One of the most challenging things about moving to Stockholm has been the change in my food habits and consumption. I come from a city, Vancouver, that has some of the most innovative and fantastic food from all over the world. I also lived in a neighbourhood called “the Drive” which is the code word for Commercial Drive. I lived alone, I had a busy life, and I had lots of foodie friends who were always happy to join me for dinner on the Drive. Oh! I long for Tio Pepe’s salsa, and the szechuan food that I could have delivered … green beans, ginger beef, tangerine peel chicken, szechuan fish in garlic sauce. And the little indian restaurant that made fantastic naan bread, and decent butter chicken (never the same as the chicken tikka masala that I loved in England..). Then there was the Keg, great steak, and Fez’s blue cheese burger, and The Cactus Club’s cajun chicken burger…ohhhhh, the list of things I miss goes on and on!
But I live in Stockholm now, and my life has changed. I must accept that which I cannot change due to the large credit card bill I must pay off after I left everything behind in Canada and moved me and the fur boys to Sweden.
OK. So how to fix this? I guess I just have to start COOKING. What a concept. And for a change, I have people to cook for: C and his 2 kids, who are thankfully used to food with spices.
I have cooked and cooked and cooked for 7 months now. I think I have cooked more in this time than probably in the last 8 years since I finished university and had a regular income.
And when I moved, I brought some food with me. Not a lot, but a couple of bottles of maple syrup (I made a fantastic pork roast with that), and because I couldn’t find it at first, I also brought 6 bottles of Bulls Eye BBQ sauce (…thankfully I have found this at Coop, so I needn’t have worried…)
At the beginning, I generally kept to recipes that I am comfortable with – lasagne, shepherd’s pie, pasta with gorgonzola sauce for example. Then I started branching out. I found an Asian market where I could buy some hoisin and oyster sauce (both of which you can get at ICA and Coop, but in tiny, tiny useless jars). I made a great stir fry. Then I decided I missed my cajan chicken burgers, so I went online and mixed up the spices. Another hit! I have made Sloppy joes, chile con carne with corn bread (that was an adventure, more to come), and lots of winter related food.
It is now spring so the menu will start to change. I joined Friskis Svettis, a popular activity/gym workout place (I have gained some weight..go figure). During the food journey, I have also found some links that you might like to have. Stockholm has more variety than it did a few years ago (according to my research) but there is still some work to be done. I have not had time to get to these places yet, so reviews to follow one day.
The big Coop Konsum in Bromma (near the airport) has a great variety of food from all over the world. ICA is good too. But sometimes you just might want to buy from local stores.
- A recent discovery is the Taj Mahal Indian and African market. It is at Kammakargatan 40, 11160 Stockholm. Tel 08 212281 and they stock lots of bulk (and cheap!) spices, speciality flours and lentils, beans and so forth. Around the corner the same owners also have a wig/hair extensions store.
- I found a great Asian Market early in my exploring. They have inexpensive, and proper sized bottles of things, is at Olof Palmes gata 12, tel 08 206588 (Hörtoget t-bana).
- Oh, and this is a good site, if you click Translate at the top of the Google task bar it quickly puts it into your language.
- The underground food market at Hörtorget square, next door to the big movie theatre, has some great choices of fish, meats, herbs and spices, cheese, bread, and lots more.
- Another big market, haven’t been there yet, and it sounds expensive
- Å hlens City in Stockholm has an underground market too.
Spices and Essences
I was looking for vanilla extract to bake some cookies, and a friend recommended Stockholm Aeter and Essencefabrik. http://www.essencefabriken.se/ Established 1889, it is like stepping back in time…It is in the same area as Taj Mahal (above) Wallingatan 14, 111 24 Stockholm.
Grocery stores recommended by other foodies I have met:
That is it for now!