Monday, April 7, 2014

F ~ Fish, Fish Everywhere! #atozchallenge


All Aboard! "It's Very Swedish..." a train on a cultural journey through Sweden, exploring the differences big and small between American and Swedish culture.

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Ok, so yeah, it's food again.  I guess I hadn't thought about how much food defines culture.  I read over all my other other planned topics, and I assure you there are non-food topics coming.  Tomorrow, for example, is a place I miss.  

Today, we're having fish.  You can put dill on it if you like, with a side of eggs...(Those are jokes for those reading everyday...you know, those inside jokes for the people "in the know")(You can be one of them...I'll be here all month...tip your waiters and waitresses...)

What I remember from my childhood is an abundance of fish, eaten often, bought fresh that day from the little store on the corner, and cooked simply, with some boiled potatoes, and some vegetable.  The Swede and The Nutritionist corroborated my impression that it was as cheap as chicken, and that it was fresh, not frozen.

In talking with The Swede, he clarified a few things just so beautifully, and I'd like to share some of HIS childhood memories from the 50s.  Thought you might enjoy them.

We lived outside Göteborg (Gothenburg) which is a west coast city in Bohuslän, län being like a county. Our proximity and the local economy based largely on the fishing industry contributed to this abundance and availability of fish.

The Swede shared that before school he'd listen to the morning devotion of the day, and then there would be the fishing report.  Each species of fish caught and available would be rattled off with the daily price. Reminded me of how during drive-time radio here in CO we get the snow report, with each resort's fresh powder total.  He likened it to hearing the "grain report" while driving through that section of states on cross country road trips.

When my parents were first living in Sweden in the late 60s, "fiskebilen" - the fish truck - would stop at their house on Fridays.  The merchant would have been to the harbor, bought wholesale off the boats that day, laid the fresh fish in wooden trays filled with ice, and then driven around their small town, selling until the fish was all gone.

Buying fish was not the only source.  With the abundance of lakes withing a short distance, many fish were caught that day by the families eating them. The most common fish eaten were haddock, cod, herring, perch, and pike.  Perch and pike were easily caught in the lakes, the other by the fishermen.

The Nutritionist does admit that there was a pre-packaged item available, gasp! and she used it frequently.  It was called "fisk i form" - formed fish - so think chicken McNugget style fish, already seasoned, and ready to pop in the oven.  Apparently we ate this a lot.  I remember a lot of fish, I just don't remember that.  It must have been good, but then again, just give me my dilled potatoes with dinner, and it doesn't matter so much what else is on the plate.

~Tina, who still loves fish, but paying for it in land-locked Colorado takes a chunk out of the grocery budget...

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30 comments:

Marie A. Abanga said...

Yummy,

Love fish and sure food. Back home in Cameroon, we had fresh fish and scampis in abundance, with two oceans in different cities. The Atlantic and the Indian Ocean and many rivers too.
Now in Belgium, it costs a whole lot, is hardly fresh and sometimes...
But I guess I am still better off than you :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You need to visit - I definitely live close to water.
Sounds like your fish nuggets were like fish sticks.
Don't you wonder how they came up with fish sticks? I can hear the conversation begin - 'What can we do to fish that would make it really fatty and unhealthy?'

Julekha Khatun said...

I love seafood , and fresh fish is always a bonus .nice post !

Fanny Barnes Thornton said...

I like fish. I must try dilled potatoes they seem to be a perfect accompaniment.
'Fisk' is very popular in Denmark, too. It's one of those easy words I managed to learn when I was over there.

Shine Kapoor said...

I was planning to take up food as a theme for the A to Z challenge. It appeared to me that it will become more of a food blog. You have churned yours nicely. Great post.

CA Heaven said...

In Sweden they have this canned fish surströmming that can scares the shit out of most people. Do you eat that stuff?

Cold As Heaven

Chris said...

I love fish! Especially fresh caught, right by the sea. I'm guessing Swedish fish* tastes better because of the colder waters and/or preparation?

*Swedish Fish is one of my all-time favorite candies! :)

Darla Sue Dollman said...

How interesting--a fish truck that goes door to door! I like that! I spent most of my life in land-locked Colorado and am preparing to move back. The fresh fish availability is restricted to what you can catch in the rivers and streams. If you like trout, you're set! ;-)

Hemant said...

That was a fishy post..rofl :D

I too love fish, its healthy & light, at the same time far better than other non-vegetarian food options :D

Jo said...

Ooooh, haddock and herring. Especially smoked haddock and kippered herring although we ate herring many other ways as do the Scandinavians. I do so miss those fish over here. I expected you to mention the fish you breed yourselves.

