One of the bigger assignments I’ve had this year was to write several articles for TrySwedish.com, a website that launched yesterday.
During the month of August I was busily interviewing Charlotte Norrman-Oredsson, a Swedish egg farmer; Carina Tollmar at Oatly, a company that produces oat milk; farmer of Highland cattle and potato expert Lars Elofson; forward-thinking school chef, Michael Bäckman; celebrity chef Fredrik Eriksson; Magnus Gröntoft of Ny Nordisk Mat, a Scandinavian organization that promotes regional cuisine; and Renee Voltaire, who champions a gourmet food line in Sweden. I corresponded with dozens of other interesting people. I researched everything from filmjölk to knäckebröd until I didn’t think I could read any more Swedish. I did some math, comparing the nutritional value of blueberries to black currants. I even wrote to a few friends and enlisted their help in writing about the secret breakfast lives of Swedes. I had a lot of fun.
I also learned a lot. Magnus Gröntoft convinced me that healthy gourmet food is going to be the next big trend (shhh!), Eva Wilsson made me curious about probiotic food, and I learned that I should be eating more rutabaga. (Alas, I tried the potato diet, but fell off it after one meal.) Some of this you can read about on the site, some of it you will have to wait to read about in future articles.
Last but not least, I was working for great people. My client was an agency called Futurniture in Stockholm. Their client was a combination of the Swedish tourist bureau (Visit Sweden) and the Swedish trade council (Business Sweden).
After my drafts were in I learned that Visit Sweden was co-sponsoring a summit on food and travel in Gothenburg. I started packing my bags. It had been over a year since my last visit. I wanted to see and taste this new Swedish food I was learning about. I wanted to meet farmers and chefs in person and decide for myself if Sweden really is a culinary nation on the rise.
What did I find? Over the next few weeks I’ll be blogging about my travels, so stay tuned. And in the meantime, check out TrySwedish.com. Let me know what you think.
Note: The photo above is from my lunch at “Gro” with food stylist Ylva Bergqvist of Well Done Sthlm. According to Alltomstockholm, Gro Restaurang is a secret local establishment that offers luxury food at budget prices. The food there was fresh, vegetabally (you know what I mean) and lovely to look at.