• Sweden edition
Blood pudding most disliked Swedish dish

Blood pudding most disliked Swedish dish

Published: 24 Aug 2010 10:45 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 Aug 2010 10:45 GMT+02:00

In conjunction with the second anniversary of Mataffären, an online grocery delivery service in Stockholm, The Local asked readers to share what they love and hate about Swedish food.

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."

About Mataffären

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.

Related links:

Paul Rapacioli (paul.rapacioli@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

12:07 August 24, 2010 by gabeltoon
I thought all BALTIC countries eat herring in many ways and enjoyed them.Here in SCOTLAND we fry them coated in OATMEAL with boiled new potatoes with the skins on. Pig tongue and ox tongue boiled,pressed and left to go cold is delicious as a cold meat to have with salad. Sounds like the MATAFFAREN is a great way to shop.
12:45 August 24, 2010 by Swedesmith
When my US born daughters would invite their friends over and feed them good ol' peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, the Swedish kids would curl up their noses. That was a culture shock.

I, myself, loved most of the Swedish dishes, but blood pudding, lutfisk and surströmming were not among my favorites.
14:25 August 24, 2010 by Iron E
Swedesmith, I'm from the States and my Swedish boyfriend also freaked out about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when I told him about them.

Other things about Swedish food culture that's different:

Lumpy cheesecake

The premade hamburgers

Milk and juice almost always come in tetra packs and almost never in plastic bottles

Flavored cottage cheese

Cider is alcoholic by default and by definition

Pizza doesn't come pre-sliced from a pizzeria and it's mostly a one-person dish

Things are served in a big pile instead of separately on the plate

Loaves of sliced "toaster bread" shouldn't be eaten raw

It's possible to make a sandwich without actually sandwiching anything

You can never find whipped cream in a can


If I think of any more I'll comment again.
20:22 August 24, 2010 by Soft Boiled
Hellmann's Mayonnaise can be bought in the local Hemköp. For those living in Stockholm or Gothenburg the English shop will sell the rest including english, australian and even american products, The is also an proper english butchers Taylors and Jones of Sweden AB

Hantverkargatan 12

112 21 Stockholm for those proper english bangers.
21:48 August 24, 2010 by Kevin Walker
You can get Hellman´s Mayonnaise,in almost every supermarket, but who´s going to pay nearly 40 kr for the most smallest little squeasy bottle you have ever seen.

Tip 1: You can get a martin ollsen wholesale card,if you know someone in the restaurant business,and go there and buy a huge 1kg jar of Hellman´s for 89 kr,It Will last you ages.

Tip 2:Go to Kista Grottisen in Kista,they have a big Hellman´s for I think around 40 kr. Bargain if you compare.They also have PG tips and you can also find Nestles different flavour Milk shake powder.

Tip 3: for all you English Expats out there, if you miss chip shop chips,I can guarentee you if you go to Lidl and buy the (Harvest Basket) Jumbo chips,pop them in the fryer,you will be in heaven,with a bit of vinegar.The french fries in the same make are excellent too.

I myself never again will go to the English shop

well over priced.
00:05 August 25, 2010 by here for the summer
Our US born/Swedish summer kids love blood pudding but their teacher in the US didn't believe that they really ate blood pudding during the summers. We can get it here in the winter and I even like it with lingom berry sauce ..
00:24 August 25, 2010 by canam
I rather like Swedish food but only because of necessity. If you actually rank it amongst others world-wide it falls way, way down there...
03:10 August 25, 2010 by JoeSwede
Good stuff!!!!!
08:11 August 25, 2010 by ubpurple05
Swedish food is generally great, no complaints, but I do long for some of the "bad" things from the U.S., and have family bring me the following when they visit: Hellmans Mayo (every grocery store I have been to in Malmo is out now, ridiculous! Have to go to Copenhagen to get some), Fritos (really bad for you, but yum!), Ranch dressing mix (not the faux bottled stuff, also must be made with Hellmans to be right), cheddar cheese like we have in the States, breakfast southern sausage (wow, really miss that one) and Diet Dr. Pepper. But all in all, not a big thing to live without these things since the trade-off is that we get to live in Sweden, plenty of good, quality food, especially the meat being so much better and trustworthy. I would def say the pickled herring, no thank you. I did buy some Anchovies to go on a pizza I was making, but they were pickled too, omg that was a fiasco. i am still very stumped when I look at the variety of ground meats, so I just avoid them.
10:31 August 25, 2010 by Puffin
I get the impression that blodpudding/black pudding is not really considered a popular dish among Swedes either - they serve it now and again for school lunch with potato cakes - but my kids tell me that few people actually take the blodpudding

