Home made “hotel breakfast” with all ingredients
locally produced and all sourced at the Passion for Food Festival 2013.
Text and Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2013
In a world that becomes increasingly complex and contradictory by the day it is sometimes gratifying to go really local, while keeping a global perspective.
One of the things I love most with the Passion for Food Festival is that so many international small quality producers are putting so much effort into introducing themselves to the western Swedish consumers.
Local as well as international high end producers
Admittedly their main focus at this fair is naturally to sell to restaurants and local high end resellers, perpetually on the look-out for unique and profile produce, but this also makes it possible for ordinary consumers to source and sample some of the best products on the market without having to wait to have it served by any of the Guide Michelin star chefs who are also sourcing this fair.
The passion for food
What characterizes all these people who meet here year after year – to me – is their passion for what they are doing. You can see it in their eyes, when they for the millionth time get to talk and demonstrate and better yet, let anyone sample and explore what they offer, then you know that they simply love what they are doing.
In one corner of the fair we met with Åke Häljestig of Svenska Lantägg, a major Swedish egg distributor and as such keeping a close eye on the quality from the producer to the consumer. In our conversation he pointed out that the consumer today is increasingly concerned about the living conditions of the hens.
This incidentally reminded me of another producer who was proud to show me an entire brochure with pictures of her goats, all glamorously modeling for her farm that made goat milk cheese.
The large box of eggs we eventually purchased was also of very fine quality, accordingly laid by ‘indoor free roaming’ hens.
Personally I think it is nice that all this is looked after. Long time ago it was natural that the hens were walking around in a pen doing hen things, and that eggs just came naturally out of the process.
Today, in the hands of the food industry rather than local small producers, I think it is important to remember that there are different distributors and that all eggs are not equal. Pre-packed as they are, they are also biological beings and benefit from being treated carefully, since the manner in which the eggs are handled and transported makes a difference to the resulting quality in which they reach the consumers.
And remember, stir and whisk your eggs nice and friendly. It makes all the difference if you wish to get long protein strands that lend volume to both omelettes and sponge cakes.
A third generation charcuterie man
Another interesting food producer to have met with is Fred-Henrik Karlsson, grandson to the Carl-Henrik who about 100 years ago had just finished his apprenticeship with a German sausage maker and then ventured to open up his own business.
– Our production methods haven’t changed much over the last century, Fred-Henrik tells, and certainly not the recipes. And even more important, nor has our ambition to stay close to both our suppliers and our customers. All meat that goes into our products are certified Swedish and sourced locally, and all our products are sold in the western part of Sweden, within a few miles of our factory.
Fred-Henrik Karlsson, grandson of the founder, still in charge of the family company H. Karlssons Charkuterier AB, Härryda.
A lot of companies are today using ‘produced locally’ in their marketing. In a recent news paper article, H. Karlssons Charkuterier, was especially pinpointed as one of the companies that really delivered what they promised.
Naturally we got ourselves a few bags of freshly produced sausages from Fred-Henrik at the fair. If you have visited a typical Swedish Christmas table, you would know that one of the indispensable dishes are really small sausages. If you have wondered who makes the best, this would be the supplier for at least in western Sweden around Härryda and Gothenburg.
Christmas tables or not, they are also part of my heart’s favourite breakfast together with an omelette and a glass of freshly pressed orange juice, and … don’t get me started. I just love breakfasts with a special weakness for endlessly large buffets, preferably ones from which you can sample your favourites and then pop back to a spacious bed and sleep-in until late morning.