One of the things I liked about the Carolinas was the abundance of fresh fish although it wasn't that cheap there either.

Jeanne Grunert said...

Fascinating fish! Yes, an interesting report. Here in Virginia they always talk about rain totals on the radio, but I can imagine that fishing reports would be of importance in other areas. Thanks for the interesting "F" post.

A Beer For The Shower said...

Ha, yes, that was the first thing I thought. For someone who loves fish you sure live in the wrong place. I know that feeling. I'm doomed to love all things seafood, and meanwhile, I'm lucky if I can find anything half decent here. Always frozen, never fresh, and usually half the size of what it should be. Single tear.

Elsie Amata said...

One of the things I missed about living by the coast was fresh fish. When we moved to the east coast in 2006, a major part of my grocery bill was on fish. Well, I guess I over did it cause my son hates it! To me, there's nothing like some fresh fish - especially during the summer. Yummy!!

Elsie
AJ's wHooligan in the A-Z Challenge

bemuzin.com said...

Fresh fish and potatoes make for a healthy base diet, no question. The fishing industry world-wide is fascinating and ever-changing as our population grows and resources become scarce or endangered. I liked nothing better as a kid than fresh fish Dad caught in his row boat from nearby lakes - usually blue gills and delicious rainbow trout.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. I love fish and will be eating a lot more of it ... as I haven't had as much as I would like recently - that needs to be changed.

We used to have a fish van that called in on a Friday .. and I loved the fish we had on that day and probably Saturday too ..

After the war .. ie late 50s and 60s more fish became available - but we'd always eat in Cornwall ..

Love the thought of potato salad with dill and hard-boiled egg .. with some fresh fish and lemon - such a good meal ..

Cheers to you - Hilary

JoJo said...

Fisk i form sounds like Gorton's fishsticks and other frozen products like that. As you know I, too, was raised the a high-fishing area of Cape Cod, yet I was not a fan of it. My dad even took me fishing once and I caught one...then screamed bloody murder as it flopped around in the boat and I made him throw it back. To this day I will only eat very mild white fish. I won't touch haddock. You'd think being raised with it I would have gotten used to it as a child but I never did.

SlimDoggy said...

Stopping by from the A to Z. Many years ago I had to go to Sweden for work - was there for two weeks and was amazed at the fact they served fish at every single meal. breakfast, lunch, dinner. I tried hard to not be an "ugly american" but I wasn't a big fish fan and craved some mac & cheese of pizza...
slimdoggy.com

Andrew Leon said...

It's too bad eating a lot of fish these days is such a health risk :(

cleemckenzie said...

The Swedes must be a healthy group with all that fish!

Sandra Almazan said...

With so much really fresh fish available, do the Swedes ever eat it raw, like sashimi? Just curious.

Sandra (part of the group blog Indie Writers Monthly--www.indiewritersmonthly.blogspot.com)

Susan Kane said...

Fish is my favorite meat (is it meat?), with just a few exceptions. Good post!

Andrea said...

A Friday fish truck would be so awesome!

Brian Miller said...

fisk i form...does not sound enticing..ha...but i do love my fish sticks so....we used to catch ours in a stream or the pond....love fresh fish over the open flame...mmmm....

loverofwords said...

The IKEA grocery store has great salmon and my favorite--herring in sour cream, but you are right, expensive here in Colorado unless you are a fisherman. The trout are delicious.

Mary Aalgaard said...

My parents do morning devotions, too. Must be a Scandinavian thing. And, fish, yes, a very important protein for the Norks folks.
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M. J. Joachim said...

Growing up so close to the Pacific Ocean, we ate fresh fish a lot too, and it was positively delicious. I miss being able to go to the wharf and get some fresh fish. I miss living by the ocean and smelling the salt air too.

MJ, A to Z Challenge Co-Host
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Lanise Brown said...

Hey, Swedish and fish. Swedish Fish! That reminds me of the candy, lol. Nice post, Tina. :D

Sheena-kay Graham said...

You guys love fish like Jamaicans love chicken. Fish is delicious and has great health benefits. You Swedes and food...

Kate @ Another Clean Slate said...

I only started eating fish within the last few years. I was definitely missing out!

amanda lee said...

I love fish, too, and missed having good fresh fish in Colorado. Not being a fisherman, I didn't have any of the wonderful fresh trout from the high country until the year we moved away! My uncle came to visit and spent a day fishing and brought home a wonderful assortment of fresh fish! There is nothing like eating fish that was pulled out of the water that day.