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.
***Yes, more food, but I really can't write about cultural differences without kaviar and peanut butter. No, still haven't lost it, though some of the info@ email is making me just scratch my head in wonder...
Well that would depend on where you grow up, now wouldn't it. What if you have a split childhood like I do?
Versatile. Kaviar can top anything (like an egg! or a shrimp sandwich!) and BE topped with a wide variety of delicious condiments. I like cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, fresh herbs from my garden, fresh DILL. The combinations are limitless, really. Anything you'd put with fish tastes great.
Over the years, I've made most (the willing) friends try this. I now have a convert. SMK tasted it one night, and liked it. Took a couple of WASA's home with her, with kaviar.
Next thing you know, she's texting me late at night, "Do you have a tube I could buy? I'm just craving it!" I, like any good dealer, gave her the first one for free. She was all excited because she had found a snack she loved that none of her kids would touch.
Wrong. Turns out the SoccerBoy2, OYT's friend, likes it too - ate the rest of her tube. By the way? OYT is probably THE pickiest eater on the planet. He loves kaviar. I have to ration his consumption or I'm left in dire straits.
When is she going back to the peanut butter? Now. Most Swedish kids grow up with that blue and yellow tube of kaviar in their fridge, eating sandwiches with it spread on them. Most American kids grow up with a jar of peanut butter in the house, eating sandwiches spread with that.
When we lived in Sweden, Grandma Vivian had to send us peanut butter. Not available in Sweden. Here in the US, we have to import our kaviar, or travel far to a specialty Scandinavian grocery store. (Well, until IKEA.) I still order mine from Sweden's Best. They have the most reasonable price, and it comes cryo-packed, and is on sale often.
I was all ready to give SMK another tube when she confessed she'd researched, found my preferred dealer, and ordered a 6-pack. I'm so relieved. Now I have a back-up stash across the street for when OYT finishes the last tube and leaves me kaviar-less in Colorado.
Does your culture have a food product that defines childhood like this? Please share.
~Tina, who really enjoyed consuming the photo props
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All photos by me. Green plate from Farmor's precious dishes.