SHARE
COPY LINK

SCANDAL

Strawberry ‘scandal’ leaves Swedes seething

Foreign strawberries are being repackaged and passed off as Swedish, causing outrage among growers and authorities to send samples to Germany for analysis in an effort to stop the black market trade.

Strawberry 'scandal' leaves Swedes seething

The popular tradition of real Swedish strawberries at midsummer is under threat this year, as an increasing number of markets are repackaging foreign strawberries and selling them off as Swedish.

“We have taken a few samples and they’re on the way to Germany for analysis,” said Waldemar Ibron of the Swedish Board of Agriculture (Jordbruksverket) to the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

While there have been favourable conditions for berry-growing in Sweden’s south lately, growers are furious that they’re being undersold by dishonest packagers.

”People ask me why my berries are more expensive, and I explain how it is,” said one anonymous grower to the Aftonbladet newspaper.

“But I need proof too.”

According to the paper, it costs the typical berry-grower 11 kronor ($1.60) to produce one tub of strawberries – whereas foreign berries are being sold with a “grown in Sweden” label for just eight kronor.

However, despite the repackaging, it is still possible to differentiate between real and fake “Swedish” strawberries, according to DN.

Repackaged foreign berries will usually only say “Swedish berries” on them, whereas true Swedish berries will have details about origin, class, and who has produced them.

While Ibron laments that the pirate packagers will most likely never be caught due to the lengthy analysis time of three weeks, he is hopeful that one particular lead in southern Sweden may prove fruitful.

“We have one seller’s identity so we can trace them if there’s a good enough reason for it,” he told the paper.

TT/The Local/og

twitter.com/thelocalsweden

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

CHICKEN

How to make a Swedish chicken and strawberry salad

Ate too much during Midsummer? This weekend is the perfect occasion to cook a light Swedish recipe. Food writer John Duxbury's recipe for chicken salad with strawberry is a surprising taste sensation.

How to make a Swedish chicken and strawberry salad
Chicken and strawberry: a better combination than it may seem. Photo: SwedishFood.com

Summary

Serves: 2 to 4

Level: very easy

Preparation: 15 minutes (including 10 minutes of cooking)

Tips

If you don't have any white balsamic vinegar you could use another vinegar such as ordinary balsamic, raspberry, cider or äppelvinäger med lingon (available from IKEA).

You can use any salad leaves. I like a mixture of rocket, spinach and watercress.

You can use hot chicken if you prefer.

You can make more salad dressing as it will keep it in a jar in the fridge for a week or two.

Ingredients

100g (4 oz) streaky bacon, cut into 1cm long pieces

100g (4 oz) salad leaves

1 tsp white balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp salad oil such as rapeseed oil or olive oil

1 tsp strawberry cordial (optional)

100g (4 oz) chicken breast, cooked roughly diced

100g (4 oz) strawberries, hulled and halved

Freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. Put a frying pan on a medium heat and when hot fry the bacon pieces for 4 or 5 minutes, stirring from time to time until evenly browned and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon on to some kitchen paper and pat dry.

2. While the bacon is frying, whisk the vinegar, oil and strawberry cordial (syrup) together and then pour over the salad leaves. Toss the salad until the leaves are evenly coated.

3. Add two thirds of the chicken, bacon pieces and strawberries to the salad and toss thoroughly.

4. Garnish with the remaining chicken, bacon and strawberries.

5. Grind some black pepper over the salad and serve.

This recipe was originally published on food writer John Duxbury's Swedish Food website