Friday, April 15, 2011

Cookbook Watch - Sweden, Skåne and Styling


Jamie Upptäcker at Bonnier fakta
Jamie Does... is the latest book from Jamie Oliver. It's made to accompany the tv-show, where Jamie travels around Europe and discovers food from Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Morocco and most excitingly, Sweden. (I was actually one of the consultants for the production company before Jamie came to Sweden - sadly, I didn't get to meet him.) The recipes are classic dishes, but with an unmistakable Jamie twist which might not necessarily yield the most authentic results.

I really enjoyed the chapter on Sweden. You'll find dishes like Split Pea Soup, Meatballs (topped with warm lingonberries, or suggested as a substitute, blackberries!), beetroot-cured salmon, and a very unorthodox Pyttipanna with salami and quail eggs topped with flowering dill.
The book is quite charming, but I don't know if I'll cook a lot from it. I will try Jamie's supposedly Swedish cardamom buns with blueberries and orange though, as they sound amazing!

Skånska Smaker, by Mattias Kroon, at Ica Bokförlag
Skåne is the southern-most part of Sweden, and they have a very distinct cuisine. There haven't been a whole lot of cookbooks available, so I'm happy to see this one - the title means "Flavors from Skåne". The food is *very* rustic, and often includes pork, eggs and potatoes. Yum, in other words! You'll find the traditional dishes here, but also a lot of contemporary takes, like a warm tomato salad with crumbled goat's cheese. The book is divided into chapters by main ingredient, for example canola, elderflower, pork, apples, distilled white vinegar, eel, cabbage and goose. The photos (by Åsa Siller) are remarkable, and if you have ancestry from Skåne, I imagine you'll love this book. I hope it'll get translated into English!


Food Presentation Secrets just came out in Sweden (Ica bokförlag), with the title "Stajla maten", by Cara Hobday and Jo Denbury. As a food blogger, I was pretty excited. Would I learn new cool tricks to make my food look better? Well, I was underwhelmed when I opened the book. Probably because I had expected something else. This is all about presentation, as the English title clearly states, and it'll teach you tricks like how to cut your vegetables into spaghetti or roses, how to make a perfect lattice top for pies, how to fan out an avocado and.. lots of stuff like that. And I have to admit, I find it rather boring.


Ruth said...

I got the Jamie Does... book (a lot cheaper than store price) from a company that comes to visit my work. I like looking through the book beause all the photos are amazing, but, like you, with a quite a lot of experience of Swedish food I just found many of the 'swedish' recipes weren't very authentic.

alissa said...

i love the Jamie Does book - in fact i made his split pea soup yesterday, and it was awesome!

Gaviota said...

Hej Anne,

It is really interesting to know you enjoyed the Swedish part of the book as you, more than any of us, are most critical about it. I know I would be if he were cooking Argentinian food! I haven't tried any of the Swedish recipes but I tried his souvkliaki and it's out of this world!

It would be nice if you could blog about what you had to do as a consultant for the series, it sounds most interesting!