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CHICKEN

Säpo to investigate chicken glass mystery

Sweden's security police (Säpo) have been called in to assist the National Investigation Department (Rikskriminalen) in its investigation into a slew of recent incidents involving glass in chicken products.

Säpo to investigate chicken glass mystery

Meanwhile chicken dishes are being taken off menus across Sweden.

Police in Södermanland in southern Sweden turned to the security police on Tuesday for assistance in solving the mystery surrounding the suspected sabotage of poultry producer Kronfågel’s plant in Valla.

Furthermore it was announced on Wednesday that the National Investigation Department (Rikskriminalen) would be taking over the investigation.

“The national police commissioner has today decided that the National Police Board coordinate the investigation into the glass found in chicken products,” said Varg Gyllander at the department on Wednesday afternoon.

As a result of the glass finds, more than 900 tonnes of chicken have been recalled across Sweden since the reports began to emerge on March 20th. Since then 17 cases have been reported with 13 of the cases traced to Kronfågel’s factory in Valla.

“In view of developments it could be advisable to work together in order to more easily detect a pattern.”

The Local reported on Tuesday of the latest incident in a restaurant in Piteå in the far north of Sweden when a lunch diner found a piece of glass in his chicken curry.

Following the latest discoveries food preparation firms across the country are taking no chances.

Medirest, the firm that supplies food to hospitals in Lund and Malmö, has removed chicken from its menus. Medirest typically sells 40,000 portions daily and has returned all its poultry to Kronfågel.

The same applies to Eurest, which operates 75 staff canteens across Sweden.

Several councils in the southern Sweden province of Skåne have elected to suspend the serving of chicken.

Furthermore no chicken will be served in Malmö’s schools and pre-schools until further notice.

“One has to be attentive to all the alarms that turn up and see what happens, as we have responsibility for so many meal portions,” Gunilla Berggren at Malmö Skolrestauranger told news agency TT.

Stockholm South Hospital has also followed suit and has removed chicken from patient and staff meals.

Despite the unceasing alarms Kronfågel is continuing to produce its chicken as normal and has no intention of recalling any more products.

“After a long discussion we have concluded that it does not help to recall the Kronfågel products. It will not put a stop to this,” Jenny Fridh at Kronfågel explained.

The firm has however tightened security at its production facilities.

Jenny Fridh was unwilling to confirm the locations of the new alarms.

“What I can say is that the new returns to be analyzed lack a red thread, a connection. We can now see that we are dealing with a range of products, from different producers and from difference countries – Denmark, Germany and Sweden.”

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FOOD & DRINK

Five sweet treats you should be able to identify if you live in Sweden

Do you know your biskvi from your bakelse? Your chokladboll from your kanelbulle? Here's a guide guaranteed to get your mouth watering.

Five sweet treats you should be able to identify if you live in Sweden

Kanelbulle

The most famous of all Swedish cakes outside Sweden, the classic kanelbulle (cinnamon bun) is the symbol of Sweden abroad, no doubt helped by the fact that Swedish furniture giants IKEA stock frozen buns in their food stores for customers to bake off at home.

Forget American tear-apart cinnamon rolls baked in a pan and slathered with cream cheese frosting: a classic Swedish cinnamon bun is baked individually using a yeasted dough spread with cinnamon sugar and butter. The dough is then rolled up, sliced into strips which are then stretched out and knotted into buns, baked, glazed with sugar syrup and sprinkled with pearl sugar.

Home-made varieties skip the stretching and knotting step, rolling the cinnamon-sprinkled dough into a spiral instead which, although less traditional, tastes just as good.

Kanelbullar in Sweden often include a small amount of Sweden’s favourite spice: cardamom. If you’re a fan of cardamom, try ordering the kanelbulle‘s even more Swedish cousin, the kardemummabulle or cardamom bun, which skips the cinnamon entirely and goes all-out on cardamom instead.

Sweden celebrates cinnamon bun day (kanelbullens dag) on October 4th.

Photo: Lieselotte van der Meijs/imagebank.sweden.se

Chokladboll

A great option if you want a smaller cake for your fika, the chokladboll or ‘chocolate ball’ is a perfect accompaniment to coffee – some recipes even call for mixing cold coffee into the batter.

They aren’t baked and are relatively easy to make, meaning they are a popular choice for parents (or grandparents) wanting to involve children in the cake-making process.

Chokladbollar are a simple mix of sugar, oats, melted butter and cocoa powder, with the optional addition of vanilla or coffee, or occasionally rum extract. They are rolled into balls which are then rolled in desiccated coconut (or occasionally pearl sugar), and placed in the fridge to become more solid.

Some bakeries or cafés also offer dadelbollar or rawbollar/råbollar (date or raw balls), a vegan alternative made from dried dates and nuts blended together with cocoa powder.

Chocolate ball day (chokladbollens dag) falls on May 11th.

Photo: Magnus Carlsson/imagebank.sweden.se

Prinsesstårta

The lime-green prinsesstårta or ‘princess cake’ may look like a modern invention with it’s brightly-coloured marzipan covering, but it has been around since the beginning of the 1900s, and is named after three Swedish princesses, Margareta, Märta and Astrid, who were supposedly especially fond of the cake.

The cake consists of a sponge bottom spread with jam, crème pâtissière and a dome of whipped cream, covered in green marzipan and some sort of decoration, often a marzipan rose.

Prinsesstårtor can also be served in individual portions, small slices of a log which are then referred to as a prinsessbakelse.

Although the cakes are popular all year round, in the Swedish region of Småland, prinsesstårta is eaten on the first Thursday in March, due to this being the unofficial national day of the Småland region (as the phrase första torsdagen i mars is pronounced fössta tossdan i mass in the Småland dialect).

Since 2004, the Association of Swedish Bakers and Confectioners has designated the last week of September as prinsesstårtans vecka (Princess cake day).

Photo: Sinikka Halme, Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0.

Budapestbakelse

Belonging to the more traditional cakes, a Budapestbakelse or “Budapest slice” is a type of rulltårta or “roll cake” similar to a Swiss roll, consisting of a light and crispy cake made from whipped egg whites, sugar and hazelnut, filled with whipped cream and fruit, often chopped conserved peaches, nectarines or mandarines, and rolled into a log.

The log is then sliced into individual portions and drizzled with chocolate, then often topped with whipped cream and a slice of fruit. 

Despite its name, the Budapest slice has nothing to do with the city of Budapest – it was supposedly invented by baker Ingvar Strid in 1926 and received the name due to Strid’s love for the Hungarian capital.

Of course, the Budapestbakelse also has its own day – May 1st.

Kanelbullar (left), chokladbollar (centre) and biskvier (right). Photo: Tuukka Ervasti/imagebank.sweden.se

Biskvi

Another smaller cake, a biskvi (pronounced like the French biscuit), consists of an almond biscuit base, covered in buttercream (usually chocolate flavoured), and dark chocolate.

Different variants of biskvier exist, such as a Sarah Bernhardt, named after the French actress of the same name, which has chocolate truffle instead of buttercream.

You might also spot biskvier with white chocolate, often with a hallon (raspberry) or citron (lemon) filling, or even saffransbiskvier around Christmastime.

Chokladbiskviens dag is celebrated on November 11th.

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