Archive for the ‘Sweden’ Category

The Worst Food in the World

March 8, 2007

Typical of me, that my first post to a “foodie” site would be to talk about the country that has the dubious distinction of offering the worst food in the world – at least among the ones I have visited.

Welcome to Sweden!!! We went to Sweden with great hopes of venturing beyond the eponymous Swedish meatballs. After all, this land has a considerable coastline and the tourist books boasted that the canals in Stockholm were clean enough to fish from – even backed up by a couple of locals angling in suspicious waters. Looking inland, verdant pastures offer endless feeding grounds for all manner of livestock. Having picked one of the most touted restaurants in Stockholm, we were on the verge of heaven.

That is, until we actually bit into the food. The starter seafood appetizers were barely passable even for my unschooled raw fish palate – I won’t even start on what Kazuko thought. However, the piece de resitance of the meal was the steak I ordered (the priciest item in a pricey restaurant in the priciest country on earth). The fact that it boasted of being “tenderized” for 20 minutes before cooking should have given me pause. Suffice to say that I had a first hand experience of Charlie Chaplin and the Gold Rush, with the added discomfort of having my wallet considerably lightened. Kazuko’s fish was somehow cooked long enough to achieve a consistency that might have been great for my steak. Both dishes tried to make up for the lack of texture with a complete absence of flavor.

Lest this be perceived as an aberration, our next evening at a pub at least did less damage to the wallet. For the first time that I have traveled anywhere, I gave up on local food the third evening and we ate Italian. It was pretty lousy Italian, but how much can you really screw up pasta?

Oh, it has nothing to do with this being European, Northern European or Scandinavian. Take a short step to the left into Norway and you can bite into reindeer meat that is to kill for. Reindeer was a revelation; venison and moose don’t come close and it is not like any other meat I have tasted. Also, for the uninitiated, reindeer don’t look anything like Rudolf, Donner and Blitzen of the Santa commercials – these are huge, intimidating creatures you wouldn’t want to bump into on a dark night.

Ikea’s Swedish meatballs is still safe as the “best” Swedish food I have ever tasted.

– lakshman