food

Ode to the pea

There are a couple of words in the global dictionary that have Swedish roots. Ombudsman, for example. And smorgasbord – or as we say, smörgåsbord – which essentially is a the huge buffet us Swedes enjoy at Christmas. Tables clad in red cloths are laden with several types of herring, just as many variants on …

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A priceless treasure – of crocuses and saffron

From where I am sitting on this cold winter day, I can see a stand of snowdrops. Puny little things, giving little reassurance spring is anywhere close. Unfortunately, no matter how I look, I cannot find the pointy narrow green shoots that presage my favourite among spring flowers, the crocus. But seeing as I am …

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Ode to the onion

Last night was one of those stressful evenings when I came home far too late and far too hungry. Which is why I was delighted to find some cold meatloaf in the fridge.And an onion. What more does one need? The end result was delicious. Very much due to the onion, in this case a …

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Why me? Of neolithic genes and sweet-tooths

Give me a choice between a tournedo and a chocolate praline, and I’ll go for the praline. Plant a lobster in front of me, and chances are I’ll still go for the praline – not always, but most of the time. Tempt me with gorgeous salmon sandwiches or a Swiss roll and I’ll be sinking …

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Of Alcohol and Devious Merchants – a brief history of Armagnac

The other day, I went into the local liquor store and bought a bottle of Armagnac. It was time, I’d decided, for me to acquire a sophisticated adult vice, and I quite liked the mental image of me curled in the sofa, book in hand and with a glass of Armagnac within reach. Now, buying …

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Snippets for our lazy brains

We live in the age of the immediate turn-around. I’m not entirely sure that is a good thing, but there you are, that’s the way things are. E-mails crave instantaneous replies. To have them jamming up the inbox, hovering like angry gnats in the “unread” category, is, for most of us, somewhat unbearable. So we …

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Eating yourself to death

Back in the good old times, the possibility of eating so much you would actually die was restricted to the upper classes. The common folk never got the chance of overindulging in anything much, and as a consequence obesity was often a sign of wealth. In some cultures, to this day obesity is used as …

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Of hamburgers and other stuff

When I was a child, my father would now and then ask my mother to prepare him a hamburger. This consisted of one slice of fried bread (in plenty of butter, so it was nice and crispy), a beef meat patty – at times enhanced with finely chopped beets and capers(ugh!) – and a fried …

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The saucy consequences of a naval battle

Yesterday, I treated my family to one of my favourite summer dishes – salt-fried prawns with aioli. I make the aioli myself, and what is not consumed with the prawns is eaten with chunks of bread, dipped in this delicious Spanish sauce that tastes of garlic and oregano. The first time I ever had aioli …

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Drinking potatoes – a woman scientist in the 18th century

Little Eva de la Gardie was a fortunate girl. Born in 1724 into one of the more affluent and progressive Swedish families, she was destined to make a very good marriage, populate the world with very many babies, and in general thereby live a full life. What else could a girl want for, hey? Not …

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