Hellmans is widely available - ICA/Konsum/Coop/Hemköp all sell it

@Iron E

- Swedes prefer to get their Mil and Juice in cartons that can be recylced as paper

- Cider doesn't have to be alcoholic - look for those marker 'Alkoholfri' - plenty to choose from

- Pizza does come pre-scliced if you order American style or from Pizza Hut

- Sure you can get whipped cream in a can from almost every supermarket in the chilled section


I think that you may have bought the wrong anchovies - did you buy the jar marked *ansjovis*? As these are not anchovies at all but are a type of pickled herring - sprats. If you want achovies you need to look in the tinned fish section (where the tuna tins are) and buy sardeller = achovies.

RE: ground meat - Do you mean you are not sure what they are?

- nötfärs = beef ground/minced - often in different fat contents 5% 10% 15% etc

- fläskfärs = pork

- blandfärs = mixed beef and pork - many people think that this gives tastier/juicier meatballs and meatloaf etc

- lammfärs = lamb

- Kycklingfärs = chicken

- kalkonfärs = turkey

- quornfärs = Quorn (vegetarian)
20:15 August 25, 2010 by Horace
I miss Chinese food
20:22 August 25, 2010 by Bender B Rodriquez
@ Puffin: I think he means cider (unfiltered apple juice) vs hard cider (the thing we Europeans just call cider)...
08:28 August 26, 2010 by adshasta
not necessarily unfiltered apple juice. In the US we usually had hot apple cider and it was filterd and alcohol free. I think that in the stores here in Sweden the alcohol free has become just as common as with alcohol but this has taken place over the last 25 or so years that I have observed it.In the 1980´s it was more difficult to find it as alcohol free.
08:41 August 26, 2010 by jwlundgren
what I miss most is cornmeal, flavored liquid coffee creamer, bisquick, jello and jello pudding. Oh, and diet dr pepper. I have acquired a taste for herring, skånerost, and falu sausage, but not crayfish. I can eat bloodpudding, but not often.
11:45 August 26, 2010 by eppie
Funny about all the requests from the US.

You don't have good mayonaise in the US so why import it? You don't have good peanut butter in the US so why import it?

It looks like people (myself included so I am not blaming anyone) are more missing the nice colourful bottle of brand X instead of the actual product.

I think the thing that is really missing in a country like sweden are good vegetables for reasonable prices like you can get them in the south of europe.....but I guess most people don't eat those anymore. :)
13:21 August 26, 2010 by karex
I for one LOVE Kalles kaviar. Before moving to Sweden, every time a colleague would visit and asked what I wanted, I always asked for Kalles!

What I really miss here is Jello and Condensed Milk. I was told there used to be condensed milk during the war but no longer. That's a shame. It's great for making a large number of desserts including Creme Caramel pudding!
13:56 August 26, 2010 by calebian22
Annie's boxed white cheddar and macaroni; natural and organic too. That is a strange thing to miss about the States, but daggumit the City Gross American knockoff just can't compete.
15:07 August 26, 2010 by Puffin
@ karex

Condensed milk is certainly available in Sweden - I have bought it in both ICA and Hemköp recently to make a muesli bar recipe - it's either in the baking department or the international food department.

In large stores I have also bough Jello and Caramel pudding mix


Have you tried local farmers markets for autumn veg?


Why not just make macaroni cheese from scratch? It doesn't take much longer than going the box and tastes much better

- cook pasta,

- while it's cooking make bechamel sauce and add your choice of cheese

- mix together

- put in oven dish and sprinkle more cheese

- bake or grill
19:42 August 26, 2010 by calebian22

That is what I do here, make it from scratch, but I do miss Annie's. Annie's is actually quite tasty even though it is from a box. I also have good memories associated with Annie's. A little bit of nostalgia with every bite.


