Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Swedish Meatballs and Preserved Fish from the Viking Age— Cooking in America

Swedish Meatballs and Preserved Fish from the Viking Age— Cooking in America

– The first wave of immigration into Seattle was the Swedish
and Norwegian community. And a lot has changed
from the 1800’s to now. But one place that keeps
the Swedish community alive is the Swedish Club. So we’re going to the Swedish Club. We’re gonna be tasting
some Swedish meatballs, and most importantly, a rare dish called lutfisk that came from the Vikings. – Hello Sheldon, I’m Kristine Leander.
– Hi Kristine. So tell me about the Swedish Club. – We are a 125 year old
organization here in Seattle, that started with immigrants. We celebrate Nordic
customs and celebrations and holidays here at the Swedish Club. – Okay, I’m excited to roll my sleeves up and make some meatballs. (lively music) We coming in swaggy with the shoes today. Man, I need to get some like that, though. (water spraying) – Good job. You’re hired, man. – Okay, all set. – What we’re doing here today is just typical very Swedish food. – And this is lutfisk? – Lutfisk, which means, lye-fish. – So lutfisk is preserved with lye, which is like an alkaline. It’s like for wear-washing and stuff. – Yes, absolutely. – And this is just cod? – Yes, it can be cod or
any other white fish. – Oh, okay. – In my province, where I
come, we do it this way. It’s just air-dried, very thin, like a piece of board and with lye. On the ninth of December,
you start soaking it in cold water, and you
add a little lye to it. Now the fish is really swelled
up beautifully like this, and change it every day
until Christmas eve. And that’s typically when
the Swedes eat their lutfisk. – That’s a long process. – It’s a long process. – On the night, you’d better be on it. – That’s right. (laughing) Okay Sheldon, we’re gonna
ground some mustard here. – And this is gonna be for
the sauce for the lutfisk? – For the lutfisk, yes. It’s a real cannon ball, you can feel how heavy that is, right? It’s like– – Oh my goodness. – You can– – Whoa! – You kinda get it going and you go down and pick up more mustard and
get it up there on the side. (laughing) – Alright. My rhythm is not as good as yours. It’s all in the hips. (laughing) There you go. You get the glutes working,
and you get mustard seeds. Oh no, no, no. – When I brought this over from Sweden, and I was caught in Customs,
they say “What is that”? – You said “All I wanna
do is make my mustard”. What’s the different
influences of Swedish cuisine? – A lot of seafood, a lot of
fish, basically ate a lot of husmanskost, house man’s food. – Okay. – Meatloaves, meatballs. – And whose recipe is this? – It’s my own. – Some Swedish meatballs. – Meatballs. Half pork and half beef. Onions. White pepper and salt. Eggs. Bread crumbs. – It’s not Swedish unless there’s a little bit of cream.
– Little bit of cream. – I like that. (lively music) – We have a large Nordic community here, and we have an area named Ballard. A lot of Skandihoovians
settled there back in the days. – You grew up in Sweden? – I did. – Yeah. – I was 22 when I came here, then had my daughter and
we would come down here and celebrate the Lucia. It’s a very big day in Sweden and they have that celebration
here every year. (lively music) (lively music) (lively music) – Are there any other
Swedish clubs around? – We’re the only one in America. – Huh. – We’re the only one that
has a club like this, that’s just dedicated to socializing. This club was started by men,
and they were immigrants. Started a club to be with each other. Sing songs and eat food,
and smoke cigarettes, (laughing) and play cards, and do what men do. At the time of the Seattle World’s Fair, it’s 1960, we moved to this building. Not until 1989 did we admit women, so it’s relatively recent. And now it’s a community place. People tell us that it’s the anchor of the Scandinavian-American community. – Alright. – So this is Aquavit, and look
at the person, and say ‘Skol’. – Skol. I’m gonna get a bite, a
little bit of the gravy. I love the addition of the lingonberry. Brightens up the palate. Probably can eat like 50 of those. (laughing) – Yes. – This was cod that was preserved in lye. You’d think of something
that’s preserved for that long, would have a real fermented taste or smell coming off of it, but… it’s very mild. The key, I think, is that mustard sauce, which I had a blast doing, because, I think I took a few
inches off of my hips. (laughs) They were one of the first
immigrants to come here. – Swedes and Norwegians– – Okay. – Were among the first. As this area was being
built, those same skills that people used in
Scandinavia, were very useful. They needed the farmers to grow the food, they needed the fishermen
to catch the fish, they needed the carpenters,
they needed the loggers, and so we have a huge population
of Scandinavian people. They are more dilute than they use to be, and they have become Americans. We also have a new wave of
Swedes and Scandinavians, and they have come to
work in the software. – Okay. How big of a change have you seen in this city in this past few years? – The change in the city is huge. People can’t afford to live
where they used to live anymore. – Would you consider the
Swedish Club your home? – Oh, absolutely, it’s home. – It’s places like this in cities that people can find a sense
of belonging, I guess.

43 comments on “Swedish Meatballs and Preserved Fish from the Viking Age— Cooking in America

  1. Was the camera set to a pastel filter, because this is the palest video ever posted on Youtube. The host still kicks ass though.

  2. Sheldon, you the man. It's a nice touch when he gets in the kitchen and helps them prepare. The chef was such a nice, engaging person. I would've liked to see Sheldon talk to her when the food was served.

  3. Sheldon! The best host on Eater! The difference when the host is an actual talented chef versus a vlogger that just likes to eat or a food writer/critic.

  4. In the middle of Sweden from where I hail (Uppsala) we always eat our lut-fisk with a bechamel spiced with ALLSPICE, not mustard 😀

  5. Hint: If you nor your ancestors havent been to sweden for generations or havent grown up there, you arent really swedish. And the food tells the tale, not much here was authentic and honestly, felt like a mockery.

  6. Like many other countries, Swedish cuisine has strong regional differences; in Swedish lapland we eat a lot more game, such as Reindeer, Moose, and Rock Ptarmigan, often dried, smoked, cured, or sautéed, and served with variations of potato dishes; cooked, mashed, baked, fried, gratinated, grated and pan fried etc. And fishes such as Grayling, Arctic Char, Brown Trout and Salmon, preferably grilled over open fire in tin foil, on a "halster" smoked, or oven-baked.

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