EBBP#5 – the parcel arrives…with a warning!

The contents of my parcel, courtesy of the Little Sister's mobile phone Being the last day at work before a Bank Holiday weekend, Friday was terribly busy – but considerably brightened up by the arrival of my Euro Blogging By Post parcel from Sweden! Once goods inwards got round to delivering it to my desk, I resisted the temptation to open it immediately and tucked it safely under my desk (sneaking looks at it all the time!) until it was home-going time…only to discover that it was too heavy to carry for 30 minutes on a too-warm summer’s evening. Luckily, the Boyfriend and I were able to call into the office on Saturday morning before we headed down the country for the weekend. I ended up opening it at home with the Little Sister, who got me out of my digital camera-not-working dilemma by using her phone to take the photo of “Swedish summer treats” illustrating this post.

The first thing that I came across in Alexandra‘s well-packed box was a bulging tin of Surströmming Fileer marked with a warning! A Swedish delicacy, it apparently smells so much that she strongly recommends that I “open it outside and far away from people…It will leave an unforgettable memory.” Seeing as I live surrounded by people in an apartment block in Dublin at the moment, I’m going to have to wait for an appropriate moment to try it. Perhaps I’ll wait until a weekend after we move into our country cottage in the middle of nowhere, Co Cork.

Also tucked into Alexandra’s box were Matjesfiléer and Loksill, two different kinds of pickled herring – just as well I’ve started eating fish in the last few years! She tells me that these are eaten with new potatoes or are “delicious in sandwiches.” I don’t think it will take as much courage to eat these as the Surströmming but, between being at home with my family, travelling and having my Vegetarian Cousin for dinner, they remain in the fridge for the moment.

I couldn’t resist opening the jar of Hjortronsylt (cloudberry jam) immediately. I’ve read lots about these berries – most recently (albeit briefly, despite the name) in Tessa Kiros‘ Falling Cloudberries – and the jam is delicious, with a flavour somewhat like honeyed apples. They are related to raspberries and, like that fruit’s jam, the Hjortronsylt is packed full of crunchy seeds that give it a wonderful texture. Looking for information on them, I came across Pille’s nami-nami blog and her recipe for Rye Bread Canapes with Blue Cheese and Cloudberry Jam. First I’ll try out Alexandra’s suggestion of serving the jam on top of ice cream and then, if there’s any left, will use it to top some of the Cashel Blue and Crozier Blue cheeses that Mum packed for me when I was leaving after the weekend.

A bottle of Pippi Longstocking‘s beloved Sockerdricka (sugar soda), some great Krafthattar – party hats for traditional crawfish parties which are held in August – and a tin-foil wrapped package of sweet and short homemade sugar cookies completed the parcel. Unfortunately, while packing to return to Dublin, our dogs at home got their noses into the box of goodies and ran away with the cookies, leaving behind nothing but a well-licked piece of Swedish tinfoil. I did a search on Alexandra’s blog, Catching Points, and discovered Alexandra’s recipe for these Sugar Cookies so I’ll have to make them for myself and, this time, make sure they’re nowhere accessible to a naughty Labrador and terrier combination. I think those cookies would make a great combination with some warmed cloudberry jam and ice cream…hmmm…how far can one jar of cloudberry jam go, I wonder?

Thanks to Alexandra for such a fantastic taste of a Swedish summer and insight into another country’s summertime traditions – I’ll let you know how I get on with the Surströmming when I muster up enough nerve to finally open the tin! – and also many thanks to Jeanne for doing all the organising and hosting the event. If you’re interested, you can track all the other parcels here and even (before 25 August) sign up to international Blogging by Mail at The Happy Sorceress.



Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

You may also like...

9 Responses

  1. Lexi says:

    Caroline, I’m so happy you liked the package! And that the cloudberry jam was a hit because some people don’t really like the taste of them, go figure…Have you tried the sockerdricka yet? I’m curious to know if you have anything similar to it…

  2. Jeanne says:

    Wow – that’s quite a haul! And I have to say that this is the first EBBP parcel that I’ve seen with a health warning!?! Great stuff in there – and I hope the dogs appreicated the imported homemade sugar cookies 😉

  3. Caroline says:

    I am thoroughly enjoying the cloudberry jam, Lexi, even though it’s only gotten as far as Mum’s scones so far! I’ll have to make sure there’s enough to try with ice cream and blue cheese – although perhaps not together. I gave the sockerdricka a few days of settling after the rigours of the journey and am drinking it as I type. The Boyfriend described it as sweet and dry at the same time and I thought it tasted like an Irish drink, beloved of childhood, called red lemonade. I haven’t tasted it in years, though, so I might be mistaken. Will have to drink and muse a little more!I think the dogs loved the cookies, Jeanne. They had such a sheepish (or would it be dogish?) look when my mother caught them at it but that only happened because they were making sure that the last possible crumb was licked from the tinfoil!

  4. Lexi says:

    hah the cookies are really sweet so i bet the dogs loved them!and if i’d known the cloudberry jam would be such a hit i’d have bought a bigger jar… good to know next time 😉

  5. Pille says:

    Lovely parcel you’ve got there Caroline – especially the cloudberry jam:) Let me know what you think of the rye bread/cracker, blue cheese (Cashel is wonderful!!!) and cloudberry jam combo, if you get a chance to try it!Thanks for mentioning my blog!

  6. Lil says:

    oooo pickled herrings are good! esp one with mustard… 🙂

  7. Clivia says:

    How cool of Lexi to send you surströmming! It is an absolute favourite of mine. And yes, it is smelly but it doesn´t taste as it smells! Don´t eat the fillets plain, it is too strong. They should be accompanied by lots of boiled new potatoes, finely chopped onion and a little sourcream. Good luck!By the way, some people open the tin in a bucket of water to prevent spraying!

  8. Caroline says:

    Lexi – It’s always great to try something that you’ve never had before, only read about, so cloudberry jam was perfect. I am anticipating, with interest, the opening of the surströmming!Pille – Last night I was hoping to pick up some rye bread at my local shop, the normally well-stocked Mortons in Ranelagh, only to discover that they seem to be doing a clear-out at the moment and any kind of alternative bread is few and far between. I’ll keep an eye out, though, and let you know how I get on when I do find it. And you’re right, Cashel Blue is yummy. You’ll have to try Crozier Blue next!Lil – Mustard does sound like a good idea.Clivia – Thanks for the tips. New potatoes, onion and sour cream….mmmm! How long do you think the surströmming will be happy to sit round in its tin? It’s already bulging alarmingly!

  9. food anime says:

    Very nice blog 5 out of 5 stars!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *