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Ikea food


Catherine Iino
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I was poking around the food section at Ikea the other day and came across some interesting products I hadn't seen there before, such as

1) Dark Baking Syrup--"Mork Sirap" (with an umlaut over the o in Mork). Says it's "from sugar beets" and is to be used "to bake authentic Swedish Limpa Bread." This seems a little sweeter and less acidic than Grandma's molasses, more flavorful than Karo dark corn syrup. I think it would make a mean pecan pie.

2) Anchovy-style sprats fillets--These are nothing like anchovies, except maybe in size. They are preserved in a sweetish (and Swedish, I suppose) brine. The tin--size and shape like a sardine can--shows the little fish on an open-faced sandwich, but I think that would be terribly salty. I diced some of the sprats and added them to a salad of lettuce, orange segments, and shallots; it was quite tasty and refreshing.

3) Anna's ginger thins--These are sold all over the place, but now they carry the label "Zero transfats," although hydrogenated oils are still listed among the ingredients (not to mention palm oil). I understand that there is a hydrogenation process that produces less transfat than other methods, but I have no idea how unhealthy these cookies are. I would like to use them for crumb crusts, etc.

4) Frozen cooked prawns--I'm looking for information on whether they are environmentally acceptable. They seem to be wild, not farmed, from Norway. I couldn't buy them because I wasn't going home for quite a while and had no way to keep them frozen.

There were also some expensive, nice-looking bottles of berry vinegars--Has anyone tried them?--and Swedish pearl sugar.

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I haven't tried the berry vinegars (or blueberry soup, which is on my list to try) or the pearl sugar, but I can speak to the addictive nature of those ginger (and lemon and cappucino and almond) thins...

Other things I like from their food section:

--the giant bag of crispy onion bits, for when I feel truly lazy. Great tossed on couscous.

--the Daim candy, in the absence of any Skor bars in town.

--the pear cider.

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The dark syrup is used for all kinds of bread here, sweetened breads are pretty standard here. A common bread that uses it is Kavring.

If you make any sweetened aspiced bread I'd recommend using it.

The pearl sugar is used as decoration on pastries, especially on chocolate balls.

The sprats are used in Janssons frestelse which is a traditional christmas table food. I don't like it so I don't know the recpie. Otherwise some people but them on eggsandwiches, or mix it with sourcrea and other things for baked potatoes etc.

Another thing swedes like with eggs is the caviar ( not the expensive kind ) on tube, I prefer the kinds that are not as sweetened or smoked as Kalles kaviar is. Lots of people like Kalles though.

I am not sure what the vinegars were but we do have rasberry vinegar etc, it can be used in sauces etc to meet a wine with a a tone of that fruit.

Blueberry soup is really nice preferably warm. I have never made it from blueberries, usually you buy a powder that is quite heavy on sugar that you boil in water.

During a 90 km skirace called Wasaloppet that is held each year in Dalarna in memory of Gustav Wasa that drove out Christian the Tyrant this is served.

Another one of these powders that is very popular is rose hip soup, I like eating it with cottage cheese.

The swedish ciders are usually very sweet and more like softdrinks than french or english cider.

If they have any salty licorice you should buy that, it is really yummy.

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If they have any salty licorice you should buy that, it is really yummy.

We like licorice and we have high salt tolerance - after working on a bag of this for months, we gave up and tossed the remainder. Awful imho. Must be an acquired taste.

Edited by tsquare (log)
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Maybe you have to start young, I more or less spent most of my allowence on hard salty licorice when I was young. Most kids tend to like it. Actually most ( or none ) of the salt isn't sodium chloride but ammonium chloride ( salmiak ), so it depends alot on if you like ammonium chloride.

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I've hit the Ikea food shop just about everytime I've gone through Ikea and bought something new to try. I don't like their meatballs, but that seems to be the most popular grocery item for most people. The jams (cloudberry, cassis, and Queen's Blend) are awesome. I like the sweet pickles and pickled beets. I love the Swedish mustards. The vanilla sugar is the best and cheapest in my town. I use the Elderflower syrup in cocktails. In the frozen food area, there are these small, pink, sausages that are very tasty, I can't pronounce the name. I like the jarred caviar but I do not like the stuff that's in the tube. I've bought the rye bread mix in the milk quart. but I've yet to bake it. Hmm, better put that on the to do list this week. I've tried a couple of the cheeses, a white cheese spiked with aquavit was interesting. Strangely enough, I have stayed away from the cookies and the candies.

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As JMT noted, the Swedish "anchovies" are an essential component Janssons frestelse, a.k.a. Jansson's temptation, a potato, cream, and onion bake gently flavored by the fish. I've regularly use the "Greenland" shrimp, tiny specimens ideal for use in salads or in any application where you don't require larger whole shrimp. The are a wild product, and similar shrimp are harvested in the cold northern waters off Canada as well as Greenland and Norway (I obtained a big bag recently at BJ's).

Oh, don't forget the lingonberry preserves. We buy them by the bucketful.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Interesting about the Jannson's temptation. I've seen recipes for that all my life, but I always imagined it with the kind of anchovies I'm used to--the salty, fermented ones. I haven't made it, but that sounded good to me. I can't quite imagine it with these sprats. I guess I'll have to experiment.

I tend to be more interested in ingredients, or things I can use as ingredients, than in prepared foods, but I do like the little rusks Ikea sells in bags. Now I'll have to try the mustards and the caviar.

