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Brits can't get enough Swedish food: report

Brits can't get enough Swedish food: report

Published: 27 Feb 2012 18:03 GMT+01:00
Updated: 27 Feb 2012 18:03 GMT+01:00

Sales of Swedish foods in the UK have shot up by 30 percent in the last five years with Brits' fascination with meatballs, herring, and crisp bread showing no signs of letting up.

Part of the recent spike in interest in food from Sweden stems from food trends agency Food People naming Scandinavian food as the "hottest UK culinary trend of 2011", the BBC reported.

Shortly thereafter, UK retailers Waitrose and John Lewis started sprinkling Scandinavian foods among their product lines, while Marks and Spencer has even launched its own specialty brand of Swedish cinnamon buns.

The openings of several much-hyped restaurants in London such as Fika, Nordic Bar, and Scandinavian Kitchen, have also helped put Swedish cuisine at the forefront of trendy UK foods.

“I think that culture has an influence too. I was so engrossed in Stieg Larsson's 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' that I tried to read it in the shower,” food blogger Kerstin Rodgers told BBC.

“I fancy the men and like a lot of people I enjoy Swedish design. Now it seems to be Scandinavia's turn to have a real impact on our cooking. There is a genuine movement in the UK supporting food from the region."

Swede Jonas Aurell who runs Scandinavian Kitchen in London has seen the effects of the growing popularity of Swedish food among UK residents firsthand.

“I clearly see a huge difference between now and five years ago when we opened,” he told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

Whereas the store's original customer base consisted mainly of Scandinavians living in London, UK natives are now frequent customers in the store and its associated cafe.

Aurell also cited the trendiness of the “Nordic diet” and reported health benefits as one of the reasons why more Londoners appear interested in food from Sweden and its neighbours in the north.

The development comes amid a concerted push launched in 2008 by the Swedish government to promote Swedish foods as part of a "vision" by rural affairs and agriculture minister Eskil Erlandsson to make Sweden "the new culinary nation in Europe".

The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:31 February 27, 2012 by azimov
Speaking as a Brit, I don't think Swedish dishes will ever become as popular as Chinese or Indian in the UK. However, Swedish TV, films, books, etc are becoming ever more popular.
19:42 February 27, 2012 by Migga
If people want to be more environmentally friendly they need to adjust their eating habits. They need to go back to their roots and eat locally. Importing spices and food products from the other side of the world is not the way forward. The climate in the UK and Sweden is similar. Swedish dishes, who use food products that can be produced locally in the UK, can probably become populare in the UK if marketed as an envorimentaly friendly alternative that use local UK produce. It`s a market that will only grow.

Dishes from the UK can probably become populare in Sweden aswell, since we can also produce the same food products locally. I know I love Fish n chips, Shepherds pie, Ulster fry and Cawl.

I'm no environmental freak, I eat what I want. This just goes out to all the hypocritical environmentally aware city dwellers who eat their sushi, curry and moroccan stew. I bet they are just as many inte the UK as in Sweden.
20:37 February 27, 2012 by Coaxen
@Migga: You forgot to mention that e.g. COFFEE is impossible to produce anywhere outside the tropical belt. So, those of you who want to be environmentally aware, drop coffee.

And there are more products like that. The computer you use to view this article was made in China.
02:35 February 28, 2012 by hunnysnowbee
Oh did some one mention cawl? Think I will make some of that on Thurs along with some wlesh cakes!
07:13 February 28, 2012 by Rick Methven
@migga

ICA sell Norrlands mandel potatis. If sold in Malmö, they will have travelled more than if they had been grown in the UK.

As far as sushi, curry or Moroccan stew is concerned. just because they are foreign dishes, does not mean that the ingredients are imported from the country that the dish originates from.
11:57 February 28, 2012 by flintis
In Britain they've been eating Herring in various forms for thousands of years, it's not a Swedish food. Pickled (roll-mop) herring was a common sight in East End pubs on a Sunday lunch.
13:08 February 28, 2012 by Beavis
Apart from a few dishes and wild meats (which are some of the best in the world)-Swedish food is truly one of the worlds most boring and tasteless. Its great to finally see food from the outside world available in Sweden now (that hasnt been Swedishized- spicy food made bland etc) Have no issues with local suppliers offering the same so long as it is not Swedishized
13:34 February 28, 2012 by Migga
@ Rick Methven

Well if you wanna be enviromentally smart then you start growing mandel potatis outside Malmö. If you can`t then you shouldn`t buy it if you live in Malmö. Swap it out for some locally produced potato.

Some foreign ingredients can be produced in Sweden and some dishes can also be produced if some ingredients are switched with locally grown ones. But that`s not how it looks like today and you know it Rick. Ingredients are produced in some third world country, very cheap but environmentally costly, and then shipped here. Take the Tiger Shrimp that`s used for Sushi.

Youtube; /watch?v=kw0tkYK7oEM

I'm saying that it's hard to eat foreign dishes and be environmentally smart at the same time. For that to happen then theingredients need to be produced locally. Costs will then rise and a new market will flourish. Some ingredients can`t be produced in Sweden and need to be replaced with some local ingredients. But then the food won`t be authentic. So it`s a dilemma. A dilemma these young, modern and environmentally aware leftish hipsters ignore while gobbeling down their african okra. Shouting that we live in an open and globalized world without borders!

Hypocrites
10:54 March 3, 2012 by Toffee_apple
Well I think that those restaurants in the UK are mainly using local (UK) ingredients but just using Swedish receipes and methods. I think you'll also find that the Swedish dishes being made are not exactly the same as they taste in Sweden but are adjusted to local UK tastes. That's how it is for many Asian dishes made at their restaurants outside Asia. When I was in Taiwan I had to add a lot of spices to my food for it to taste anything. When I looked around, the locals were just buying their food, sitting down to eat it without barely adding salt to it. I experienced the same in Lebanon. But in Thailand I found the food even spicier than in Thai restaurants here.

Sweden does make some nice dishes, but I wonder what the Brits would think after trying blood pudding. That is just nasty. Or what about "surströmming" or pickled herring? I've heard of Swedes abroad being evicted after having opened a can of that in their apartment. Even if the story was made up I bet it wasn't far from the truth.
09:01 March 7, 2012 by spongepaddy
@Toffee_apple: You do realise that blood pudding is not just available in Sweden, right? You haven't lived all these years believing that? Blood pudding is very popular in Ireland/England where it's called black pudding. And why "nasty"? Just because you don't like it? I think it's fine.
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