Blood pudding most disliked Swedish dish
Published: 24 Aug 2010 10:45 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 Aug 2010 10:45 GMT+02:00
Foreigners living in Sweden can't get enough of smoked salmon, cinnamon buns, crayfish and meatballs. However, they have a harder time warming up to blood pudding, fried herring, Kalles kaviar and pasta with ketchup, The Local's readers revealed in a survey.
Nearly 20 percent of respondents said blood pudding was their least favourite Swedish food, while 18 percent said fried herring. Favourite foods included smoked salmon (12.7 percent), cinnamon buns and crayfish (8.5 percent apiece).
Despite falling in love with Swedish treats, foreigners still pine for the tastes of home. Readers crave many food products not readily available in Sweden, including French's Yellow Mustard from the US, Hellmann's Mayonnaise, which is sold widely in English-speaking countries and Latin America, gravy granules, ćevapčići (Balkan meatballs), hagelsag (Dutch chocolate sprinkles), telemea (Romanian cheese) and karnıyarık, or "slit belly," a Turkish and Western Armenian aubergine dish.
To celebrate its second anniversary in mid-August, Mataffären asked The Local's readers to propose items that they want to see the service provide. The products, in order, were French's Yellow Mustard, Tim Tams (Australian chocolate biscuits), Hellmann's Mayonnaise, gravy granules, PG Tips tea bags and Marmite and Vegemite. Mataffären now plans to include these products in its online selection.
Mataffären CEO Claes Hessel said Mataffären is always open to new suggestions from customers.
"If a customer is looking for something, he or she can just email or phone us in English and we try to get what they want," he told The Local. "We're really trying to build the business around the customers' needs."
One of Hessel's most memorable requests was for pig tongue from a woman who had grown up eating it and wanted her children to savour the experience. Mataffären was able to fulfill her request within three days.
The focus on responding to customers' requests is part of Mataffären’s focus on personal customer service.
"We are old-fashioned," said Hessel. "We employ a butcher, like a deli that slices your meat at your request. In addition, many fresh groceries are ordered after we get requests. We don't stock any shellfish or fresh fish at all. We order and deliver seafood products from the supplier the morning of the shipment."
Readers were also more than happy to share their tales of culinary misadventures in Sweden.
"My fiancée seems to think it's hysterical when I grab a knife to slice cheese or use a metal knife when using butter. And yes, I am an American, but iceless drinks at McDonald's should be against the law!"
"I thought it was a sauce - but I found it was a soup after I had poured it over my rice with my colleagues watching in silence."
"Encountering boiled potatoes with their jackets on."
"Christmas is the hardest time for a non-Swede. I love the sil and schnapps but can never get over the feeling that something is missing. Bring on the turkey and christmas pudding!"
"When asked by a visiting business partner what kroppkaka was, I didn't know - and my direct translation was 'body cakes.' Needless to say, he chose the other menu option of the day!"
"Surströmming was ok smell-wise, but the texture is the grossest thing I have encountered."
"I bought horse meat by mistake, thinking it was beef as it was called hamburger something or other."
"I made German potato salad and had added vinegar, not thinking that it was 12 percent. Very bad."
"Eating surströmming indoors is a definite no-no. Also, leaving a can in the pantry for four years will result in a stinking explosion. Be warned when the can pops, it is time to throw it away or invite the Norrlanders around to enjoy a few schnapps."
The online grocery store service in Stockholm offers a full assortment of food, allowing customers to place orders anytime for home deliveries within two hours from Mondays to Friday between 9am to 10pm.
The company makes about 2,000 deliveries in the Stockholm area in a typical week, of which 600 are regular weekly customers. In addition to maintaining fresh stock, almost all deliveries are made with vans powered by environmentally friendly biogas fuel.
Visit Mataffären at www.mataffaren.se.