Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P ~ Pålägg = sandwich topping

I bet by now you're getting pretty hungry, and you're wondering about a snack. Well you've come to the right lesson, because today we're talking food. We're talking about pålägg and the one Swedish word you might have heard before, but most likely have pronounced incorrectly: smörgåsbord, you're bonus word for today.

pole + egg = pålägg, which means sandwich topping
This is also our first encounter with bonus vowel å which is pronounced like the o in pole.

sm + err + goes + bored = smörgåsbord
This is also our first encounter with the last of the three Swedish bonus vowels, ö, which is pronounced like the e in errr, as in I'm making a speech and drawing a blank and all I can do is ummh...and errr...

With all these bonus vowels and a bonus word, it's a good thing I'm feeding you today.

You know how when you're growing up, and you watch what's happening around you, and you get to know how things are done and feel like yes, I think I'm beginning to understand what this world is like and how I should behave, and what to expect. THEN you move across the ocean to a completely new place, and your grandmother (who did not want to be called Mormor, though technically, she was) makes you a sandwich with a lid. What's this extra piece of bread for? Did you forget to put pålägg on it?

In Sweden, sandwiches are open faced. No lid. One piece of bread. Lots of toppings to choose from. The best way I can think of to describe a smörgåsbord is it's like a salad bar, only you make small sandwiches and have a few side-dishes, too. These can be anything from a simple meal at home with a few choices, to to a vast array of choices and virtually limitless combinations.

Some pålägg you might not have considered are:
cheese and cucumber
sweet roll with ham and mustard
crisp rye bread with goose liver paté, and cucumber
lox with a fresh dill sprig

However, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, and since I strive to come in between 300-400 words, here are some shots I found on google. 

 I bet you'd be able to find something to eat from one of these spreads.  The one with the candles looks like what we serve at Christmas time.  Enjoy your meal!  See you for klass tomorrow!


PR said...

Ooh now I'm really hungry :)

Universal Gibberish

Annalisa Crawford said...

But a sandwich is so much easier to eat with that extra piece of bread!

Donna Smith said...

Good morning! Guess I'll be stopping at the deli today and picking up a few items to make my own personal smorgasbord. This was fun, and I read back a ways for more fun learning about Sweden. Thanks for recording this. Your kids are going to appreciate this someday.

Unknown said...

Gah, I'm hungry now, and I just had dinner!!

Laurita said...

My favourite food! This was a particularly good lesson. Now I think I'll go scrounge in the fridge to see what I have in the way of pålägg.

Amanda Trought said...

The spread looks very tasty! I think I prefer Mormor to Granny...though its not growing on my stepdaughter who is going to give birth in 2 weeks:) Amanda

Amanda - Realityarts-Creativity
Art Blog

Anonymous said...

Nom nom nom

Jenny said...

I put together a Swedish smorgasbord for Christmas one year, just for fun. It wasn't nearly as lovely as these!

Lynn Proctor said...

wow, you just made my smart ones frozen dinner taste kinda bland--wonderful stuff

Anna (herding cats-burning soup) said...

Yep. Have been saying it wrong all this time. Darn! Good to know though :)

Love the sandwich with a lid. Have never heard it called that before.

And now I'm off to find some food. Way past lunch time here!

Anna@Herding Cats & Burning Soup

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yes, now I am hungry!
I guess the closest we come to a Swedish sandwich is pizza. No lid there!

Andrea said...

Wow to those pics! The cheese and cucumber sounds intriguing!

Heather Murphy said...

This was a good one. Who knew we were mispronouncing smorgasbord!

klahanie said...

Hi Tina,
I wonder why they often refer to it as a Chinese 'smorgasbord' at a lot of Chinese buffet restaurants in North American. Seems an unusual connection.
Anyway, a pålägg I really like is "Marmite" and peanut butter. I know, you've never heard of peanut butter :)
Oh, a sweet roll with ham and mustard sounds most appetising. And with that, thanks for this ongoing Swedish education. Happy writing.

Unknown said...

Dear Tina,
What an excellent and yummy post!
Best wishes,


Kära Tina!
En sällsynt bra beskrivning av orden 'smörgås' och 'smörgåsbord'! Ditt inlägg gör mig jättehungrig! På tal om pålägg, så längtar jag efter en leverpastej smörgås nu, men har ingenting hemma. (Med lite inlagd gurka, vore inte så dumt...)

Stora kramar,