Swedish Potato Pancakes (Raggmunk), simple, subtle, but still oh so good. We are in the air again and this month's stop for "Around the World in 12 Plates" is Sweden!
Song of the day: "Mamma Mia" by ABBA.
Swedish Potato Pancakes (Raggmunk), take breakfast into a Scandinavian-style of food preparation. "Around the World in 12 Plates" takes us to Sweden and I am so excited to learn the food traditions and customs, and share our discoveries of the beautiful rounds, rich in texture and oh so buttery, the perfect potato companion!
Potato pancakes to me would be popular, having both the idea of pancake combined with the diverse texture of the potato. It would have that inner softness combined with crispy edges when cooked in a saute pan with some butter.
I have to admit my only experience with Swedish food is some trips to Ikea and stopping off in the market or restaurant. That being said, I do love a lot of the products. The meatballs and brown sauce, the thinly sliced smoked salmon, the cookies all buttery and then some. When I think Sweden, I think well organized, clean, sophisticated modernization. Funny, because the history of Sweden was quite barbaric with those pillaging Vikings raiding far off lands. I was always enthralled by Vikings, their brute strength, and those beautifully carved boats and the rhythm of the many paddles in unison propelling this warship quickly into battlegrounds.
The foods of Sweden are much like the foods of Italy, regional. In the north the concentration is meats, in the south, the concentration is in vegetables. Of course not forgetting that the Norwegian Sea is close at hand and so you would find a large variety of fish in their diet. Curing was a very strategic way for the Scandinavians to preserve their foods, and salt-cured and dehydration assured them enough food to last the long cold winters that they had, or the long voyages across the waters with their boats stocked. I love learning about cultures and I found it fascinating that the Swedes invented the smorgasbord true meaning "Bread and Butter Board". It is far from that in North America. In Sweden, the smorgasbord is a way of sharing various plates at a table, and I have read that there is a method as to what is served first and what is served last. In my research on Sweden, I did see one berry always come to the table in preserve form and that is the Lingonberry.
Enough History 101, let's get to these Swedish Potato Pancakes (Raggmunk)!
It seems that this Fall and early signs of winter has me craving substantial and comforting foods. Just last week there was the Potato and Tomato Bake (Patate e Pomodori al Forno) yum! This week, these lovely crisped edged pancakes. Traditionally Raggmunk (potato pancake) is served with cooked pork and of course lingonberry preserve. I found out quite quickly that lingonberry to Swedes is what cranberries are to us North Americans. The recipe for the Swedish Potato Pancakes is quite easy: grated potatoes, eggs, flour, milk, and some use grated onion or garlic and even some herbs. I kept it quite simple, as this is my first rodeo with Swedish cooking.
The accompaniment for the Raggmunk (potato pancake) naturally smoked applewood bacon, and I wanted to bring this recipe home to Canada and thus the Lingonberry was not used but substituted with an abundant supply of sour cherries in the freezer which we defrosted and macerated to get the berries to juice and plump up. I do have to mention that I tried grating the potatoes with the food processor and I don't think the right consistency of texture happened. It turned more into a puree, so not letting anything go to waste, I took out my trusted friend the hand grater and lovely strands of juicy potato were achieved. Because there is a lot of water that is unleashed during the grating process, a good pair of strong hands or a clean dish towel to squeeze all that juice out goes a long way in ensuring you a beautiful pancake and not a soggy mess. I blended a bit of the puree with the grated strands, remembering our motto "waste not want not". I thought this would give nice body and texture to these Swedish Potato Pancakes (Raggmunk). TIP: Another good use for that potato puree would be in a soup or stew, a great way to thicken naturally. Simple place puree into a ziplock bag and into the freezer for a later use. Creativity is a great tool for wasting nothing!
I love the simplistic beauty of this breakfast, the pancakes golden and crispy on the edges, that nice sizzle on the bacon, and don't you just love that pop of color that these sour cherries bring. Just enough to wake us up to the fact that it is breakfast time and to say hello to our palate. I think the aromas alone would do that but in this case, it's a partnered affair!
The butter sizzling in the pan making the edges of the pancake so beautiful, and that rich smell of the butter so enticing. Lingering in the backdrop is that applewood smoke that has nicely flavored the bacon, and that sweet and sour aroma of the sour cherries awakens the senses, getting them ready to dive into this morning wake me up, charge me up breakfast. The potato offers a nice soft richness to the center and interior of the pancake while those crispy bits give such incredible flavor and texture. You would think that a pancake such as these would be heavy and a stick to your ribs experience, but on the contrary, very light! The bacon adds a bit of boldness to the dish offering that smoky woodsy feel that compliments the buttery light starchy subtleness of the pancake so well, and those sour cherries seem to just freshen the palate and get those taste buds dancing.
It has been a real pleasure to be part of "Around the World in 12 Plates", especially for me who spent years of my life in different cultures with a passion to learn and experience things that to this day lay vivid in my mind.
If you want to change things up a bit and you love trying new things then I highly recommend trying these Swedish Potato Pancakes (Raggmunk), they are truly comforting and delicious, just what the doctor ordered to beat the oh so down under winter blues. Sounds like the makings of a blues song, lol.
Ha Det Sa' Kul! (Enjoy!)
I hope I wrote that correctly. If I have not, let me know for those of you who know Swedish.
Song of the day: "Mamma Mia" by ABBA.Print
Make sure you check out the other recipes created by the amazing bloggers that participated in this monthly challenge featuring Sweden!
Gabby – The Food Girl in Town
Bernice – Dish ‘n the Kitchen
Korena - Korena in The Kitchen
P.S. Making our recipes? Take a pic and tag us on Instagram: #sugarlovespices. You’re going to be in our gallery!
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