Thursday, 29 September 2011

Delicious products are coming to London

Photo: Markus Alatalo
This winter, Harrods is launching an exclusive range of Swedish products, many of which will be completely new to the UK. For those who want to try some of the ingredients in action, the Sea Grill will also be serving two dishes created by Alexander Meier, the head chef at Swedish Lapland’s renowned ICEHOTEL between 3 and 19 October 2011. An innovative take on traditional Swedish food, the dishes will be Arctic char with dill butter, asparagus and morel cassolette, fried cherry tomatoes and assorted crayfish and King crab mousseline with candied tomatoes, clams, lingonberry vinaigrette and autumn salad. The array of Swedish treats will be available from 3 October 2011 up until Christmas.

For one of Alex´s recipes, click here.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Has anyone seen it yet?

We are so excited that Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is now out at UK cinemas! Directed by Swede Tomas Alfredson, who also directed the scariest movie of 2008, Let the right one in, is back with an adaptation of John Le Carré's cold war thriller.

Has anyone been to see it? With the amazing cast of Benedict Cumberbatch, Ciaran Hinds, Colin Firth, David Dencik and the amazing Gary Oldman, we cannot wait!!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Swedish Fika - The movie!

If you missed our Fika event in London in August, or if you would just like to experience it all again, we are proud to introduce Fika - The Movie!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

SWE-DISH, a celebration of Swedish food

Last night VisitSweden, The Embassy of Sweden, the Swedish Trade Council and our partners opened the doors to SWE-DISH, a food event which welcomed 250 tour operators, MICE agents, retailers and press at the iconic OXO Tower in London, to enjoy delicious food and drink from Skåne in southern Sweden.

With its unique geography, a diverse set of pure, natural ingredients, a thriving restaurant scene and a healthy, modern, lifestyle, Sweden is the new culinary destination of the future.

This year’s SWE-DISH food event focused on Skåne, the country’s most southern county and the region known for its seasonal produce and locally sourced ingredients.  The evening was a chance for press, trade and partners to get together and also meet regional tourist boards and partners from across Sweden.

The evening began with an introduction by Gabriel Dorch from VisitSweden and was followed by an introduction to Sweden, the new culinary nation by The Ambassador of Sweden, Her Excellency Nicola Clase.  We were then treated to some inspiring speeches from Eva Turesson, representing the food from Skåne and Semmy Rülf at VisitSweden who spoke about all the activities that we are currently doing in the UK to promote Swedish food.

A team of Skåne’s award winning chefs were present to cook up a storm showcasing the region’s finest ingredients during the evening. I sneaked into the kitchen while they were preparing the food and was met by a hive of activities and wonderful smells from the pots and pans.

The fantastic menu we sampled was as follows:

New Carrots with Crown Dill Syrup in crumbled Rye Bread
Hot-smoked Salmon – Marinated Fennel – Sour pearl Sago
Brantevik Herring
Venison rillettes – Lovage Leaves – Golden Beet
Herring Cake – Apple Bread – Lemon
Goats' cream Cheese – Beetroot – Chioggia Beet

Venison Tartare – Sea Buckthorn – Bacon – Funnel Chanterelle
33°C Halibut – Jerusalem Artichoke – Cress
Pear Amandine – Almond – Yoghurt

Crayfish-stuffed Coley – Cauliflower – Leek
Venison Consommé – Wild Boar – Potato
Mature Präst Cheese – Carrot – Rapeseed Oil
Chocolate Terrine – Cherries

Chilled Ingelstorp Tomato Soup
Sugar-salted Wild Salmon Trout – Hard Roe – Apple – Dill Pickle – Potato Foam
Hot Wild Mushroom Broth – Venison Sausage – Juniper Berries –
White Root Vegetables – Red-veined Dock

Air-cured Wild Duck – Red Onion Preserve – Xo Präst Cheese
Smoked Rooster – Parsnip – Apple – Cavolo Nero – Caraway
Gooseberry – Vanilla – Cardamom – Meringue – Pistachio

It was all amazing! The elegant but also quirky presentation of the dishes made the eveing. In the middle of the room stood a wheelbarrow with what at first looked like carrots sticking up out of soil. On closer inspection the soil turned out to be crumbled up rye bread holding small delicious carrots with crown dill syrup. One of the guests even tried to shake off the soil before putting the carrots on his plate.

My own favourites include the venison consommé with wild boar and potato and the very interesting flavour combination of the goats' cream cheese with beetroot and chioggia beet, oh and the delicious hot-smoked salmon with fennel and sour pearl sago as well! We were also treated to some fantastic Swedish wine, Briska cider and Mariestads beer from Spendrups Brewery, as well as delicious apple juice from Kullabyggdens Musteri.

