With the pre-event drinks, talk on Swedish food, entree photoshoot and frying pan presentation out of the way (see Taste of Sweden – IKEA Food Blogger Event [1 of 2]), we move onto the eating.
My entree tasting selection consisted of (clockwise from the top-left):
Räkor (Swedish shrimp), boiled egg, lettuce leaf and mayo served on bread and topped with a cucumber garnish – Taste was ok but flimsy bread made it hard to eat with the hands.
Pickled herring (Dillsill variety, if I’m not mistaken), on boiled egg and knäckebröd råg (round crisp bread made from rye) with a dill garnish – Tasted fine initially but had a slight fishy aftertaste that I wasn’t too fond of. I’d have it again if offered but wouldn’t actively seek it.
Swedish caviar rolls with röd caviar (red Swedish caviar), onion and creme fraiche wrapped up in mjukt tunnbröd (soft thin bread) – This one was probably my favourite. Soft and deliciously creamy. Yum! :)
Gravlax (raw salmon cured in salt, sugar and dill), with sweet mustard and dill on bread – The gravlax, moist with the right amount of seasoning paired well with the other ingredients. Another good one :)
A shot of other people’s tasting selections, along with elderflower, lingonberry and pear cider drinks (left to right). Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to taste the Kalles Kaviar entree (squiggly one on the middle plate).
Kalles Kaviar (a cod roe paste) was liken to Vegemite and I could see the resemblance. It’s salty, often consumed at breakfast and, so I’ve been told, can be somewhat of an acquired taste.
I’m intrigued. I’ll have to give it a go at some stage :)
FFichiban‘s plate of the various herring preparations offered on the herring tasting platter.
Predictably, most people went for the Swedish meatballs, served with cream sauce, lingonberry jam and your choice of mash or fries. I’ve had the meatballs before and they’re great. However, I felt like something different and went for the heart shaped chicken schnitzel.
Unfortunately for me, the person serving my schnitzel was somewhat careless and heavy handed and broke it down the middle while he was plating it.
Ok, so this shot is a little dramatised… :)
I also found out that I’d missed out on gravy too! Oh, the humanity! Oh, the melodrama…
Getting back to reality, the chicken schnitzel was nice for IKEA‘s asking price of $3.95 as an afternoon special. The bread coating was nice and crispy and the chicken was a sizable portion. With chips (and gravy *grumble*) rounding off the meal, it’s a pretty good deal. Even better that it was for free :)
With the main out of the way, thoughts of dessert came to mind…
The princess cake (Prinsesstårta in Swedish) was a cake made for the princesses of the royal family, well so I was told. The cake consists of a sponge base, jam filling and cream enveloped in green marzipan. It was soft and delicate (as I would imagine a princess should be) but a little too sweet for my liking.
The punch roll (Punschrulle) is made up of a mixture of cookie crumbs, butter and cacao flavoured with punsch liqueur, which is where the roll gets its name from. This is then coated in green marzipan and the ends dipped in chocolate.
The punch roll in Sweden is also referred to as dammsugare (vaccuum cleaner). This is due not only to the way in which the roll looks (see the resemblance) but supposedly also due to pastry chefs gathering up the crumbs of cookies made that day for the filling in these rolls.
The delicato ball (named after the company that makes them), is a chocolate/coffee flavoured ball with a coconut coating. These balls are also known as chokladboll (chocolate ball) or the now out of favour and un-P.C. traditional name of negerball (negro ball).
When I see these chocolately balls, I can’t help but think of Chef from South Park’s chocolate salty balls.
“Ooh, suck on my chocolate n-“.
No, changed my mind. Not going there…
The chocolate/coffee flavour combination is nice but I’m not a fan of the grainy texture.
After dessert, we end up the night with gift bags from IKEA and the announcement of the lucky door prize. Billy came away the winner of the door prize, which was a nice, large IKEA pot (365+ range if I’m not mistaken) and some kitchen utensils.
Billy fending off the food bloggers-turned-paparazzi and anyone looking to take his lucky door prize off him out of jealousy. hehe :)
With a wonderful and interesting event come to a close, we may our way down the the IKEA Food section near the exit.
For anyone that was wondering where you can get some of the Swedish delights, from drinks to desserts, this is the place for it. I believe the only thing you can’t get here is the eggs and the fresh dill but everything else, and I mean everything else and then some, can be found here.
It’s hard to make out but on the far right you can also find frozen mash potatoes in the freezer section. Attention to detail. I like it :)
The evening ends with almond Daim cake (from IKEA) and ice cream at chocolatesuze‘s pad. A great way to cap off a great evening of food :)
Thanks heaps to Dave and the rest of the IKEA staff at the Taste of Sweden event for the wonderful introduction into Swedish cuisine beyond the meatball :)