Someone once said with a look of contempt: “Hey, have you ever eaten the Norwegian meatballs from IKEA? They also said that it is a famous Norwegian dish. That is a terrible thing! It’s a lie.”
I silently cried out a grievance for IKEA: God, this greasy, shriveled fried meatball is really the only famous dish in Sweden! And in order to be acceptable to Chinese people who are used to eating good things, it is much better than cooked in the hometown.
I arrived in Sweden in one December. It was severely cold. It was dawn at ten o’clock in the morning, and it started to get dark at one thirty in the afternoon. But none of these can knock me down. It was their food that knocked me down.
Every day, my expectations for food drop from “finding something delicious” to “finding something hot”. Some locals told me that for 21 meals, seven days a week, Swedes can eat four or five hot meals.
In my imagination, I am very close to Norway in Sweden, so I should be able to eat salmon. Yes! The supermarket food cabinet is orange-red, in addition to salmon, there are tons of shrimp. Boiled shrimp in brine, cold. And salmon is very cheap. Most of them are eaten raw and cold. Smoked or marinated salmon fillets are fishy and salty. They can only be used to hold bread-dark and hard rye bread.
After eating cold salmon for a few days on the ice and snow, the stomach in South China was empty and lonely. I know that “Curry Braised Salmon Head Pork Belly” cannot exist in this country, but maybe there are hot salmon to eat in restaurants? Turning over the menu is nothing more than roasting and frying. No matter what kind of cooking method, it is greasy. What’s even stranger is that no matter what kind of cooking method, they are served cold-well, colder than ice or slightly warmer.
There are only a few things to eat in a restaurant of normal medium consumption level in Sweden: salmon, boiled shrimp, grilled meat, fried meatballs, and fried fish. If you are lucky, you will be able to eat vegetable salad. You will thank the Lord, Bodhisattva, and Ksitigarbha for the whole day, and then pay a huge sum of money for it. The cooking standards of these restaurants are completely standardized in the Nordic style: no one is better than anyone. More common restaurants only serve one dish.
There is really only one dish, not even side dishes. The word Sidedish (appetizer) does not exist here. They are also taking the Nordic design route: minimalism.
I have never seen any country where the food and beverages are so insignificant that it only occupies one natural segment in “Lonely Planet”, or a very small natural segment (there are also two natural segments in Norway). In many countries, a chapter of dozens of pages is needed to introduce the country’s catering.
But what can you expect from the country that started with Vikings in food and beverage? Neither Norway nor Sweden, even Denmark and Finland are much better. From the Ice Age when Ru Mao was drinking blood to the Viking Age when Ru Mao was drinking blood, the cold climate and years of darkness are really not the key words for the birth of food.
After traveling around the world, I discovered that only those countries that “have passed away from their ancestors a long time ago” have the most arrogant DNA in their bones, and they exhaust their brains to serve their tongues. For example, Portugal, Spain, France, including China-from this point of view, the British, who had been so vast in their ancestors, did not grow up. Although they are good at making food shows and produce celebrities in the culinary world, the food in most of their restaurants is still not flattering. But the UK is at least full of restaurants from all over the world. It is quite possible to travel in the UK without eating British food. But Sweden, even in the capital, Stockholm, is dominated by meatballs and cheap sandwiches.
However, Stockholm is a city that is not as beautiful as the world. The vast forests and lakes of Sweden can still be regarded as miracles of the Creator. Cantonese people say “satisfaction with water”. Perhaps for Swedes, the Viking era was “satisfaction with gold coins”. Now it is “satisfaction with lakes and mountains”. It is very luxurious to have meatballs to eat.