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Another vote for the caviar. It's shockingly inexpensive and will do surprisingly well, particularly when being used as a garnish. (However, my SO loves it as a focus - on whipped cream cheese and crackers/bread). The roes in the tube did not go over particularly well for either of us, although I made some use of the smoked herring roe (Kalles) in leftover mashed potatoes for a bastardized rendition of taramasalata.

We just discovered the lingonberry preserves and are thoroughly enjoying them - not too sweet.

The Elderflower syrup I've heard of, but not yet seen in my local store. Particularly interested in this after trying St. Germain elderflower liqueur, discussed here.

Finally, the D'aim 'Almondy' tortes are guilty pleasures, though it's been years since I've had one. Same thing they serve in slices in the café, whole in the frozen section of the food area.

David aka "DCP"

Amateur protein denaturer, Maillard reaction experimenter, & gourmand-at-large

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How has no one mentioned gjetost yet? I always pick some up at IKEA.

Also good: jarlsberg, lingonberry jam, gooseberry jam, anything wasa, smoked-salmonish-paste-in-a-tube

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Is the jarred caviar salty like the American jarred Romanoff brand?

I love the meatballs...

At one point they had these oatmeal lace cookies with chocolate centers but people complained that they had marine oils and were taken off the shelves

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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I don't know what the meatballs at IKEA taste like, having gone to school in Sweden I have had some bad run inns with really nasty meatballs for school lunch which seem to contain anything but ground beef so I tend to avoid any premade meatballs, hopefully the ones at IKEA are good ones.

The tubed roe is for eating on sandwiches, but the non smoked stuff taste better IMO.

Best way to eat it is proabably to mash it up with boiled egg and eat it on flatbread.

I wonder if they have Fjällbrynt messmör ( soft whey butter ) I used to love that stuff as a kid but don't really like it anymore. I believe it is rather nutritious though.

The swedish mustard has a different profile than french mustard, it is not as sharp and it has a sweeter taste, I prefer it to french mustard for several things.

The swedish mustard on big tubes isn't that much fun though.

Another thing to check for ( no idea if they have it ) is peasoup, it tends to be packaged in something that looks like a plastic sausage and should be eaten with mustard.

Traditionally you eat peasoup with pork bits and mustard on thursdays with pancakes for dessert. Peasoup tends to be a favourite in the swedish army. It is one of those dishes that tends to turn out better cooked for 100 people than in smaller batches.

Of course you can make better stuff yourself but the premade stuff isn't that bad, it is really cheap to buy here in sweden but no idea what they charge at ikea if they have it..

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I'm curious about the "peasoup." From your description, it sounds like it has a texture like polenta rather than being a liquid--albeit a thick one--as it is here. Is that right? Do you slice it to eat it? How is it prepared? (I don't think it is sold in the Ikea in New Haven.)

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Is the jarred caviar salty like the American jarred Romanoff brand?

No, it's totally different, not too salty. Closer to the flying fish roe, tobiko, that you find on sushi. We mix the red version with cream cheese and sauted minced shallots. Wonderful on bagels. Or you can put the caviar with some sour cream on omelets or scrambled eggs.

I second the vote for all of the wonderful ABBA herring. My favorite is the one with Sour cream and Capelin Caviar. Extraordinary stuff!

I also buy their dried brown beans for a version of baked beans (and using the dark syrup they carry).

Oh, and the bread & butter pickles are not to be missed.

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Did anyone mention the wholemeal crackers or cardamom crackers? I stock up on both of those each time I make it to Ikea. I love the cardamom crackers with a bit of curried chicken salad on top. Other items I buy frequently are the cloudberry jam, caviar, smoked salmon and gravlax(in the freezer case). I have the Elderberry syrup but I haven't found a good use for it yet besides cocktails.

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I'm curious about the "peasoup." From your description, it sounds like it has a texture like polenta rather than being a liquid--albeit a thick one--as it is here. Is that right? Do you slice it to eat it? How is it prepared? (I don't think it is sold in the Ikea in New Haven.)

No it is definitely a soup, although a thick one. It is made from dried yellow peas which splits and "mushes up" when boiled for a long time.

I found this receipe in english which looks reasonably authentic, although the use of smoked (rather than salted) ham might be a bit dubious (or a regional variation):

http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1948,147171-255196,00.html

Yellow pea soup and pancakes are still a very common lunch course on thursdays here.

Edit: As for the smoked roe in tubes ("Kaviar"), it might be a little bit strong for the untrained palate (personally I eat it in a thin layer on buttered flatbread or with hard/soft boiled eggs). But try mixing it with eg cream cheese, chives and chopped hard boiled egg as a dip or sandwich spread. It actually has quite a nice smoky taste.

Edited by TheSwede (log)
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 7 years later...

IKEA is revamping their food areas and the food they sell:

"The meaning of Ikea's restaurant and meatball makeover"

Quote

While for decades it has been part of the Ikea experience to get your new couch with a side of Swedish meatballs, Ikea's U.S. president Lars Petersson said in a recent interview that "Ikea food is becoming a core business" for the privately-held, Sweden-based company.

New seating areas & menu make-overs...they're trying to make IKEA a food destination, as well as a furniture store. 

Is IKEA the next Swedish Starbucks, subbing meatballs for coffee? :B

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