Do you want to try Swedish food too? Then head to Harrods between 3 October and Christmas to sample some Swedish delicacies.

For those who want to try some of the ingredients in action, the Sea Grill will be serving two dishes created by Alexander Meier, the head chef at Swedish Lapland’s renowned ICEHOTEL between 3 and 19 October 2011. An innovative take on traditional Swedish food, the dishes will be Arctic char with dill butter, asparagus and morel cassolette, fried cherry tomatoes and assorted crayfish and King crab mousseline with candied tomatoes, clams, lingonberry vinaigrette and autumn salad.

Or why not try one of the Swedish cafes in the UK? Here is a list of a few places I like.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The Swedish crayfish comes to London!

It’s early autumn and for us Swedes that means crayfish party time! This year The Swedish Chamber of Commerce kicked off its autumn events program with a crayfish extravaganza onboard the RS Hispaniola moored off the Embankment in London.

Delicious crayfish

The VisitSweden office here in London, and some lovely guests headed down to the Embankment and bravely ‘walked the plank’ across to the RS Hispaniola and were met by a ship in full crayfish decoration. Crayfish inspired paper lanterns shaped like the moon and crayfish bunting lit up the unseasonable warm August evening.

After a glass of Pimms on deck with Big Ben and the London Eye as a beautiful backdrop we all headed downstairs to dig into those delicious crayfish.

Swedish crayfish comes to London

Now if you have never been to one of these parties, there are a few things worth knowing:
  1. You will get messy, crayfish juice gets everywhere so don’t be embarrassed about wearing the provided bib or spraying your neighbour as you crack a crayfish claw!
  2. You must wear the silly crayfish hat!
  3. You must join in with the drinking songs, despite not knowing the words or the melodies
  4. Schnapps drinking I guess could be seen as optional in extreme circumstances but the singing will definitely improve with each shot of aquavit and your fellow party goers will appear so much better looking and funnier after a few shots.
We were served a traditional crayfish menu consisting of crayfish, quiche, salad, bread and cheese. You eat your crayfish with your fingers and making loud sucking noice to get to the delicious juices is perfectly acceptable. 
Crayfish party!  
To eat the crayfish you can use either a sort of nut cracker to crack the shell or just your teeth (though be careful if the shell is hard!). You can then eat as much or as little of the crayfish as you like but the more you eat the better of course.

The tables fell silent for a few minutes as we all tried to get to grips with how to crack open our crayfish but it didn’t take long until a clinking of glasses told us that now it is time for the first song. After clearing our throats and making sure our schnapps glasses were filled with delicious Skåne aquavit, we all joined in to sing “Helan går”, phonetically translated to the rather ghastlier sounding ”Hell and Gore” in English, the most well-known drinking song in Sweden.
Crayfish decorations
We had the option of singing it in Swedish or English which made for an interesting mix of both tunes and lyrics.

Here are the lyrics in Swedish:

Helan går
sjung hoppfaderallanlallanlej
helan går,
sjung hoppfaderallanlej.
Och den som inte helan tar
han ej heller halvan får;
Helan går!
Sjung hoppfaderallanlej.

And in English:

Hell and gore, Chung hop father Allan ley
Hell and gore, Chung hop father Allan ley
Oh handsome in the hell and tar
and hell are in the half and four
Hell and gore, Chung hop father Allan ley

One of the drinking songs, photo by Dave Lorch

The evening carried on with more slurping, cracking of crayfish shells and a lot of singing and drinking, until we all happily staggered off the boat at just before midnight, some still clutching a crayfish hat and wearing their bibs.

We had our two lovely social media and now of course crayfish fans Ailbhe and Dave who tweeted throughout the evening at #crayfish

You can also follow them on at:




Don’t miss Ailbhe’s fantastic blog

Crayfish have been eaten in Sweden since the 16th century. For a long while, only the aristocracy partook of these delicacies, as popular suspicion of shellfish was widespread. Originally, crayfish meat was used for sausage, ragout, patties or puddings.

Skåne aquavit
In the mid-19th century, people started eating crayfish as they are eaten today. The crayfish feast or crayfish supper in the month of August spread through the middle classes. In the 20th century, crayfish became a national delicacy and people in all sectors of society began celebrating the occasion.

It’s a whole year now until our next crayfish party but we will continue to bring you Swedish food to London. Keep checking this blog for a post of our next food event that takes place tomorrow night!

Crayfish table decorations
Here’s an article I found about crayfish in The Telegraph this morning: