From Swedish Fish to Swedish Massages

When I write for Lost in Stockholm, I have tons of ideas in my head that eventually gets vaporized by my lack of effectively putting these thoughts into sentences. Just now, I was thinking ‘well, what the hell do I write about? Do people care about my daily bits or do they want to hear about polar bears?’ I gots no clue.

But, I wonder about lots of things in Sweden and outside that have Swedish names. Like Nordstrom, or Swedish fish, or even the Swedish bikini team. I decided to head online (which is anyway where I reside 70% of the time) to research funny things that are called ‘swedish.’

Swedish Fish – Yea, those little red plastic tasting fishies that come in a yellow bag. You find them at the counters in Walgreens, CVS, and little convenience stores across America. Swedish fish was founded in 1958 by the Swedish candy company Maleco and then distributed by the Cadbury company. The real swedish version of them are called pastellfiskar (pastel fish) and are less sweet, more fruit flavored, and have Malaco (instead of Swedish) stamped on them.

Swedish Massage
– By far the most intriguing of all because Swedes have no idea what this kind of massage. In Sweden, you just call it classic massage. It’s named after Per Henrik Ling, a medical gymnastic doctor of the 19th century, who created five basic, long strokes to massage the body. Indeed, the Swedish massage has something to do with Sweden.

Swedish Bikini Team
– Well, to burst your bubble, they are not swedish at all, but American girls who posed for Milwaukee Brew ads in the early 1990s. However, you can find Swedish girls in bikinis, just in Sweden.

Stockholm Syndrome
– A psychological response when some hostages/kidnapes feel association and emotional connection with their predator. Stockholm Syndrome got the name from the 1973 bank robbery where the hostages eventually protected their captors. Yes, extremely bizarre but a serious problem in hostage situations.

Swedish Meatballs – Okay we do not eat meatballs everyday. At least I don’t, for fear of turning into a round meatball myself. Back in the day, meatballs were a luxury item (how many people could afford meat in the 1800s) that was lavished by the upper classes. Today, you can buy flash frozen meatballs (they taste terrible!) with sugar laden ligonberry jam and call it Swedish meatballs. Oh the irony! Since Christmas is around the corner, I’ll post some popular swedish recipes here.

Thanks to ‘what the what’ about this one:
The Swedish Chef – A classic Swedish icon part of the Muppet Show, he arrived in the 1970s on the scene as the chef. Speaking gibberish, the awesome Bork Bork Bork!, his chefspeak is part of hacker language today. No one really knows if The Swedish Chef is based on a real person, but it could Julia Child or Friedman Paul Erhardt. Whatever it is this insanely silly chef knows how to botch up just about any dish out there. Like chocolate mousse made with a moose. OR frog soup, where he tried to stick Kermit the frog into the soup bowl. If you don’t know The Swedish Chef, then you better start watching now.

and finally…
Nordstrom – That awesome department store is in fact a Swedish owned company. Nordstrom started in 1901 by Johan Nordstrom. It was a shoe store called Wallin and Nordstrom. And go figure, today it’s a multi billion dollar luxury department store in the United States. The Swedes are everywhere!

There are some of my random thoughts of the day. =)

20 thoughts on “From Swedish Fish to Swedish Massages”

  1. I’ve never had those Swedish Fish… it must be an American thing. Sometimes we don’t get all the goodies that our big brother to the south does. ;) But you missed one HUGE item…. lord of the flat pack…. kings of cheap but stylish house hold items…. Ikea!

    Also, those Maynards Swedish berries?

  2. OMG! I forgot our lord and savior, Ikea.

    Ahh, I looked up Mayards Swedish berries, they’re the Canadian equivalent of Swedish Fish from Cadbury. A quick wiki here.

  3. Forgot IKEA! Thats almost punishable by death! I don’t think my friends or me could forget IKEA, as we don’t presently have one in my city and go on feild trips to other cities for IKEA goodies. In this city its an illness i think most people have memorized the catalogues, as my friend moved she found all her catalogues and we played the game what year did this item appear? I know sick and twisted. Swedish berries my favorite!

  4. Hahaha, Jen. We could play spin the bottle with IKEA items.

    I will have to try the Swedish berries to see how different it is from Swedish fish.

  5. IKEA item spin the bottle sounds awsome, of course we quickly developed an IKEA drinking game(can get dangerous)and item pronounciation when sluring can get funny. I just don’t know what the consequences are going to be if my city accualy gets an IKEA to set up here.

  6. What about Nobel Prize from Stockholm, Sweden? (Except Nobel Peace given from Norway). It is not exactly referred at Swedish Nobel Prize but…

  7. I remember reading an article about how IKEA names their furniture. Now that I know Swedish, I find it cute that there’s a chair called stolen (the chair in Swedish).

  8. @what the what
    Ahh yes, the Swedish Chefs. Bork bork bork. Helped me many times here when trying to ask for something. Borken borken bork bork, hummdeeehawww, squashed bananas, swedish meatballs.

  9. @what the what – I added more about TSC above, thanks for reminding me. I nearly forgot about this legendary icon. bork bork!

  10. Seriously, cannot for get ABBA.

    I love reading about this – it’s interesting to see how different cultures adopt different things.

    You know how in sports stadiums people do the wave? In Australia they call it the mexican wave…why? I have no idea.

  11. This made me laugh! I grew up in NY and I remember being utterly confused by seeing “New York style” – insert product or food here, when traveling with my family. It’s always strange seeing your culture misinterpreted, especially when it happens to normal everyday beverages or customs.

    You have to laugh.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *