"It's not much but it's ours"

Friday, September 04, 2009


Weird folks your Swedes, at first, I found them rather severe but over time, I have made some very dear friends from the land of Volvo, although I have never quite brought myself to forgive them for Abba.

One of the great joys of my past publishing existence was always making sure that I was in Stockholm for Midsommer, a major event for Scandi’s everywhere. In the Swedish capital, things would grind to a halt as the locals headed out to the countryside or to one of the islands in mid-June to spend time with their families and generally have a good time.

They are quite skilled at having a good time in Sweden and at the centre of that is Fika. It literally means “to drink coffee” but equates to the British “elevenses” as a time to take a break, meet with friends and put the world to rights with meaningless chat. With the coffee they might eat some scarily sweet cinnamon rolls or other cakes and they might also have something savoury like an open sandwich or a rye crispbread topped with pickled fish or cheese.

During my many visits to Sweden, I became very fond of doing a little bit of business while experiencing Fika with my many friends, and while coffee is off the menu for me (it will make me throw up quicker than the thought of having to eat at a Tom Aikens restaurant) instead, I indulged in creamy hot chocolate. The thought of the little crispbread snacks I was served with it stays with me as one of my favourite food memories.

I very rarely get excited about anything which does not involve a pig dying, but, when a friend put me on to PETER'S YARD and told me about their crispbreads, I had to get some. A few days later a little parcel came through the door from their mail order department. The brainchild of Peter Ljungquist, Peter’s Yard is a hugely popular café in Edinburgh, which tries to recreate the Fika experience. On the back of their success, they are now bringing their astonishingly good crispbreads to the rest of the country with a friendly and efficient mail order service run by Wendy Wilson-Bett of their wholesale division.

These crispbreads are seriously good, the stuff of dreams in fact, and I have spent the last week or so experimenting with just what can be schmeared on them. Peanut butter gets a huge thumbs up, as unsurprisingly does cream cheese. Some nice crumbly Lancashire works a treat as does just topping them with runny scrambled eggs. I am already planning to order some more.

Wonderful stuff and definitely worth checking out their website.

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Blogger esben said...

Pffft - runny eggs and peanut butter! Swedish crispbread was made to be eaten with swedish Caviar - Maybe with a thin slice of cucumber that you can peel of and glue to your forehead. I mean, really!

Eggs indeed!

Friday, September 04, 2009 7:45:00 pm  
Blogger aforkfulofspaghetti said...

some kaviar (as spelled on the tube) spread is the way forward... Scandinavian Kitchen in Gt Titchfield St is yr source.

Saturday, September 05, 2009 1:41:00 pm  
Blogger Signe said...

Simon I'm with you on the peanut butter, but recently went one step further in slathering my PY crispbread with indecent amounts of salted butter, a generous layer of peanut butter followed by a final layer of chocolate spread - filthy but so good

And kaviar in a tube is made for crispbread, but at the risk of igniting intra-Scandinavian culinary warfare may I suggest the infinitely superior Mills kaviar from Norway? It's also available at the Scandi Kitchen and is perfect with a soft-boiled egg and a sprinkle of dill

Failing that just have the crispbread with jamon

Sunday, September 06, 2009 3:24:00 pm  
Anonymous R.Ward said...

I went to Peter's Yard when I visited Edinburgh(the wind is non-stop...what a place to live in) and found it excruciatingly expensive even by London standards.I don't know what the Edinburghers think of such prices,given that they are extremely tight with their money(not with our money which is why WE are paying for those 2 bankrupted Scottish banks RBS and BOS, but that's another story linked perhaps to our PM and Chancellor who coincidentally are

Tuesday, September 08, 2009 3:14:00 pm  
Anonymous canelvr said...

This is not the first time I've seen Peter's Yard crispbreads recommended. And there was me thinking I'd done well to pick up some 'Sport' crackers from the Swedish shop in Marylebone!

Thursday, September 17, 2009 7:37:00 am  

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