Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Is my blog taboo?

Well. This is an entry for IMBB? #12, which marks the anniversary of this fun blogging event that originally Alberto thought up. This theme is "Is my blog taboo", and it's hosted by Carlo. I wasn't planning on participating, but.. the deadline got extended and I thought - what the heck. I'll do it.

The kitten didn't hate it.

So. What's taboo in my culture? Or what do we eat here that might be taboo somewhere else? The answer to the last one is easy - surströmming. It's fermented herring. (Uh-huh, fermented as in rotten.) You can read about it, should you want to. I'm certainly not going to talk about eating it, I don't come near the stuff. It smells like death. People claim it tastes a lot better than it smells, but frankly.. I'm never trying it. Ever.

Would *you* eat this?

Ok. So something that's taboo here then. That's not a lot. Sweden is an old farming society, and people are not generally very squeamish. But I let my mind wander and travel across the Atlantic.. and what came to mind was this: Swedes are very wary of additives in food, of anything not-completely-natural in fact. (Swedes have a very hard time at US supermarkets. It can be a scary experience. I personally don't mind additives, and will happily eat Kraft Mac & Cheese, or Kool-Aid) And what is completely unnatural then? I didn't have to think long about this: Jell-O.

Jell-O is scary. Very, very scary. I know that this is widely accepted in the US - and the scariest for me is not the pure form, but the things that are done with Jell-O. Like Jell-O salads. Dude. That is just awful. I googled for a recipe involving Jell-O and other things I would not normally eat, and after a while I came upon this one. Strawberry Pretzel Cake, also known as The Pink Horror In My Fridge. The recipe claims "Strawberry Pretzel Cake is an unusual recipe that has a pretzel crust and is delicious." Yeah, unusual is about right. Delicious? Not so much, no.

Look at this pretty closeup. Bright, bright food coloring. Yum.

I made it according to instructions, using the nearest thing I could find to Cool Whip - some kind of German whipped cream in a can. It actually has cream in it though, which I don't think Cool Whip has. It tastes equally awful. It was a bit hard to get the Jell-O to set, I poured on the final layer while it was still pretty much liquid, and hence the orange-pink clotting that looks like a particularly nasty cottage cheese. As for taste? Well. What did you expect? Something edible? Sorry, no. I took a small bite and promptly threw out the rest. Ew.


Niki said...

That is truly gross and quite bizarre! It is just so typical of so many American recipes I see on the internet which make me cringe...and think 'hello?? real food? Real ingredients?? Do you not have access to any??'
I was in Denmark last year and I noticed how much they were into organic and biodynamic foods, which impressed me; is this a all-encomapssing Scandinavian feeling?
I've never tried Cool Whip, but it sounds vile. We have whipped cream in a can here, but I don't think I've tried it since I was a kid at birthday parties...horrid stuff!

Sam said...

cool whip is gross.
it's really hard to get proper cream in the US.
I don't know how the rest of my family would cope here, especially at Christmas.
You can't get natural cream here - like single/double/clotted.

The only way you can get thick cream is if you buy creme fraiche or whipping cream or pasterized English cream in a longlife jar :(

Anonymous said...

Isn't clotted cream an English thing? And isn't double cream like heavy cream or manufacturer's cream which I get at my local Trader Joe's?

Anonymous said...

Great post Anne, I love the photo with the kitty. I get a kick out of seeing what people can come up with using jello, there are indeed some strange strange recipes out there. Cheers!

Anne said...

Isn't it disgusting? I get a particular kick out of the fact that it's a recipe for stay-at-home moms. I'm not a parent - yet - but there's no way I would feed my kids anything like this! (The kitty doesn't count - she only had a small bite)

Esurient - yes, I think that is pretty Scandinavian in general. It's partly due to a very strong lobby from the farmers, trying to survive. But people in general are fairly health-conscious. The younger generations a bit less so, though.

Elizabeth said...

You can make your own creme fraiche using whipping cream and buttermilk.

1 cup (250ml) heavy cream
1 Tbsp (15ml) buttermilk

Cover with saran wrap and allow to rest overnight at cool room temperature (8-12 hours) til it is thick. Refrigerate to thicken further.

It also works with 18% cream and even 10% - it just takes longer to set.

Coolwhip is a disgrace and whoever invented it should have to spend all eternity eating coolwhip with green jello that has miniature coloured marshmallows and grated carrots floating in it (if you are a glutton for punishment, look up "ambrosia" to find a recipe for the marshmallow/carrot/jelly concoction).

Anonymous said...

it works even better using a little bit of creme fraiche. it's like sourdough. leave a little bit behind.

Elizabeth said...

I would think it would work the same way. But we can't always locate creme fraiche. And we don't have it often enough that we could store it. (How long does creme fraiche keep in the fridge??) Cream and buttermilk, on the other hand, are very easy to find.