The brand is Rainbow sweetened condensed milk found here commonly in Sweden. Willy's also carries it. However, I have discovered that it doesn't have quite the same consistency as Eagle brand found in the US. It is a little runnier, so take that into consideration regarding your mixes.
00:28 August 27, 2010 by Garry Jones
I was surprised to see pasta with Ketchup on the list as I thought that was an English thing, can't remember seeing Swedes having ketchup on pasta, not in Dalarna anyway. I usually have ketchup on pasta, even on my trips to Italy where I work 3 months a year, some of the Italian restaurants in Italy don't even have ketchup!

On a sidenote to this, what I miss most about English food, pickled onions, malt vinegar, rich tea buscuits, pg tips tea bags, proper size mother's pride bread that actually pops OUT of the toaster.
02:54 August 27, 2010 by soultraveler3

I miss Annie's mac and cheese too! :) I am addicted to Whole Foods though and miss alot of their products. It sucks not being able to get something fast, healthy and good tasting here.

I don't like swedish food in general, it's really bland and the need for a ton of cream / cream sauce on or in everything is beyond me. Swedes never believe me when I tell them that if you have a good peice of meat that is well cooked you don't need sauce lol. I would however, kill for a good swedish chocolateball. :)

I miss being able to get iced tea at resturants. I don't mean the nasty stuff with the sugar, just the plain old iced, black tea. I don't like beer or soda so I end up drinking water everywhere.

The thing said above about swedes turning their noses up at peanutbutter and jelly sandwiches is just a typical swede thing. They're wary of anything that isn't swedish, but if you get them to try it, they love it 99% of the time.

My swedish friends have thought that it's weird with sloppy joes, chicken and noodles, mashed potatos with the skins on, cinnamon rolls, waffles with syrup and bacon etc. and then LOVED it afterwards and wanted the reciepes.
07:36 August 27, 2010 by Douglas Garner
My biggest problem with peanut butter her in Sweden is that I have only found small jars! I also with that there was 100% natural PB available.

How about good old Maine or Idaho potatos with the thick dark skins? When Willys has them, they cost about a buck each!

Local chocolate milk leaves much to be desired, but I have adapted to warm OBoy.

Cinnibon´s buns and greasy gooey apple fritters!!!
09:45 August 27, 2010 by flintis
@Iron E: how do you PRE-make a hamburger or anything else for that fact?

Blodpudding yummie, although not as good as english black pudding.

Peanut butter & jelly great for kids & dentists also anyone needing a sugar rush.

Nowt wrong with ketchup on pasta, but the next person that puts ketchup on my home made spaghetti Bolognese will have it on their head
11:05 August 27, 2010 by Rishonim
I miss wholefoods, wild oats, farmers market, fresh produce, proper avocado, proper tomatoes, proper lettuce, proper grapes, Ben & Jerry, proper bagels, proper chinese food, proper pizza, proper dry cleaner (99 cent a shirt), proper pickles, proper mexican food, proper flowers, Ralph Laurent outlets, J crew, New Mexican green chiles, proper margarita, proper Thomas Pink shirt, proper warm and loving girl.
14:14 August 27, 2010 by australian_frances
I'd like to be able to get some baking staples like rice flour (for shortbread) and ground almonds (for cakes). I've been able to buy the latter in France but have not seen rice flour anywhere. I'd also like to get my hands on some good quality cooking chocolate. Oh, and I had to buy golden syrup from the owner of an Australian cafe!
15:03 August 27, 2010 by flintis
@Rishonim: you're shopping in the wrong place.

If looking for "proper" food the US is the wrong place to look, France, Italy (for proper pizza) Spain, Greece & you'll not get better "proper" tomatoes than those from Jersey.

Ralph Lauren clothes can you by direct from the manufacture in Gambia, India, Bangladesh for a 10th of the price.

Proper Margarita, make you're own, can't get more "proper" than that!!
16:58 August 27, 2010 by Boston23

You can find Ben & Jerry's at every supermarket! The flavor selection's very limited, but still, the fact that they have it

I really miss good fatty-ass clog-your-arteries ice cream, speaking of, and places where you can get a good old American ice cream sundae. I miss buying a jar of hot fudge also. I know I can make it, but the ice cream is irresolvable!
16:39 August 28, 2010 by Amber Dawn
Ben & Jerry's is 49:- for a PINT! I mean, REALLY! It was $3.50 or so in the states.

