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32yo Swede, new to the forum

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone,

My name is Robert and I'm a 32 year old guy from Sweden, currently studying to become a chef. I have about 15 years of cooking experience (at home, but I would say at an advanced amateur level), and for the last ten years it's been my no. 1 passion.

The culinary school I attend isn't by any means a renowned one, and I only chose to go there because it was the only way I could afford to get my diploma. I've been applying for jobs in the food industry for the last couple of years, but if you don't have a diploma and/or several years of experience, you just won't get a job. I've even offered to work for a week or two for free just to show my skills and what I can do, but no-one was interested at all. Hopefully this will be my way into the world of food.

Ten years ago I decided I wanted to be an engineer, but found out it wasn't for me. I dropped out of school and worked a bunch of menial and boring jobs before I realized that since I spent all my time cooking, reading books on cooking, watching tv shows on cooking and writing about food, perhaps cooking was what I should do for a living. And here I am.

I definitely tend to stray towards the savory side of things, but I do like making a nice panna cotta with a coulis of fresh berries as well.
post #2 of 8
Welcome to ChefTalk!

I'm a 'near' neighbour, well.... relatively speaking! My home city is Edinburgh.

I hope you will find the time to look at some of the wonderful photographs on the site - and to read some of the articles, too.

Feel free to jump in on any thread you find interesting - there is also a forum for culinary students, which may be of interest. Please feel free to start your own threads - some seasonal Swedish recipes will be well-received, I'm sure!
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you! :) While not especially Swedish, I'll be trying my hand at a panna cotta with a gingerbread-flavored caramel sauce tomorrow, and if it turns out well I'll be sure to post the recipe. At least it's seasonal. ;)

Edinburgh is a beautiful city, judging from what I've seen on tv at least. I'm going to the UK next year, and I'm thinking about making a detour to Scotland and Edinburgh.
post #4 of 8
You really should make that detour... not that I'm biased, or anything!
post #5 of 8
Welcome, Robert! I look forward to your posts and participation.

I spent five weeks at the university in Lund many years ago- 1975 to be exact. A college dormitory was hardly the best location to learn about Swedish food! I'd be interested to know more about your cuisine. I particularly enjoyed smorrebrod; my favorite was the one with tiny, tender shrimps and dill. :lips: I know sweets are ethereal delights, too.

Enjoy! We hope you make this a regular stop.
Mezzaluna
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post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you. :) A college dormitory was where I found my love and passion for food, as a matter of fact. I spent more time in my tiny kitchen (a cabinet that you opened up, revealing a sink, a stove with two burners (basically nothing more than a hot plate) and a tiny, tiny oven on the shelf above) than I did studying. ;) No wonder I dropped out; I'm glad I did though, or I would probably never have taken the first step to actually becoming a chef.

Swedish cuisine is interesting, and it's only in the last couple of years that I've really learned to appreciate how intricate some of the flavors are, and the balance between sweet and sour that is quite uniquely Swedish.

Smörrebröd isn't really Swedish, it's Danish, but it's also really popular in the south of Sweden (like Lund), which used to belong to Denmark back in the days.

Have you tried Swedish pickled herring? It used to be a peasant dish, cheap fish that was pickled to preserve it, but these days it's a delicacy mostly eaten around Christmas and Midsummer. It's first cured with salt to extract excess water, then pickled in vinegar, salt, sugar and a mixture of spices, usually pepper corns, bay leaves and onion, but also commonly with mustard or aquavit.

It can be an acquired taste, but it's as Swedish as it gets.

Fermented herring, on the other hand...well, the less said about it the better. ;)
post #7 of 8
I had a notion that smorrebrod were Danish... oops! :blush:

Swedish pickled herring sounds an awful lot like pickled herring that's popular in the region where I live. It's sweet, vinegary, contains whole allspice berries and a bay leaf. Very popular here, whether in the vinegar (wine) sauce or the sour cream sauce. For some families it's a must on the holiday table. I love it!

I never thought about the sweet/sour balance. I'll have to bounce that around my tastebuds a bit. Thanks for the information!

Mezzaluna
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
I wish you could try "brown beans" with pork, one of the most classic Swedish dishes. The beans are soaked in water overnight and then boiled in salted water until soft. The dish is then seasoned and thickened with golden suryp, distilled vinegar and potato starch until you're left with a sweet and sour somewhat sticky sauce.

They're usually eaten with sliced and fried slab bacon.

"Kroppkaka" is another classic Swedish dish. It's basically a potato dumpling filled with chopped, fried onions and pork or bacon, usually seasoned with allspice and served with butter and lingonberry jam. I could eat kroppkaka all day, every day, seriously.

I'll make sure to post pictures and recipes next time I make something really Swedish. :)
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