Saturday, April 12, 2014

K ~ Kaviar, the Peanut Butter of Sweden #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.

***
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...




How can these be the same?  One is creamed cod roe with some color added, and comes in a toothpaste tube for pete's sake, and the other is a staple of life, no kid grows up without it, peanut butter!

Well that would depend on where you grow up, now wouldn't it.  What if you have a split childhood like I do? 




This is the kaviar spread out on the WASA (previously discussed) bread, and sprinkled with, wanna guess? Dill.  Pampered Chef Dill Blend, to be exact.  Yummy snack.  Salty, crunchy, has some spice to it.  Perfect afternoon treat.

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


©2014 All Rights Reserved
All photos by me.  Green plate from Farmor's precious dishes.

27 comments:

Andrew Leon said...

When I was a kid and we had gone fishing, if any of the catfish we caught was a pregnant female, my grandfather would just scoop out the eggs and eat them while we were cleaning the fish. It was a big "ew!" moment every time he did it.

I've never had a desire to try kaviar.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina - when I was young those things weren't around - oh yes we had marmite, which I love! Nesquik came in as my brothers grew up .. a milk mix drink ..

But I so thought you were going to talk about my favourite food - Caviare!! Still fun post .. I suspect I'd not be keen - but more for you - right?! Cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Didn't see the gussied up photo - fun!! H

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Tina, I will take your word for it. Might taste delicious, but just not something I care to try.
And I should share the amusing Challenge email I got recently...

JoJo said...

Although my Italian family became Americanized very quickly, childhood visits to Yonkers NY wouldn't have been the same without pastries. Napoleons, cannolis, cookies like my grandmother's pizzelles....great stuff.

Andrea said...

I was surprised by the color.

Fe said...

Here in South Africa we have something called 'biltong'. It is, essentially cured and dried meat (mostly beef but venison too). Some people compare it with US jerky but the taste is quite different. To those of us who grew up with it, it's delicious but to others it's also an 'ewwww' ... :)

Laura Clipson said...

I've never tried either. Peanut butter isn't as popular here as it is in America. I can't really think of anything else we have that defines childhood for us.

Jo said...

Matt's grandfather used to eat lobster roe straight off the lobster. I do like caviar. I have never heard of Kaviar before, it actually sounds pretty good to me. I wonder if we can get it here, gotta look into that. Sam's in New Bern, NC used to sell a great spread - don't know what it is called, but we copied it with smoked fish, cream cheese and Worcester sauce (pronounced Wuster).

As for kids, Hilary is right, marmite and we used to drink Ovaltine. Being the war years, we didn't have a lot of extras to eat.

Fil said...

Wow - sounds great .... Sweden is on my list of places to visit soon ...

Fil at Fil's Place - Old Songs and Memories

Sandy said...

LOVE peanut butter but Kavier....ewwwwww, I don't even liked cooked fish, can't stand the smell of fish so count me out.

Traveling Suitcase A-Z

Donna B. McNicol said...

Since our move to Ecuador we've discovered the one thing most expats miss is Peanut Butter....LOL!

D.B. McNicol
A to Z: Romance & Mystery...writing my life

Julekha Khatun said...

Kavier is something new for me !...I would probably do a google search :)

bemuzin.com said...

Yo, dealer, I'd like a tube. What corner of the 'hood do you hang out on?

DAVID WALSTON said...

I've never had it out of a tube before, but I'm sure it does taste the same.

Darla Sue Dollman said...

A great post comparing cultures, I write as I eat a peanut butter sandwich! I am seriously going to try these foods you keep talking about--every time I finish reading your blog I am starving! Moving back to my home state of Colorado in the next few months and my daughter's best friend and neighbor in Loveland is from Sweden. She's promised for years to give me cooking lessons and I plan to hold her to that promise! Thanks again for a great post!

Brian Miller said...

i have had roe on my sushi but that is about it...but i will try about anything, so...

Su-sieee! Mac said...

I'd be willing to try Kaviar. I don't care for caviar, but Kaviar sounds like something I could like since I'm not actually seeing eggs staring at me. :-)
The View from the Top of the Ladder

Su-sieee! Mac said...

I'd be willing to try Kaviar. I don't care for caviar, but Kaviar sounds like something I could like since I'm not actually seeing eggs staring at me. :-)
The View from the Top of the Ladder

Rachel said...

For a very long time, I hated peanut butter because it was all we could afford for my school lunches, but the cafeteria serves green hot dogs and my friend found a tooth (not his own!) in his food one day. I would have done anything for turkey and cheese or tuna. Now, I still love sandwiches, but I love peanut butter. Two and a half years in braces made me crave it until I could eat it again. With toast? Jelly? Honey? Straight off a spoon? Yes please.

D Biswas said...

I was introduced to peanut butter very late in life, and never quite took a liking to it. Can't think of a food that defined my childhood.

So good to go on this journey with you :)

Lisa said...

Peanut butter is a staple, that's for sure and I still eat it as much as I can! I think for me butter, plain and simple, is the one thing I would have the hardest time living without. Love your posts on food! Happy #atozchallenge2014 ! You can find me at http://www.celticadlx.blogspot.com come and take a peek!

Miss Andi said...

I NEVER had peanut butter. I like my nutella, thank you very much, that's enough of that nutty spread for me :) But as I was born in Hungary, we had paprika cream in a tube. It was to be put on bread with butter as a snack. Or breakfast. Now, living in Ireland, I've the same issues as you: no supply! Whenever I visit home I bring like 6 tubes with me and try to ration it so it lasts for months :)
All these immigrational issues, eh? :)
Andrea, #atozchallenge Mighty Minion Asset
Music and Words
My Road To Happiness
The Script Bible

Carolyn Branch said...

When I was little, my Dad frequently brought home greasy brown bags full of real pork cracklings. These are pork skins, cooked down to extract the lard fat out of them. Not anything like the anemic "pork skins" you can buy in bags today.

Herding Cats - Burning Soup said...

LOL I think I'm good sticking with the peanut butter. That was (and still is) a stable in the house. I'm trying to think of anything similar growing up and just can't think og anything. We did always have hershey's kisses in the house. My granddad loved them and would always sneak us one :)

Happy A to Z-ing!
~Anna
herding cats & burning soup.

Inger said...

I would buy mine from Mr. Olson's Scandinavian Deli right down the street from us in Los Angeles. An old man the last time I was there, he had kept his store open for aged Swedish acresses, like Viveca Lindfors and Signe Hasso. Since I now avoid LA at all costs, I don't know if he's still there.

Thanks for the mention of Sweden's Best, I didn't know and will check them out.

Inger said...

Meant to say actresses and those two were both great.