When in Sweden…..
Growing up watching ‘Monty Python’, ‘The Goodies’, ‘Fawlty Towers’ and various other European television series I would have to say I can distinctly recall the humble ‘herring’ appearing frequently in all of them. If you were to have asked me what I thought the ‘iconic food’ of the Nordic region was, other than perhaps Swedish meatballs or Danish pastries, I would have to have said ‘herring’. Certainly, we have come across it quite abundantly on menus and in salad bars during our time here.
I thought that perhaps I had managed to avoid it on my visit, and whilst some did make it to my plate on one occasion, I couldn’t quite bring myself to stomach it. I’ve never been a fan of raw or rare fish (or most raw/rare meats for that matter) so have continued to put it off. Alas however, there was no escape.
After a delightful day visiting my friend’s weekender on the island of Vrångö (off the coast of Gothenberg) I was presented with his favourite …..pickled herring! They weren’t going to let me get away without trying it at least once and of course it would be most impolite to refuse to eat it. Plated with a type of sour cream, steamed potato and ‘knäckebröd’ ( a type of crispy flatbread) at least each mouthful went down easier than the one before. I definitely think raw fish is an acquired taste, or probably more accurately, acquired texture. Kindly, it was a very small portion so even I could deal with it, thankyou for pushing me beyond my comfort zone guys ;). I don’t think however that I’ll be rushing out to find more with a new found love for it or present it at my next inner party. Perhaps lovers of our more well-known smoked salmon would take a liking to it.
Our brave hosts then put on a barbeque for us. I must say they passed with flying colours with their home-made burgers that were very tasty together with salads and pepper sauce. A+ work guys ….you could make yourself at home in Australia anytime!!!