Checking out the local cuisine is always a rite of passage for anyone new to a country. One of the first things I had to get used to after moving here was salmon. I was never a big fan, but I’ve learned to be. Actually, it’s very good and nicely prepared in this part of the world. In particular, gravlax (raw salmon cured in salt, dill and sugar ) has become a favorite for me. And of course, you can’t talk Swedish cuisine without mentioning meatballs, the ultimate home cooking. These are served with mashed potatoes and sides of lingon berries and cucumbers if you take the traditional route.
But for the more everyday cheap food favorites, you have to go to a grill. Grill stands are everywhere and are typically small, walk-up spots where there may be a table or counter to eat at, but that’s not guaranteed. The stands tend to do a particularly nice trade late at night as the bars are closing. Hot dogs are the typical favorite purchase–you select whether you want yours grilled or boiled. But one of the most fascinating concoctions to me is something called a tunnbrodsrulle. Basically, this is a flat bread folded into a pocket and stuffed with mashed potatoes, a hot dog and what is called a shrimp salad. The thing is huge and is most often seen being eaten late at night with a fork. It is a site to behold. I don’t know who came up with this unusual combo, but I have to figure that it is rather peculiarly Swedish.