2009-08-02

But what about the Swedish food?

I came to Gothenburg Sweden not on vacation but for work. Because of this the focus of any outings I had for the first couple of weeks was simply to find food, good food. What I found, and I had read mention of this, was that the Swedish people have adopted the world's cuisine as their own. However some things have remained although it would be more than a week before I tried any of them.

Almost every place I went had some variation on the shrimp sandwich. The first time I ordered this local classic I figured that I would get something akin to a po'boy. What arrived was a slice of bread, masked by a huge pile of lettuce which was dwarfed by a pile of shrimp on top. Even though it was a sandwich I enjoyed it very much and had 4 or 5 over the duration of my visit.

Even though the Swedish have great cinnamon rolls at every coffee shop their traditional breakfast is either granes and fruit in yogurt or chese, ham, tomato and cucumber on two slices of bread. That's right, what you scarfed down while sitting at your desk reading this the Swedish ate for breakfast. The coffee, like every other place I've been in europe, is strong, bold, and delicious. I consider this a great failure in america and do not look forward to the weak and flat water that we misrepresent as "coffee".

Finally I was let in on a great secret about Sweden's most famous food, the meatball. After enjoying a plate of these delicious spheres of flesh and commenting on how I had finally experienced Swedish cuisine the secret was disclosed to me. Meatballs are not a Swedish food. They were stolen from the Turkish after one of the Kings of Sweden invaded. Let down and disappointed that I had eaten the spoils of a warmongering king I vowed to report this injustice.

I did really enjoy everything I got to eat in Sweden. Like the United States they have taken foods from around the world and made them their own. Unlike the United States they have kept their proportions in check. A 12oz can of soda is normal. A small fries is enough ( and not considered small ). There are NO triple bacon cheese burgers. In addition to this they stop to eat their meal. Everyone sits down for lunch, even when they take it back to the office they sit with some coworkers and enjoy their meal. It was actually disturbing to me to not eat over my laptop the first couple of days, and then it was great.

With a little help from the people I was working with I was never lacking for good places to eat.