Wonderful Skåne!


I hope you don’t mind me paraphrasing Denmark’s slogan (Wondeful Denmark), but I find it suitable since Skåne (the most southern region in Sweden) was in fact Danish until 1658.  

Anyway, this part of Sweden is where I was born, and although I love London I love coming home to my dear Skåne too. Usually I spend time on the beach in the summer but the weather was just as bad as in the UK (grey, rainy and windy) so I had to occupy myself differently. It was a lot of lunch and fika and excursions to countryside shops and similar. 

Olof Viktors

One Saturday my parents and I drove to the beautiful Österlen, the eastern part of Skåne, where we had fika (coffee and pastries) at Olof Viktors, looked at boats in Skillinge Harbour and went to various antiques shops. We also stopped by Gunnarshögs Gård just before closing to buy some of their wonderful cold-pressed rapeseed oil. 

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One day I met up with a childhood friend at the fish restaurant Johan P, now also located at Malmö Central station, for a prawn sandwich on Danish rye bread. We were hoping to try Saltimporten Canteen, but we were too late to get a table. Next time. 

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Another day, when Carina and I were on our to the beach, we stopped at Märtas in Höllviken for a egg and prawn salad sandwich and enjoyed it outside in basking sunshine. Half an hour later when we reached the beach it was cloudy and cold again.

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The sandwich was great though, and the shop/café really cute. 

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My last Sunday in Skåne I went to the annual antiques fair at Katrinetorp, like most people. It was incredibly popular, probably partly because of the torrential rain. I bet IKEA was busy too! 

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For lunch I met up with my bestie Emma at the festival in town; Malmöfestivalen but it was an anticlimax walking around in the rain with soaked shoes. I quickly decided on a langos with sourcream, caviar and red onions while Emma had a chicken wrap. 

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Another day with seriously bad weather (I so picked the wrong week and a half to go) Therèse and I were about to have lunch at the harbour in Smygehamn, the most southern point in the country, but it was so windy we got a takeaway instead. At the fish smokery they have lovely individual sandwich cakes with seafood. They’re quite creamy but really good. 

As you can see I got my seafood sandwich fix during this trip, it’s something very Scandinavian that I can certainly miss in London, although there are a few places offering a decent prawn sandwich there too. 


Rapeseed oil, mustard and herbs

At the food bloggers’ meetup we went around the countryside in Österlen, Skåne (Scania) visiting different food producers. The first stop was Gunnarshög’s farm, where we got to see how rapeseed oil is produced. I found this particularly interesting because I grew up around the wonderfully yellow and sweet smelling rapeseed fields.

Erik, our guide at (and owner of) the farm was really excited to tell us about his passion. He’s holding a rapeseed plant.

Rapeseed ready to be harvested (left) and the seeds when harvested (right).

The rapeseeds are harvested and then sifted to get rid of straw etc. The seeds are then dried until a certain water percentage remains and are then pressed for oil. (see above).

Freshly cold pressed rapeseed oil

The remnants of the seeds: rapeseed cake (or pellets)

After sedimentation and filtration the oil is ready to be bottled.

Did you know that rapeseed oil contains more Omega-3 and less saturated fats than olive oil? Rapeseed oil is sensitive to light and changes in temperature. Store in a cool and dark place (i e the fridge) and it keeps for twice as long as stored at room temperature.

At the end of our visit we got to sample all the different oils; the regular cold pressed oil and the flavoured ones. I particularly liked the dill and the wild garlic flavours.

Next stop was Petersborg’s farm, one of very few farms in Sweden growing mustard seeds. Most Swedish mustard is actually farmed abroad. Broadly there are two types of mustard seeds; yellow and brown. To make mustard you simply grind the seeds and mix the mustard powder with water and vinegar for the flavours to develop.

In the farm shop they sell their own mustards, for instance one flavoured with lavender, one with whisky and one really strong one.

The last stop was at Österlenkryddor (Österlen spice) where we got to try a raspberry and rosemary snaps (you know the shot we have with everything from herring to crayfish).

Many herb blends have funny local names. I ended up buying a jar of Greek oregano (for souvlaki) and a jar of lovage (works as a substitute for stock apparently).