Food is capable of blurring borders and Indian 'chicken tikka masala' is heavily popular even in far off Sweden, say 'Nobel' chefs from the European nation.
The two chefs, who are in charge of the prestigious Nobel Dinner, the culinary showcase after the Nobel Prize ceremony held inside the Stockholm City Hall, were here recently to give India a taste of Sweden. "Swedes love Indian food...the most popular one is by far chicken tikka masala.
It's the one Indian dish every Swede knows and loves, but people are definitely beginning to explore more and some Indian vegetarian restaurants have also become really popular," Swedish Chefs Mark Phoenix and Fredrik Forsell told PTI. "Also, both India and Sweden have a very strong culinary heritage. Like Indians, we Swedes also use a lot of potato in our cooking. When it comes to differences, I think Indians love their spicy palate, but Swedes go a bit easy on that front and our food is a bit mild," Forsell said.
The Consulate General of Sweden recently hosted an exclusive tete-a-tete cum tasting at Palate Culinary Studio in Mumbai with chefs Phoenix and Forsell, aimed at creating awareness about the rich and diverse culinary heritage of Sweden.
"Sweden's cuisine is based on a simple cooking style, often mild and not very spicy, salt and black pepper have been the everyday spices for many Swedes. This has of course changed with international trade facilitating imports of various spices, vegetables and fruit, but salt and pepper are still the basic spices in Swedish cuisine," Phoenix said.
"We drink milk and use dairy products in our cooking to a greater extent than Indians. We also use Grddfil, which is made of regular cream with lactic acid. It has a similar taste to yoghurt, but it is not as sour. Swedes are also fond of using different kind of fish in their cooking like salmon, herring and cod," he said.
Giving an insight into the food of his country, Forsell said Swedes also eat plenty of root vegetables like red beetroot, yellow beetroot, carrot, celeriac, artichokes and cabbage. Traditionally, Swedish cuisine had to adapt to a harsh climate with long and dark winters. To provide varying and nutritious food throughout the year, Swedes had to pickle and preserve meat, fish, vegetables and fruit.
Even with new technology and increased trade this tradition has stayed with the Swedes. "Swedish cuisine is therefore significantly saltier than for example the Mediterranean cuisine as they’ve had access to more fresh food," he said.