PRODUCT OF THE WEEK: PETER'S YARD CRISPBREAD
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.