Wednesday, April 9, 2014

H ~ Hot Lunch Included #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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There is such a thing as free lunch, no strings attached.  They serve it everyday in cafeterias all across the Swedish school system.  I'm not talking "qualify for free lunch" as here in the US, I'm talking a socialized country where hot lunch is included for everyone, everyday.  I loved it.

Twice a week there was fish!  Mondays and Wednesdays.  It was a smallish fish, and neither The Swede not I remember what kind, but it was good.  I don't recall there being printed menus like here in the US, but I have always been a Schedule Woman, and I memorized how often my favorite, and least favorite showed up. (Every three weeks.)

Favorite was no contest.  Risgrynsgröt - rice grain porridge.  



Some people liken it to rice pudding, but it's so much more than that.  It's more like a risotto.  I wrote about it in April 2012, so check out this post if you want to know more of this delicious anytime treat. For me, it was like getting dessert for lunch.

The least favorite was also no contest. Blodpudding. Yup, that does translate to blood pudding, or for my (many, dear) friends in the UK, black pudding. Gimme a second while I supress that gag reflex, and find out some more about this dish, which I just couldn't handle doing until an adult, or without a darn good reason. See what I will do for YOUR education? 

Ok, if you really want to know the ingredients, and manufacturing...click here. Translate to your language of choice...It has several ingredients besides pig's blood, and is sold like this:



and served like this:


I'm just grateful that at the end of the buffet there was always knäckebröd - kracking bread - available. You might actually have eaten it, too.  Like I said in another post, you can find it at Safeway.


~Tina, who isn't quite sure what to have for dinner tonight...maybe just a tortilla with some cheese...


©2014 All Rights Reserved
Photo credit: rice pudding
Photo credit: both blood pudding pics

23 comments:

Maria Kristina said...

Hi Tina,

The rice grain porridge looks perfect for a comfort food on a rainy day. I wonder if they will offer this in IKEA ... the idea of main that tastes like dessert is perfect for me so I can skip actual dessert. :)

Visiting for the A-Z Challenge.

Cheers,
Maria

Ida Chiavaro said...

I would say it's more like a porridge, cooked like a risotto :) My family starts the cooking process on the stove and then covers the pot, wrap it in a towel and put in the bed under the doona for several hours. it keeps the risengrod warm (as well as the bed )and finishes the cooking process with minimum energy. Do they still serve hot lunches in Swedish schools?

CA Heaven said...

The free lunch in school is one of the benefits of the social democracy, just like free school, free university, free health care. The price to pay is of course incredibly high taxes. I'm happy to pay my taxes though, because it makes a reasonably fair system, for both the poor and the rich. The funny thing is that the richer people are, the more they complain about the taxes. Eat the rich >:)

Cold As Heaven

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Would never touch blood pudding, but I have had those Wasa crackers before.
Disagree with Cold though. The middle class is the one who gets screwed with taxes, and trust me, I complain.

Andrea said...

Ouch...the notion of blood sausage is a rough one for me...little did I know there was pudding too....

Elsie Amata said...

I'll pass on the blood pudding, thankyouverymuch. It doesn't even look remotely appealing. But, the rice dish - yummy! I'm a big fan of rice and rice pudding so I'm sure I'd love it!

Elsie
AJ's wHooligan in the A-Z Challenge

Andrew Leon said...

My school had hot lunch when I was a kid. Everyone ate it. And it was pretty cheap, too, like $0.50 or something. That lasted all the way through high school, actually, although the price did go up. It wasn't until the end of high school when things started to change with the lunch system.

Jeanne Grunert said...

I'd actually try the blood pudding, just to say I tried it. Then again, I've eaten alligator in Louisiana and Ostrich somewhere in the world, so what do I know? Great post.

Laura Clipson said...

I just tried black pudding for the first time a few weeks ago, and I like it. It's lovely with ketchup.

Christy@SweetandSavoring said...

Tortillas with cheese is an okay dinner in my book :)
And man...another great thing about Sweden! Our hot lunches at school were kind of abysmal. The only thing I'd ever eat was the grilled cheese. By high school, most people just ate the French fries.
I love the look of that rice grain porridge! Looking that up for sure.

Lee Lyons said...

The Cleveland public school system provides free breakfast and lunch every day for free for everyone, but I still pack my kid's lunch. Their food isn't as nutritious as they claim it is. Blood sausage is gross. My grandma used to eat it all of the time and my mom still buys it for special occasions. I don't know why. No one else eats it.

http://leelyonsauthentic.blogspot.com

Kate @ Another Clean Slate said...

School lunches are getting so expensive here in the US. I wish they were free for all students- it would take away the stigma for students who do need it.

It Is Interesting To Note said...

Ohhh, that blood pudding looks just dreadful!!

Darla Sue Dollman said...

My family is Irish and I always serve a traditional dish during the holidays. I told my sister-in-law once that I planned to serve black pudding and she said, "You? A vegetarian?" I had no idea what she meant until I looked up the recipe! Oh well. We all have different tastes I suppose!

DAVID WALSTON said...

Now I am hungry!
I will try anything, but not my family. Fish fingers is about all they will try.

cleemckenzie said...

One thing for sure, I'm checking out that rice pudding. My family loves desserts and I'm out of ideas. Thanks for this one.

storytreasury said...

The porridge looks okay, but nothing else does.

Shan Jeniah Burton said...

Tina,

Nifty post!

And, without meaning t, you pointed out another thing that my husband andI, both publicly schooled, don'thave in common with our homeschooled kids, who've never eaten a "School lunch" - American or Swedish - in their lives.

I think I'll pass on the blood pudding...but feel free to pass that rice dish this way! =)

Hailey and Zaphod and their Lady said...

Sounds like great lunches. I always went home for lunch as a kid, but if I had to stay, warm food would have been a treat!

JoJo said...

That porridge looks really good. Do you make it often now? I'll pass on the blood pudding though. Ick!

M. J. Joachim said...

Big fan of rice pudding here. Blood pudding sounds a little strange though. I don't think I'm up for trying it anytime soon.

M. J.
A - Z Co-Host
http://mjjoachim.blogspot.com
http://effectivelyhuman.blogspot.com
http://lotsofcrochetstitches.blogspot.com

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. I see it's a sweet dish .. and is the way my mother used to make rice pudding - I love it!

Black pudding too - I buy it occasionally but only once in a while. It's usually eaten with a fried breakfast here .. I can't eat breakfast so that scuppers me in hotels etc ..

Fun post .. cheers Hils

Kathe W. said...

yummmmmmmmmmm rice pudding...! Bring it on!
Blood pudding? ICK....bleah! I am with you!
Thanks for the rice pudding cooking tip!