of bread. Mash it with a bit of syrup to change its character and use it to spread on crisp bread, topped with some sunflower seeds – it really works.  Swedes tend to love blue cheese on ginger biscuits (we say don’t argue with anyone who invented Billy bookcases, Volvos and the zipper).

3.  Brunost (Brown cheese) 
Comes in many different varieties: the two best known are the Gudbrandsdalen (cow and goat) and Ekte Gjeitost (pure goat); the latter is the connoisseur’s choice

Okay, so it’s an acquired taste, but, on average, Norwegians eat about 4 kilos each of this stuff a year so there must be something to it.  It’s as Norwegian as trolls and fjords.  It looks a bit like a block of plasticine, tastes a bit like caramel and is enjoyed on its own, on open sandwiches or with freshly baked waffles:  all you need then is a patterned jumper and people will soon start calling you Haakon.

4.  Rygeost (smoked cheese)
A very Danish invention that is never exported due to its very short shelf life.  Unmatured, smoked cheese made from buttermilk and milk and turned in less than 24 hours, after which it is smoked very quickly over a mixture of straw and nettle and topped with caraway seeds.  This cheese is simply amazing, light and divine eaten on a piece of rye bread.  Resembles a firm ricotta in texture.

5. Vasterbotten
If ABBA is the queen of cheese, Vasterbotten is the king.  A firm, crumbly, aged Swedish cheese not unlike parmesan in smell but with immense flavour and character.  This cheese is a welcome addition to any cheeseboard and is also a partner to any crayfish party.  Can also be used to make the excellent Vasterbotten pie.

6. Hushallsost 
A cheese that has a name that translates as “household cheese” sounds like it belongs on a value shelf in a corner shop in Hackney, but it is actually an excellent cheese.  Mild, creamy, full of holes, this cheese is usually a big hit with the younger generation.  Hushallsost is one of six Swedish food products with a so-called TSG protection (one other cheese, Svecia, also holds this distinction).  Taste-wise it is a bit like the Danish Havarti cheese in texture (the Danes’ favourite and widely available in the UK), although less creamy.  Produced by Arla, Havarti is called Aseda Graddost in Sweden.  In Finland, the Turunmaa cheese is what is closest to Havarti in taste.

7.  Gamle Ole (Old Ole)
A sliceable mature Danish cheese, this baby stinks.  Don’t touch it too much or your fingers will honk all day.  The taste, however, is really lush.  Also known in Denmark as Danbo 45, there are many varieties in the same vein:  ‘Sorte Sara’ is a good version too.  A superb finish to any smorgasbord, eat a slice or two on sourdough bread topped with some lingon jam.  Other excellent strong Danes include Esrom 45 as well as Viggo Mortensen (he’s not a cheese, but he sure looks very strong).

8.  Präst ost (Priest cheese)
Sweden’s most popular cheese.  It was given its name because the farmers at the time it was invented could pay their church taxes in dairy products.   Präst ost comes in many varieties, from the mild to the mature and flavoured with anything from vodka to whisky.

9. Leipäjuusto (also known as “squeaky cheese”)
This is a fresh young cheese from Finland.  The milk is curdled and set into a flat round shape, then baked.  In the olden days it was dried for months and people put it on the fire to re-activate it.  The name comes from the sound it makes when you bite into it.  The taste is not unlike feta.

10. Rejeost (Prawn cheese)
For some reason, spreadable prawn cheese is immensely popular across all of Scandinavia.  Not really a great cheese from a connoisseur’s point of view, but surely any product that manages to combine cheese and prawns and make it taste good needs a mention.  If cheese and prawn can be coupled in peaceful harmony, then there’s hope for world peace.

Shop for cheese here 

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