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Snuggling With the Enemy

My Fake Magazine of LIfe in Sweden – by Scott Ritcher, American publisher of a real magazine called K Composite

Tex-Mex food, Swedish style

On behalf of the Internet, I would like to apologize to any Mexicans or Texans (or Texicans) who have the misfortune to view this reprehensible photograph.

Here we have an example of what someone in Sweden apparently thinks Tex-Mex food is like: cold beans, dry black olives, diced cucumbers, some type of flavored chips, and geez, I don’t know what that is near the bowl of cheese on the left… pineapples or pears?

I can’t explain why there are four empty shot glasses on the shelf with the chips. (Did some hombres already come by and drink all the tequila?) Nor can I give any reasonable justification for the price of 99 kronor (about $16 US). Sure, it includes health care and college, but…

About the only things that make sense here are the jalapeño peppers and the warm ground beef. Some good that does this vegetarian. The flour tortillas under the red cover on the right were also kept slightly warmer than room temperature.

Swedish people are just too clean, organized and opposed to flavor to do Mexican food right. This society is just a li’l too lagom for the excitement, mess and spiciness that really sloppy, hearty Mexican food would wreak.

I’ve been in Sweden almost two years and I can’t recall ever hearing a pick-up truck driving by blasting mariachi music or seeing a single dude wearing a poncho and sleeping under his sombrero. Not a single one.

Again. My apologies if this photograph has caused you any hardship.

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12 responses to “Tex-Mex food, Swedish style”

  1. BJA says:

    Try out La Neta (http://www.laneta.se/). I’ve never lived in Mexico or the boarder states, but I think I’ve gotten a taste of the authentic eating lunch at the taco truck parked in a gas station in Seattle, if my day laborer companions are any indication. La Neta is as close as it comes. No cow tongue taco’s or horcheta, but it’s got everything else.

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  2. BJA says:

    whoops, horchata. You’d think I’d know the proper name of that nectar from the God’s, but I’m American and thereby a cultural simpleton.

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  3. sixpounder says:

    Deepest sympathies, Mr Richter. I practically went into withdrawal in 1980 after leaving Austin and a steady diet of superb Tex-Mex. What was served in the hinterland of Texas in those days was a sad imitation. Fortunately that deficiency has been resolved with the passage of time. Perhaps in 50 years the Muslims in Sweden will eat enjoy decent Tex-Mex. But for you, it’s either come home, or learn to prepare it yourself.

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  4. Toni Tumble says:

    Tex Mex is the lowest quality of food available and only fit for peasants, so comparing standards is laughable.

    Why not go and up your standards to something like lidl frozen dinners for one.

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  5. streja says:

    There aren’t loads of Mexicans in Sweden.

    It would be like me saying that I suppose Americans are too chaotic to be able to prepare proper Swedish food. ;)

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  6. Amber says:

    Hell, I would settle for bad Mexican food at this point. A decent Mexican cantina is one of our first stops on every US visit.

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  7. RJ Lemon says:

    I have to second the recommendation for La Neta. This is real, excellent Mexican right in Stockholm!

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  8. MD Bronco says:

    La Neta is good…because they are all from Latin America and Mexico. They even have buckets of Corona, except I forgot I was dealing with Stockholm prices when I bought a large group 5 buckets. Ouch.

    I went to another popular “Tex Mex” place here when I saw the line out the door. To my horror they had a line of nicely polished microwaves proudly displayed right at the front. They put everything together and then plop in in and press the button. And this was popular. Terrible.

    Swedes try just about anything and everything when they are away but for whatever reason, when they come home, they forgot all of their previous delights and settle for the mundane, bland, and boring. I mean come on, how many special meals can you have that involve potatos, herring, and korv…with bearnaise of course. In the same order. No matter where you are. Every. Single. Time.

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  9. chris w. says:

    Classic post, Scott. I’m an Arizonan/Californian that has lived in multiple parts of Mexico, etc… Been in Stockholm for two months and have experienced the hell that Swedes call nachos. I fully recognize the benefits to a steady diet of muesli, fisk and potatis, but there is no substitute for Oaxacan food, much less Sonoran tacos. I even resorted to making my own nachos a few nights ago (and I generally despise Tex-Mex)…

    Happy jalapenos, chris

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  10. Joeboyscout says:

    Wow, I’m glad I’m not the only one who misses the Tex-Mex! Growing up in North Carolina, Mexican food is not “renowned” but it is surely prevalent…you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a Mexican restaurant. After having “Swedish tacos” with moose meat, cucumbers and pineapple, finding La Neta was a real treat. MMmmm, now only if I could find some Dos Equis Amber around Stockholm, I’d be a happy camper.

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  11. KOF says:

    I found this article and postings pretty funny. I’m a Texan and my husband is from Aland (Swedish Speaking Area of Finland). Whenever we visit his home I try to prepare some Texas cooking for them. This time I was thinking of venturing out into some kind of TexMex or maybe a TexMex casserole. The grocery stores seemed to have a lot of TexMex products, but when I purchased pickled jalapenos there they seemed to have dill in them. Yuck!! Now I’m thinking of a pulled pork sandwich. Will that be too spicy for them? Do they even have pork roasts there? I know they didn’t have a brisket cut of beef.

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  12. MsAliasSweden says:

    Ha! Absolutely loved this article. It was me 2 years ago when I moved here, not as much culture shock as I thought until I found out some of the unspeakable hidden rules that apparently we are all supposed to know moving into this beautiful country. I am still in economical shock when I go to the apoteket and buy a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and it costs 5USD instead of .50cents!
    I laugh and cry sometimes when I cannot buy cake mixes, cookie dough in a tube or icing I can eat out f the container… My family sends me packets of Taco Bell seasoning mixes and Kool-Aid!

    Sad as it is, I miss Red Lobster, Chili’s and Applebee’s, not so much for the food but for “Happy Hour” and the meeting of people there.

    @KOF I have made pork roast and BBQ pulled pork here. I have even made my own homemade bagels. Anything I get a taste for, I will find a way to feed the need! Literally. :) I have cooked more, here in Sweden in 2 years than I have my whole 40+ years in America! lol

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