If anyone knows me, or starts to read this blog, you will quickly learn that my love of food follows me wherever I travel or live. As a young person growing up with British parents in Nova Scotia, Canada, I was a “fussy eater”. This had a lot to do with my father, who has never had any real interest in food. He is now 86 and it is even more pronouced as he cannot smell anything, so food is just something you have to do to stay alive.
I think my mother, on the other hand, liked food and exploring new tastes when she was younger. In the 1950s, she moved from England to New York and lived in an apartment with some stewardesses (you could call them that back in the day). She comes from a middle-upper class British family and according to things I have learned over the years, spent some time in Switzerland at a school and learned French and more, as good young ladies should do. I imagine this woman in her 20s, a person I have never met, exploring New York and all the amazing food experiences she may not have had in the Midlands of England. This woman was not someone I knew. By the time I was born in the late 60s, she had disappeared into world that I also know well…depression. But that is not the topic of this post.
My father was born in 1924 in England. His mother died when he was young and he and his 2 sisters were brought up by an aunt. I believe that my father was spoiled and pretty much got what he wanted. HeÂ was married once before my mother. I have two half brothers who are 20 years older than me. After his first wife died, he met my mother and they married in 1965. Again, from what I have managed to piece together, my mother (and my father’s previous wife) did the cooking and looked after the kids, but the food was based on what Dad liked.
We didn’t eat badly of course, just with less flavour compared to what I love today. Shephard’s pie, meat loaf, chicken casseroles, pork chops, roasts, all “meat and 2 veg” meals. I still eat these things, usually in the winter, and enjoy them. However, I now like to put gravy on my roasts, and I enjoy a good salad dressing and I will eat Bulls Eye BBQ sauce on my burgers. There are still some items that I detest (also mostly related to hamburger toppings) but I can truly say that I missed out on some amazing food because my dad just wasn’t interested.
We never had pasta, for example. As a treat my mother would buy her and I a Pizza Hut pizza sometimes, and she would offer me a drink of Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale..even though I was under age. She was actually pretty cool. Too bad I didn’t know about it at the time. When I moved back to the UK in 1986, I lived on pasta, oh, and mushrooms and cheese on toast. Then I tasted Chicken Tikka Maasala and that was the end of flavourless meals!
Ok, enough about my past. I have started to explore the Dagens lunch options in Stockholm. This is the best food bargain you will get so if you are on a budget, I recommend that you eat a lot at lunch and just snack the rest of the day. These lunches usually cost between 65 to 100 kroner each. Some places are worth every ore, some are not. I cannot claim to have eaten in too many restaurants yet, since I am still new and trying to save money, but I do have a couple of favourites near work in the Rådmansgaten area.
- Cumin Club – Luntmakargen 90, 11351 Stockholm. Just 3 blocks from the Thai place, about a 10 minute walk. Indian mostly, a bit of Asian fusion too. I have had an excellent Indian stir fry – a Bombay hot chicken,Â with lots of vegetables, and their lunch time Chicken tikka butter masala (or something close). I haven’t been there during regular hours, but the menuÂ looks fantastic. Medium prices for the evening, and dagens lunch is around 80 kr.
- La Neta : Taqueria Y Tortilleria. The website is not up-to-date, but the food is fresh and good. Barnhusgatan 2 – 111 23 Stockholm, Telefon: 08-4115880
- Frunch, Luntmakargatan 44, tel 08-202107. A great little lunch place with pasta and pizzas starting from 79 kr. The bread is the best! So I like the canneloni with a cream sauce so I can dip…mmmmm.