In vino veritas and then some food if you must

In vino veritas and then some food if you must
Magnus este nuanta internationala permanenta in cadrul Craiova Blog Meet, fiind casatorit cu colega noastra de blogosfera Vero Happy Scrappy. Svanström vine din Sweden, de acolo si o parte a subiectul guest-postului de azi. Mai zic doar ca suntem si vecini de cartier, Vero si Magnus locuind chiar peste drum de blocul meu. Sa-l "ascultam" :)

From Daniel the topics was for once a bit easier. It should be about “Wine, beer and food from Romania and Sweden”, so lets give it a go.

I am by no means an expert in either wine or in food, I do have a fair intake of them both, but I would not say I have what you might call a refined pallet. So I will stay on the safer ground of home cooking, those dishes your parents would do, and I will stay away from the more exquisite cuisine that usually have a higher price, smaller portions and well less bang for the buck as the Americans would say.

So Sweden and Romania, what do we have in common in food? You might think not much, but you would be wrong. We both have a version of the cabbage roll, in Sweden called “Kåldolme” which is similar to the Romanian “Sarmale”, not exactly the same but similar. Both imported from the Turks I would imagine. We also have meatballs, culinary cousins, not the same but with the same ancestry, in Sweden called “Köttbullar” and in Romanian that would be “Chiftelute”.

I could probably go on but I will end the similarities here and get down to the differences. The biggest difference between our two countries, in this respect, can be describe in one word, soups. Now any Romania meal would have a soup to start with and then on to the main course. In Swedish home cooking that would not be the case, the soup would be the main dish.

Another thing that would define Swedish traditional dishes, and then I mean the dishes from up north which are the ones I grew up with, are that they are rather on the heavy side and lacks a variety in vegetables. Now for being up north that has its reasons, you could not grow that much, the winter was just to long. Here in Romania you have the tastiest tomatoes, peppers or paprika that you can pick and eat right away, now that is something of a treat for a Swede. Now the best peppers of course comes from my father-in-law, it can not be any other way.

Now enough of the food and lets get onto the important stuff, the liquids from the gods, or the “uisce na beatha” like Irish would say or in English “the water of life”. Beer both our countries have and yet we are not really famous for it. Sweden would perhaps be famous for Absolut Vodka, even though that is not Swedish any more. Romania it has to be wine or even more so tuică, specially when you live here, a drink you can not avoid, and why would you want to.
Here I can compare beers and have some conclusion, but instead I will just say that they are mostly similar, tasty and works perfect in the summer, and summer Romania offers in spades.

No I will better talk about that drink that you can make here but you really can not make in Sweden, and that is wine, yes in that we find the truth. Before I came to Romania I had not tasted home made wine, well except those kits you could buy in Sweden and make yourself. Those gave a drink of alcohol, called wine, but in reality had nothing to do with wine and was almost a blasphemy to call it as such.
Now the wine my father-in-law makes is truly a wonderful liquid, ruby red in colour, easy and tasty to drink but with one major flaw, and I really mean it has a flaw. What is that you might wonder? It does not give you a hangover, truly a dangerous drink. But in the name of science I do drink it as often as I can, mostly for the taste of course, but also to check if it ever will give me a headache, and so far it has not.

And on this note I will end this short article, by sipping a glass of wine and thanking the soil, the grapes and the people who make this wonderful drink for me to enjoy, and that is Romania!

Written by Jan Magnus Svanström.

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