Food

Category archives for Food

Sweden used to have its own version of Irish Coffee: kaffekask. It was big in the 19th century and I believe it dropped from favour during our 1917-55 period of liquor rationing. Nobody seems to drink kaffekask anymore. A kask is a type of helmet like the ones worn by English bobbies. But that’s apparently…

Bread and Microbes

I found some slightly mouldy bread in the cupboard, cut off the mould and made toast. And I thought about bread and microbes. For flavour, not as a raising agent, I make sour dough. My method is simple: I mix rye flour with water in a glass, cover it with cling film and put it…

Adipocere / corpse wax: a wax-like organic substance formed by the anaerobic bacterial hydrolysis of fat in tissue, such as body fat in corpses. … a crumbly, waxy, water-insoluble material consisting mostly of saturated fatty acids. Depending on whether it was formed from white or brown body fat, adipocere is grayish white or tan in…

Sheep In Cabbage

I am making fårikål, a dish whose name has a kind of brutal literality, meaning “sheep in cabbage”. It doesn’t ring quite so harshly in Swedish, as we have no separate word for mutton, using the same word for the animal as for its meat. I’m making fårikål because I had it in Oslo a…

Bellman’s Pale Rhenish

Dear Reader, please try saying “ENSKTBLEH”. Yes, six consonants in a row. ENSKTBLEH. OK? Now sing it, loudly and happily. Go! I’ve spent three happy days at the first ever Picture Stone Symposium in Visby, listening to papers, moderating some bits and giving a presentation of my own that went down pretty well. And one…

Pierogi

Inside the Cephalopod Mask

My wife’s from Zhejiang province, and so is this can of pickled cabbage that she bought yesterday. I like the label a lot. It’s not quite Engrish: of course, we would say “people’s mess hall”, but the Chinese characters actually denote an extremely basic canteen-like eatery. A mess hall, a canteen, maybe a refectory; very…

Kitchen Osteology

I once wrote about a miniature køkkenmødding shell midden that accreted in our kitchen sink when we had oysters (image below). Another type of archaeological assemblage that occurs far more commonly in our house is the chicken or pork bone dump. The chicken bones usually don’t look very archaeological when we throw them out since…

Bread