Lapland, I love shopping at the Dollar Store

06/07/2012

00:00

Midnight! It’s raining cats and dogs and it is still daylight. Fredrick went to bed; tomorrow we wake up at 5:00 to return to Stockholm. We leave early to go to Uppsala, before returning to the capital. It takes 12 hours to get to Stockholm. Today we passed the northern tip of Sweden, LAPLAND!

We went shopping at a commercial center called “DOLLAR STORE”, where everything is sold at very low prices: a paradise for me and Fredrick. If I had space in my luggage I’d stock up on everything. Fredrick bought home products, trivial things like a cowboy hat, toilet paper, and chocolate bars. Then, “CAUTION:” he spent more than 70 euros.  I bought body cream for  2 euros, Swedish flags, a Charlie’s Angels box set, two really cool cups with many city names written on them: Rome, Oslo, New York, London, Paris, and others. I bought two: one for me and one for the crazy guy who will follow me on future trips! I also bought a tray for coffee in Sweden. Total = 200 SEK = 20 euros. It is not that much, I know I should save it, but a little healthy shopping… MAKES HAPPY!

As soon as we pass the shop I see the signboard Lapponia – LAPLAND!

It is written both  in Swedish and Lappish. The people are very different from the Swedish, in fact they descend from the “aboriginal” Eskimos, samui, with slightly slanted eyes and hair as black as pitch.

We reach Lars, a friend of Fredrick, in a small and comfortable restaurant. Strangely the restaurant is full because it’s Sweden’s national day and all the people go to country places like Lapland to rest or take a journey. I look at the view outside the window and although it’s June there’s still a bit of snow on the ski slopes. The temperature is about 5-6 ºC. Fredrick lent me a heavy pullover so I’m warm. The restaurant is called “Hans pa Hornet,” which means “The Hans’ Corner.” As soon as Fredrick entered he got excited to find PALT on the menu. He  explains that PALT is a typical dish of Lapland and cannot be found in Stockholm. I have to try it. His grandmother used to make it long ago when he was child… Marcel Proust!

Palt is a potato ball filled with pork and reindeer blood. There are two varieties: black and white; white palt has no reindeer blood.

We sit down with Lars and his wife, and their family.

Lars’ wife asks me if I like palt; when I tell her I do, she reveals the “secret ingredient.” I look her and say that I already knew, winking at her.

Actually I l prefer black palt with the blood rather than white. She is shocked because she knows so many Italians who are faithful to their food and eat only Italian; they rarely venture to try other cuisines; if they do they do not obviously go for PALT. Honestly I’m proud of our cuisine and I think it’s the best in all the world, but I’m open to other cuisines, especially when it comes to local.

With pride I eat  Palt like a real Swedish, with smör, the local butter and LINGONSJLT, a currant jam. I must admit that the contrast between sweet and salty enhances  the meat and refreshes the palate. Really good! And like a true Lappish I drink warm reindeer milk.

Fredrick looks at me proudly like I were his son! We have coffee and return to Jörn.