Jul 27, 2011

a visit to Östermalms Saluhall

this was a dream come true for me. always wanted to go here, to this gorgeous food market in central stockholm. the main story is the fish, sweden is very well known for their abundant, fresh, amazing fish. also for their smoked fish, gravlax (cured salmon), and delicious fish eggs or caviar. because stockholm is an archipelago, with access to waterways, you might see chefs and other swedes fishing around town as you make your way to the different islets of the city.

another important feature of swedish cuisine is potatoes. potatoes are a big deal in sweden, eaten with nearly every meal. even that delicious caviar spread is made with potatoes. in the summer it is a special treat to have freshly dug up small new potatoes. it is common for swedish families to grow some of their own potatoes, in their own yard, or in a pot, or in a community garden plot. a meal just isn't a meal without potatoes for swedes.

oh yes, and fresh produce. the short growing season up north makes for spectacular fresh vegetables and fruits in the summer, particularly the berries: lingonberries and cloud berries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries. and the wonderful jams and preserves they make with all those berries. wonderful imported delights are here as well, french artisanal chocolates, giant turkish dried figs, such a special, completely magical place.

Jul 19, 2011

let's talk about swedish food (breakfast edition)

i could say it's delicious and end it right there, just show photos of sweden's incredible smörgåsbord of food offerings. we would all be quite satisfied i am sure. but really, i must go on and on about it, and it starts with swedish bread, incredible bread, the best bread i've ever tasted, so let's talk breakfast, where this bread plays a starring role.

oh my, i could write sonnets about its thick slices, soft spongy center, sturdy, rustic, floury crust, total perfection. so perfect, i will now devote myself entirely to finding how to procure or make this bread every day. really, it's that good (and i'm not even a bread person, most days i am rhapsodizing about vegetables in season). swedish bread, always ready to be slathered with some of that delightful swedish caviar spread, (available outside sweden at ikea) served with a sliced 4- or 8- minute egg, your choice of course. or, there is incredible swedish butter, (fluffy, lightly salted, similar to danish butter-the best) and amazing preserves of every variety: cloudberry, lingonberry, etc. oh and have you seen swedish butter knives? they are hand carved from wood, beautiful, and all the better to lavishly spread upon your bread. brilliant.

or perhaps you are after the swedish classic breakfast, and you drape your bread, very indulgently, with fresh cured salmon (gravlax). oh such delicious possibilities for breakfast Sweden! i want to eat swedish every day now. such a deceptively simple cuisine. as with all simple things, the quality of the ingredients must be perfect. of course, i love it completely. after wanting to visit sweden for 20 years, it was totally worth the wait. it was proust who noted that absence was the most loyal, most faithful, most ubiquitous of all the presences, and he was so right. sweden, where have you been all my life?

next, a visit to Östermalms saluhall,central food market in stockholm.

Jul 13, 2011

a stroll around skeppsholmen

i left for paris on a saturday, arrived on a sunday, sunday afternoon and evening i met friends for a drink and picked up my daughter, we ran around paris 6eme monday morning and flew to stockholm monday afternoon, arriving in time for a memorable dinner monday evening. it was a busy few days. but oh how we were rewarded. paris was charming as always and stockholm was pure lovely. indeed i would like to go back right now. lots more pictures on the way, xo g

Jul 1, 2011

garden at dusk

i've been spending a lot of time in the garden lately. the weather has been most agreeable. i am headed out of town for a quick trip to paris and stockholm with my daughter, will have loads of pictures to share when we return. until then, xo g