Being a southern US gal, I also missed Hellman's mayo when I got here. The mayo I found in stores here is sweet and tastes like Miracle Whip. Not for me. Once I broke down and paid 39:- for the tiniest squeeze bottle. Now I just make my own mayo with Julia Child's recipe. It tastes fantastic.

We are heading to the states in November and one of the first stops will be at Cracker Barrel. Yum... biscuits and gravy. We're taking salty licorice to friends back home. lol
21:18 August 28, 2010 by jackdunstan
i miss chinese ( Northern Regional )

Sesame Prawn Toast

Special Fried Rice

Singapore Style Fried Noodles

Aromatic Crispy Duck

Crispy shredded Beef
22:22 August 28, 2010 by SNM
@ Gary Jones

Plenty of people in Dalarna eat pasta with ketchup! At least in my experience of the locals in Falun and Borlänge
19:28 August 29, 2010 by janswed
Having grown up in sweden ,now living in canada , I am surprised no one mentioned the horrible Swedish dish I used to dread as a child POLSA!!!
19:32 August 29, 2010 by wenddiver
If business gets you caught in Sweden on Christmas, there will be no TURDUCEN, stuffed with Oyster stuffing. No you have to get back Louisiana to get a Turkey with a Duck and Chicken stuffed in it and then finnished with oyster stuffing. Turkey is also good fried in Peanut Oil if you don't like baking.
22:08 August 29, 2010 by wxman
Fried herring isn't liked? No sil och potatis? The most enjoyable part of growing up Swedish-American in Chicago was the annual Svithjod picnic. There is nothing like very salty fried fish along with boiled new potatos and a couple of beers at 7 AM on a Sunday!
11:35 August 30, 2010 by LeoKinmann
@flintis: have you ever stayed in the states?

Sweden has no proper food, and that is a well-known fact. The diners here offer a surprisingly low variety of cuisines. When I spent a year in the states I could find proper Italian, French, Asian, South American food everywhere. Well they are still not more proper than their counterparts from Italy, France, etc. But still. If US is the wrong place to look for proper food, than Sweden is the worst place for proper food. Another problem is the high cost. The cheapes lunch in Sweden is like 10 USD. In states you can get good Chinese food for half the price.
23:20 August 30, 2010 by Kevin Walker
I could not agree with u more,the food here is bland,tasteless,uninterssting and it doesn´t matter which supermarket you go to ,its all the same food.The restaurants are very poor and cost too much and you can not get a big portion of food anywhere.Why can we not find asian food on the streets or hambugers,chips nope its go to macdonalds or eat a silly korv.
07:43 August 31, 2010 by SarahRF
My mom and dad went to my youngest brother's 5th grade class a few months ago to do a presentation on South Africa. As part of their presentation they made milk tart, which is a creamy milk pudding with cinnamon on top, and they also made jelly (jello) for the lactose intolerant kids. The jelly was eyed with upraised eyebrows and most of the kids were too scared to try this wobbly dessert, so they ended up throwing it all away. I wasn't happy, I would've gladly eaten the jelly!
14:20 August 31, 2010 by rohermoker
Now I have something else to look for at Ikea, stoormming and pudding, along with the salmon paste and meat balls.
20:09 August 31, 2010 by adnans
@Kevin Walker...Tip 2: last time i bought it was 42 kr. will try tip 1 & 3.
19:31 September 3, 2010 by Nemesis
Black pudding is a good traditional food.

Black Pudding is best served with a good and healthy traditional Ulster Breakfast Fry in the morning.

It is very clear from the article above that no person from Ulster was asked there opinion on black pudding.

How selective of the local in its surveying?
01:37 September 6, 2010 by AndreaGerak
Oh, no-one seems to be here from Eastern Europe...

The big variety of paprika - for goulash and all the countless dish with it. I have no idea what they serve in the restaurants here when it says "Goulash"...

Chestnut - for the yummiest cakes, cookies and pancakes that exist.

Poppy seed - for those cookies and a lot more, Mamma mia! Christmas in unthinkable without it.

Curd cheese - for loadz of BASIC dishes, salty or sweet, cold, cooked or baked.

