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BEER

Brooklyn to run new Swedish ‘Beer El Dorado’

US-based Brooklyn Brewery will help set up a microbrewery in an upscale Stockholm neighbourhood, in a business drive with Swedish brewers Carlsberg and Carnegie.

Brooklyn to run new Swedish 'Beer El Dorado'

The three beer makers will move into the Hammarby Sjöstad neighbourhood’s Luma Factory, which is considered part of Sweden’s functionalist architecture heritage.

There will be an adjoining restaurant and a “beer school” nearby, creating what Carnegie has chosen to dub a “Beer El Dorado”.

“Beer has been such an integral part of Swedish culture and gastronomy since the Vikings, but interest waxes and wanes,” project CEO Joakim Loisin told The Local.

He thinks Sweden lost some of its traditions at the turn of the century.

“Ten, fifteen years ago the dailies would review one new beer a year, usually the Christmas beer, but they would dedicate an entire column to new wines every day,” he said.

“All of northern Europe had downgraded its beer culture. But today, I won’t call it a trend, but there’s a new awareness,” Losin said.

The companies emphasized that the microbrewery will be a meeting place for nearby residents and beer enthusiasts.

“There are 17,000 people living in Hammarby Sjöstad but the neighbourhood doesn’t have a go-to attraction. We hope to offer that,” Losin said.

The Swedish brewers welcomed the small scale brewing expertise of New York based Brooklyn Brewers, which was set up by local Steve Hindy and his business partner Tom Potter.

“Their knowledge of running a small scale brewery in conjunction with their creativity gives us a head start,” said Carlsberg Sweden spokesman Henric Byström to industry magazine Beer Sweden.

The Americans will run the day-to-day production at the new brewery.

Yet the tripartite affair will focus on developing a new unique “Stockholmesque flavour”.

“Today we see a lot of US influence. The beers are a bit stronger and more bitter, with a lot of Indian Pale Ales and American Pale Ales that taste strongly of hops. And it’s often got a note of citrus that characterizes American strains of hops,” Losin told The Local.

And although he professes to adoring Brooklyn Lager himself, Losin looks forward to the brew masters developing a new local style in the brewery that should open by November 2013.

“Italians use chestnuts in their beers, we won’t be doing that. But we’ll see what we end up doing once the brew masters get to work.”

Ann Törnkvist

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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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