You would be forgiven for thinking that Scotland, Ireland and Germany are the major players when it comes to potatoes but Swedes too love these versatile tubers! Scotland is world-famous for growing fine blight-free potatoes, and whilst pasta and rice try a takeover bid we shall always love our tatties, and have a healthy export trade to Sweden and mainland Europe (at least we did pre-brexit but we won’t go there…we live in hope!). History tells us Ireland was victim of a potato famine but free trade also played a significant role in that tragedy. Today in Germany, there isn’t a food market without stalls devoted to potato varietals and, back to Sweden, almost every national dish requires potatoes:
Jansson’s temptation, Swedish meatballs, mash & lingonsylt, Midsummer herring with dill new potatoes, Fried herring, Wallenburgers & Pannbiff, both served with boiled potatoes, Raggmunk – the Swedish equivalent of rosti & Potato salad even appears on open sandwiches with cold meatballs, never far away!
We have planted several heritage varieties of potatoes on our Småland croft with great success, only fertilised with our food and leaf compost. When we heard that there was to be a potato exhibition at Fredriksdal where Bosse was farming laterally, we had to go and check it out. Philippe, Head Gardener is retiring this year – big boots to fill and leaving on a high with a celebration of his incredible work in the vegetable gardens of the estate.
We saw many potato varieties there – including Scottish ones – and Philippe even grows Scotland’s Ark of Taste Musselburgh Leeks alongside rhubarb, apple and pear genebanks! It was good to catch up as we hadn’t visited for a while.
Elsewhere on our long-awaited trip, Bosse harvested hay whilst I made kilos of wild raspberry jam! We visited family, attended to essential maintenance and admin, and gathered and preserved all we could: pickling cucumbers, storing apples and drying herbs – the time just disappeared. We managed to nail the cover shot for our next book, due out soon – something we were determined to accomplish! Summer isn’t summer without visits to the local waffle café so we managed that…just! Sweden is a beautiful place, a foodie heaven and we look forward to our return.