A trip north to Minneapolis means a few things every time: a trip to Northern Brewer, a hunt for great local beers only available in the Twin Cities metro, and a slog through IKEA.
If you haven’t done the Bataan death march through an IKEA store on a Saturday morning than you have not lived the suburban life in modern day America. One upside to spending a couple of hours looking at flat pack furniture with incomprehensible names in some form of a Nordic language is at the end I get to take a stroll through the mini-mart near the checkout. It’s like a Nordic Kwik Trip.
A jar of lingonberry jam is a necessity. What’s a lingonberry? Spend a minute thinking about food at IKEA and you are likely to come across the lingonberry. It’s in juice boxes, there’s a soda in the cafeteria that is lingonberry flavored, there’s lingonberries on the side next to your meatballs, and so on. It’s basically a sour berry, not unlike a cranberry, that was commonly foraged for in Nordic countries. Hence it’s prevalence at IKEA. It comes from the same genus as blueberries, cranberries, and huckleberries.
I am surprised that no one has developed a “superfood” diet based on lingonberries. Heck, if goji berries can be considered a superfood than lingonberries deserve a little time in the sun. I digress.
The fruit has a unique flavor that is a nice departure from the usual fruit spreads I use on toast as a snack. It’s not super sweet, which is nice because so many commercial jams or jellies are basically fruit suspended in sugar.
It’s vile. Not in a Dr. Pepper sort of way, but in a why did someone bottle an insipid version of cough syrup sort of way. It’s hard to truly capture how the flavor stuck in my throat. Maybe some Coffee Bender would help.
My purchase of muesli was less an impulse buy of an odd product at this emporium of Nordic weird and more of a “take my medicine” moment. I love granola. However, granola is your beer swilling, red meat eating, and cigar smoking uncle who claims to be a health nut. The stuff is basically a calorie and sugar bomb that is little better than the donut that the guy two cubicles down eats every morning with his bottle of Mountain Dew. Perhaps he would like some Swedish festive drink?
Muesli is, at its most basic, dry rolled oats. Dried fruit, nuts, and/or seeds are usually added to the packaged mixes. A lot of people will add fresh fruit at the time of serving as a way to liven up the final product. Like cereal, it is usually served with some kind of liquid in a bowl.