“Check the expiration date. Well then ask the waiter. No, seriously, there’s something wrong with it. I think it’s gone bad. Seriously, taste it.”
It was the morning after I arrived in Sweden. My boyfriend and I had stayed in a beautiful Stockholm hotel and were having a lovely breakfast. That is until I decided I wanted some yogurt and bravely ventured up to the buffet alone. Swedish signs stood next to the mystery foods mockingly. I stood there frozen by indecision. “It looks like yogurt. All five of them look like yogurt. Maybe they’re different flavors. I’ll just pick the plain one and put berries in it.” Sorted.
The taste is hard to describe. Its flavor is close to what I would expect yogurt kept two weeks past its expiration date would taste like. It’s sour, stinky and inedible. However, I am the only one in this country to think so. Swedes universally love filmjölk. They eat it for breakfast. They eat it as a snack. They throw fruit, knäckebröd or jam in it (probably to get rid of the taste).
This fermented milk product is as loved by Swedes as Kalles Kaviar. And frankly, it’s just as nasty. Perhaps it was my upbringing eating mega-sugary foods in America that has deprived me of the ability to enjoy this simple pleasure. Or my lack of adventurousness when it comes to food.
Then again, I’m not really keen to eat anything that tastes as if it will lead to a case of food poisoning.