Wednesday, March 21, 2007

IKEA Dinner

Having just moved into a new apartment, I ventured over to the IKEA store in Guangzhou to pick up a few kitchen supplies and bedroom accessories. It was my first time in an IKEA store. All I can say about that experience is that I expected a lot more. They had loads of stuff but the designs got monotonous quite quickly. I was however pleasantly surprised to find a small imported groceries section right by the exit. It stocked a limited variety of typically Swedish produce. So I picked me up some Swedish Stuff for dinner.

I have not found too many international supermarkets here so I was looking forward to digging into something different for a change. They did not have the range of snacks I was hoping for but I tried to get a sampling of everything that seemed apetising. A good base for a meal I figured would be bread, or in this case crackers. I got these rye biscuits called SILJANS Knackerbrod. They are basically… Crackers.

To smear over the crackers I picked up this ABBA Lumpfish Roe. Yes, the brand name is ABBA. How cool is that? I would actually call this caviar, but maybe that is only when it comes from certain fish. And although this stuff might look expensive, it actually was quite reasonable. I hooked up the whole meal deal for about $20. That’s everything on the table.

The flavor of roe can get quite over powering at times so to complement it I found this GRAVLAXSAS. It is actually just Salmon Sauce, or a souce to complement the salmon, with a funny name.

The dill flavor in it was quite strong and although I did not have any salmon on hand, it went great with slices of fresh ham. It would work great as a sandwich spread for any luncheon meat I think. The mustard flavor was not overwhelming at all.

Having most of my meal covered I selected these GILLE Double Chocolate Crisps for desert. I reckon this was my best purchase of the evening. Looking at the pictures now I notice that these actually have Japanese printing on the packaging. None of the other products had this.

These crisps are by no means like other chocolate sandwich cookies. Where as regular cookies might crumble, these puppies have a snap. The texture of these biscuits is totally alien to anything I have ever tried before. And the chocolate was smooth and not too sweet. GILLE Double Chocolate Crisps are surprisingly filling as well. They are off the hook.

One desert is never enough so I selected yet another savory item from the IKEA supermarket spread. I love gummy bears and any gum candy. Mostly all the stuff you get at the candy factory, the sweet and the sour varieties. But I have had no access to these goodies in quite a while so I went with the Malaco Gott & Blandat.

I really did not know what to expect from these gums but I was hoping for the best. There were 5 types in the bag, red, green, yellow, orange, and black. My favorite was red, sweet and fruity. The other flavors were also pretty good, all except the black. It was licorice. What is with Swedes and licorice? There were loads of Swedes at the college I attended and they were always sucking on this shit, and dude it is nasty. I had to have 3 more fruity gums after the black one just to switch the flavor in my mouth. What a buzz kill.

I dated a Swedish girl once. But she was not a thorough bred Swede so she did not eat licorice or chew tobacco. But being from Gothenburg she did mention Aquavit to me at some point during our courtship. There are certain things a man can not forget and seeing a bottle in the cooler, I had to pick one up.

I do not know anything at all about Aquavit, except that it sounds like it should be really good for me. It makes me think of water and vitamins. The bottle looked like it contained alcohol of some sort but I had to make sure it did and a closer look at the label revealed it was 40%.

The label of the O.P. Anderson Aquavit itself is pretty awesome. It looks as if it has loads of cryptic messages hidden away in it. Why are there 8 barrels on the label and what is that complex monogram about? There is something about this design that I find exceptionally intriguing. The printing on the back of the bottle suggests that it goes great with spare ribs, strong cheeses, and smoked salmon. Well I like all that stuff so how could I possibly go wrong with Aquavit? I was so damn excited to get into the bottle that I poured myself a healthy helping of half a wine glass as soon as I got home.

Once I held the glass to my nose, my hand involuntarily pulled away from my face. This stuff smelt strong. Like raw ethanol strong. But that just got me more excited. I figured the strong aniseed and cumin flavor needs to be complimented by something equally strong so I threw a dollop of the roe on a cracker. After taking a bite of the roe I poured a small sip of the Aquavit in my mouth, and Mama Mia, it burned. This stuff is fucking lethal mate!!! It does not taste bad, but it is just too fucking strong. I could imagine being able to enjoy sipping Aquavit in temperatures -20% with nothing else to eat but pickled shark when I am 60 years old and my tongue resembles the texture of sand paper, but till then I am staying clear. After I finish this bottle of course. I just cant seem to throw alcohol away.

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