I’ve been collecting little bits of papers, restaurant bills, recipe reminders and other culinary snippets for more than a year now, but was never quite ready to make the plunge. Things are settling, though:
After a fulfilled Postdoc in Southampton, I’ve changed scenery again,
moving away from here:
back to here:
(to be fair, the pictures were taken at different times of the year. But note that the first picture is black-and-white, while the second one is in full color)
I’m now in the last phase of writing up my research, which slowly lifts the lid off other plans that have been hissing and steaming in the background: the time has come to remember all the things yummy I encountered in the past two years. Or not so yummy…
Out of chronology, merely because it’s highest on my pile, I will return to the old military city of Kristianstad (where for reasons unknown all the restaurants that I have reviewed earlier have now vanished).
So there I was again on a Saturday evening, trying to find a place to eat in a city that is in the midst of constructing new government quarters. Half the town center, or more precise, the entire rådhuskvarteret, except its facades (because the renaissance character of the city must be underlined, says the City’s chief architectural designer), has been torn down. In its stead there is now a pit of great squareness, deepness and blackness.
After a slight detour around the abyss (why does all this remind me of the Lord of the Rings?), our company located the promising bistro Aptit (Appetite) in the venerable Kronhuset on the main square of the city. On entering, one is greeted by a friendly and competent waitress and invited to white tables with a decent setup of glasses, well lighted, and without too much musical interference. To sit there and converse is in fact possible.
My company of three orders various kinds of fish, and I choose the breast of corn-fed chicken. The southern province of Skåne has some excellent chicken farms and I am curious.
What I get is a nicely looking arrangement of chicken, Madeira sauce, quartered, deep-fried potato and some veggies. I should however mention the size of the portion, which consists of about half a side of a medium-sized chicken breast, with its skin, a tablespoon and-a-half of brown sauce, the equivalent of one and a half medium-large potato and about half a cup of greenery (at the point of writing I see that they offer a grilled corncob instead. Logical, in April…). Some random comparisons: a regular fish and chips over the counter at Bitterne triangle in Southampton is about three times as much in volume and a fifth of the price of my chicken (and almost inedible, it must be said). In American terms (whether we like it or not), we’re talking here about an appetizer-sized portion at its smallest; in Germany, it would be an item from the children’s menu. A large organic chicken from the store for two thirds of the price of my portion contains easily eight times the meat I’m having on my plate, plus wings, bones for soup and scraps for Rillettes. Swedish gastronomy, in short, is most of all about economy.
My company being jolly about the nice atmosphere and happy with their fish, I decide to make a friendly face and to chew thoroughly. It is a helpful trick. (more…)