My son is making pancakes tomorrow and he is in trouble, for these last three would be absolute musts for it :-(

Cold cuts and other meat products WITHOUT sugar... Sugar in your bacon? Super yuck!!!

Salty cones made with cheese/potato/curd cheese and in a thousand different ways...

Oh yes, curd cheese made from sheep milk.

And the list would go on and on...
10:42 September 6, 2010 by deaninsweden
The chip tip from Lidls is good but where the hell can you buy Vinegar (malt UK vinegar not wine vinegar).

I love Black Pudding but have yet to try the Swedish one.
22:19 September 9, 2010 by Kevin Walker
I Do not think you can get that anywhere in sweden.I do think personally that the wine vinegar is very close ,and im happy with it.

i thought I would give extra tips on some more English food.

Tip 4:You kan find Vimto fizzy cans or Vimto Cordial from Kista Grossisten (not cheap though)and find nesquick milk shake powder in different flavours.Not to mention again also,Hellmans mayonaise and PG-tips tea bags,aswell as other things if you look around slowly.

Tip 5: If you miss proper English bacon,then go to Willies they sell the equivalent,which is lovelly not that horrible streaky stuff.It is made by tulip 15,90 kr quite expensive but worth buying it tastes lovely ,I usually fry it without oil in the pan,it is very lean almost no fat on it.I hope this helps .
13:14 September 11, 2010 by mandym
Malt vinegar is available from the English Shop - I bought some earlier this week, along with some Coleman's mustard. I can cope without most things, but I was missing those!
19:25 October 16, 2010 by Strongbow
Blodpudding has to be prepared correctly. Make 5 mm thick slices and fry until the top is getting dark, then flip and fry until both sides are almost black and slightly crisp. Then eat it hot with lingonsylt. That sweet grainy taste combined with the acidity in the lingonberries is great. There is no blood taste if you thought so, but it is a good source of iron. School kitchens usually prepares them in pans where half the slice will be raw. No wonder kids learn to dislike it.
20:06 October 20, 2010 by Tdye
haha that is crazy! we have cottage cheese that is in a container that has like pineapple or strawbettys on onesaid and the cottage cheese on the other side..however thats kinda nasty

i prefer cool whip whipped cream

how do they eat the pizza with out it being sliced? is it like our pizzas here in America? like what are the "normal toppings there? do the fold the pizza like a calzone?

you must not have been to many buffets in America haha everytime i go to one.. i see people ( i guess) forgetting that it is an all you can eat and they pile it all on one plate haha

Lumpy cheesecake? that sounds nasty lol

are you in America now? we have premade hamburgers every place you go

"It's possible to make a sandwich without actually sandwiching anything" hahah thats crazy how/what exactly is this and how is it done lol
20:19 October 20, 2010 by Tdye
haha i am guessing that you mail ordered all of your "American food"

I live in Ga. (usa) and not only s this the peach capital of the world but also the peanut capital of the world.. America has THE best peanut butter ever.. you must be talking about jif and peter pan..we also have "natural" peanut butter which is nothing but peanuts and oil..it is amazing none of the extra added crap like the big company's put in to their peanut butter..

mayonnaise is mayonnaise well except miracle whip.. thats just nasty and it is salad dressing to boot

it really depends on what your taste is to be quite honest
22:04 October 22, 2010 by Tdye
hey you should try Maple bacon!..oh man it is sooo good.. they have the maple syrup flavored bacon wowzers!!.. i dont know if y'all can get it in Sweden but it is really good..it breaks up the bland salty breakfast..if you cant find it.. just add a little bit of it to your bacon.. you dont have to cover it.. just enough to flavor it...i hate Goulash..i dont know if it is the same here as it is there but Americans do cook Swedish foods..though it isnt that many dishes but the meatballs are my fav!
23:57 December 22, 2010 by Coalbanks
Horse? You can get horse? Well THOR would be pleased. So woukd I . It's impossible to get here even though the horse slaughterhouse is only 30 miles away. All exported. Now the pony-lovers want it banned. What next? Pablum for all?
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What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
People-watching: October 8th
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Ten new minister faces you should know
First womb transplant baby in world born in Sweden
People-watching: October 5th
What's on in Sweden
Sweden rethinks Afghan translators' protection
Interview with Geena Davis: 'I want to be in a Swedish movie'
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
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