I am writing this post from a windswept but beautiful coastal town of Simrishamn in Sweden. It feels like a deliciously random place to be and is surprisingly beautiful, even this early in the year when the trees are still bare.
I am not here to visit Sweden though, I am here to see a dear friend who happens to now live here. We arrived late last night, from Singapore, in darkness – my favourite time to arrive somewhere new for the simple fact that when you wake up the next morning, it feels like you have been teleported.
Before dinner at Bloom in the Park this evening, I had just two demands for my first day: a walk on a windswept, deserted, white sandy beach – all of five minutes drive away – and a trip to the local supermarket. Your own supermarket may be excruciatingly dull, but go to one in another country and it’s a different experience entirely. (I feel the same with pharmacies – especially French ones.) Anyone with me?
Here’s wish number one (below). The sea is the Baltic and it’s surprisingly unsalty (no, I didn’t try any). The white dots are, rather amazingly, thirty or so swans; it’s that unsalty.
Supermarket sweep took place this afternoon. Swedish essentials turn out to be ‘cakes’ of amazing crispbread; Ryevita, move over. There were well over 30 brands to choose from.
The round packs of crispbread on the bottom shelf are vastly superior to their rectangular cousins, apparently.
Next up was wild garlic salt, with lovely unbroken crystals muddled with chopped, dried, locally grown peppery leaves of wild garlic.
Caviar comes in toothpaste tubes here. It’s not elegant but it’s extremely cool and Nille, (pronounced ‘neeler’) the friend we have come to visit, steered us towards Kalles which is his favourite.
Smear it liberally on aforementioned crispbread.
If you are in Sweden then you are obviously going to need mustard to make gravadlax sauce with. Nille’s secret recipe for making the best ever dill sauce for your home cured gravadlax coming up shortly. With over 100 varieties of mustard to chose from…
he says this is a winner:
Beautiful un-tubed fish eggs seemed like an obvious choice…
…and of course no trip to Sweden would be complete without some Dime (or Daim) as it’s called here:
Next stop: London.