Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Stockholm: Swedish Foods!!

 As I upload these pictures I realise how little food I actually got to eat whilst in Stockholm. A holiday from Thursday through to Sunday, I found, is still only 2 full days, and when catching up with friends you haven't seen in two years and possibly par-taking in drinks while catching up, does not, unfortunately, allow for many eats. None the less... here is eating in Stockholm.

My day started with a bus ride to Edinburgh airport, where, after checking in I made my way upstairs to the pub. I have a theory that being on 'holidays' (ref: traveling any distance for any purpose) allows one to partake in alcoholic beverages earlier than what would be deemed 'reasonable', so for my 9 am breakfast, a vodka and diet coke... Absolut of couse- I was going to Sweden.

To accompany my breakfast beverage I ordered a ham and cheese croissant. Ham and cheese croissants must be one of the most overlooked yet wonderful foods of all time. Yes, that buttery, flaky golden horn of pastry does amount to about a third of a recommended daily calorie intake, but they are ALWAYS delicious.

I don't sleep well before a flight, I never have, so as soon as I was on board the flight I fell straight asleep till we landed in Stockholm.

I checked into the hotel but missed dinner, and all nearby conveniences, so my dinner was Pringles, Twix, salted nuts and a packet of pastelles- this did not make me happy.

Breakfast was included in my hotels tariff so come the morning I ventured down to see what was on offer. What a pleasant surprise (I am so sorry there are no photos for this) a buffet with, but not restricted to the following: coffee, tea, 4 types of juice, pancakes, bacon, sausage, scrambled egg (first buffet area).

Cereals, around 8 types of breads, rolls, crackers, cold meats, cheeses. (second area)

More cold meats (featuring more continental and local styles), another selection of cheeses, salad items, preserves, pates, pickled herring, yoghurts, fruit.

It was spectacular. Well done Nacka Quality Hotel!

That evening, after a terribly windy and rainy day spent in pubs catching up on 2 years of gossip from back in Oz, we decided to take our little party back to Miss C and Mr J's apartment, and get some snacks and dinner items.

Our pre-dinner snacks were delicious: tortilla chips, baguette, olives, hard and soft cheese, salami, almonds.

 And a little something I picked up at the ICA, I assumed it would be a fish (herring) based item, and it was. I have not eaten very much pickled fish in my life but have enjoyed it when I have tried it. This particular one was creamy, tart and yet refreshing. Not in anyway fishy. Very tasty.

Most of the next day was spent regretting how late we stayed up chatting and drinking, but we decided that evening we would eat out, and try some traditional Swedish food. Trip advisor had wonderful things to say about Pelikan in Sodermalm, so Miss C and I caught a bus and saw how beautiful Stockholm really is.

We got to Pelikan around 7.15, and fortunately were shown straight to a table (Pelikan does not take reservations on the weekend), and by about 8pm when the restaurant was totally full, we considered ourselves very lucky.

We started with a cider each.

We were both famished and were delighted when the bread basket was brough to the table. The bread tasted home made and the hard bread/crackers were positively moreish.

 We decided to share starters: Assortment of pickled herring and cheese, and Jerusalem artichoke soupe with chanterelles sausage.

The Herring plate came with 3 dfferent type of herring, one in a creamy sauce with dill, one in a mustard sauce, and one served plain with onion.

The mustard herring was outstanding, and the plain one with red onion was the aquivelent of an oyster au naturelle giving the purest version of the flavour of the herring.

Served with boiled new potatos and two types of cheese, one with cumin, it was a beautiful and interesting starter, but both Miss C and I have decided we've had enough herring to keep us going for quite a while.

We decided  on the artichoke soup mostly becase we both had no idea of how it would possibly taste, we simply couldn't imagine what artichoke sup would taste like. This one was rich, creamy and delicious. The sausage was an inspired addition.

There was quite a lengthy wait between courses, and we began to think out very efficient  but very firm waitress, who we likened to a German Head-Mistress was punshing us for something.

But before too long a tray of mustard arrive,a nd I was informed (if not directed) that I MUST have the mustard with my main.
 I was tossing up between the Steak and the Pork Knuckle, but as Miss C suggested, I can have steak anywhere, so I decided on the Pork Knuckle.

I have tried the Pork Knuckle in the German Club back in Brisbane, and that one is certainly a marathon of a meal. This one lived up to the knuckle reputation. It came with a side of mashed squash, which was wonderful. The pork knuckle had been boiled and was delicious but rather salty, I think it really could have benefitted from a white sauce or gravy.
It's difficult to show how big this was, but it was about the same size as the bread basket!

 C got the swedish meatballs, and they were wonderful, served a la Ikea with a creamy gravy and lingonberry jam.
 Also with a side of mash potato which I helped myself to throughout the meal. It was great!
 Feeling like maybe I had abused my stomach's capacity, I opted for an Aquavit after dinner, and though how it came out was absolutely gorgeous, a bowl of ice with a tiny beaker of the aquavit in the middle with the glass nestled in to cool as well.

We left feeling very full, but like we had indeed been treated to some wonderful traditional Swedish food.

The next day I helped myself to a final serving of buffet breakfast before bording my plane and returning home.

What a wonderful city.

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