Food For Thought — July 1, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Celebrity Chef Gives New Yorkers a Taste of Sweden



If your only idea of Swedish cuisine is Ikea’s meatballs, you’ll be happy to know there’s a whole lot more to the Nordic country’s culinary offering. Not that there’s anything wrong with Ikea meatballs – it’s one of the only reasons I put up with the place.

New Yorkers gathered at Rustico Cooking (one of the top HQs for cooking classes) on Saturday to learn from the best when it comes to cooking the Swedish way. Celebrity chef Ulrika Bengtsson, of premier midtown Nordic restaurant Aquavit, put on a cooking display using an array of Swedish ingredients, including Krisprolls, Falksalt and Felix lingonberry jam.

taste-of-sweden    swedish-salt

The day started out with canapés of Krisprolls and various toppings, from sweet pea and crayfish spread to Swedish-style liver pate and cheese with jam, accompanied by virgin lingonberry and blueberry bellinis (see below for the recipe).

Chef Bengtsson then took the group through an assortment of Swedish cooking techniques, from curing salmon for gravlax (surprisingly easy with a combination of lemon salt and sugar) to roasting vegetables and meat seasoned with a variety of salt flavors from Falksalt (everything from wild mushroom to chipotle). The dish of the day was the rhubarb pie made with a Krisproll crumble (recipe also below), which demonstrated the versatility of the Swedish snacks.

After a break, participants were invited to make their own Krisproll hors d’oeuvres, while also learning the history – and importance – of good salt. Apparently a good sea salt flake is the best you can have, while seemingly chic varieties like pink or grey salt are really just adulterated versions of the good stuff.

taste-of-sweden-2    taste-of-sweden-6

Speaking to a Swede at the gathering, I learned about the country’s custom of fika – or the act of drinking coffee, accompanied by something sweet. It can be with friends, or on the beach, but wherever it is, it’s a celebration, and sure beats gathering around the office water cooler. With Krisprolls, cheese, a bit of lingonberry jam and a sprinkle of sea salt on hand, I’m more than happy to make like the Swedish and fika.

If this sounds like your style, I recommend checking out New York’s Swedish micro-chain café, Fika, which brings the fika stateside with excellent coffee and snacks. Sockerbit in the West Village is also a great destination to satisfy your Swedish sweet tooth.


Lingonberry with Blueberries Virgin Bellini

In a pitcher mix and serve ice cold:

  • 1 jar of Felix Lingonberry with Blueberry Jam
  • 1 bottle of seltzer
  • Lemon juice from one fresh lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of Falksalt Citron salt

Rhubarb Pie

  • 5 ounces of butter
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of crushed Krisprolls
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • Pinch of Falksalt

Quickly mix all ingredients to a crumble. Flavor with the salt.

  • 2 lb fresh rhubarb
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch

Peel and cut the rhubarb stalks in half-inch pieces. Mix the sugar with the cornstarch. Then toss the rhubarb in the sugar mix to make sure all pieces are coated. Put in an ovenproof pie dish. Top with the crumble. Bake in a 400-degree F oven for about 20 minutes or until it’s golden brown. Let it cool from hot to warm. Serve with vanilla or cardamom ice cream.

Twisted Talk: Do you have a favorite Swedish hot-spot in New York? What’s your favorite Nordic dish? Discuss below!

Get $25 Gift Certificates for just $10. Click Here

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Frederick

%d bloggers like this: