Cycle 12 – Item 340
11 (Sat) December 2021
Köttbullar in Truffle Gravy
-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-
with the Family, LHS
Korean-Swedish Culinary Exchange (21) (see all post on KSCX)
LHS dropped by for dinner, out of the blue. It was initially a bit disturbing in these socially-distanced times, but the randomness was ultimately so refreshing. With ingredients on hand, and in consideration of LHS’s fondness for western foods, Swedish was the way to go.
Meanwhile, on GK’s end, with ingredients that I’d sent him in a care package, he made AHQFGT (my At-Home, Quick-Fix, Go-To meal) – the dish that had given rise to KSCX.
IKEA Korea now sells gravy powder packets (just mix with water + heavy cream), though they don’t appear to be produced by IKEA.
I added some (non-IKEA) black truffle paste.
In contrast to my entry at #1, made entirely from scratch, every component here was an IKEA-based shortcut: meatballs, potatoes, gravy.
[The comments below are GK’s own words, with minor typographical edits from me.]
I made AHQFGT recently (mostly because you noted that since I hadn’t used “real” SPAM the first time I made it, this whole exchange “started with a lie” 😉
So far, I haven’t found SPAM in a store here, but maybe I should be looking in the bigger Asian grocery stores.
To sum it up, I did like it, though I didn’t feel that big of a difference between “real” spam and the “generic” one. Maybe I would need to do a taste test?
By beautiful coincidence, this exchange #21 – the 1st in what I hope will be another 20 exchanges to come – features the same dishes on either side as exchange #1 (sort of).
On my effort:
- Among the European cuisines that I cook at home, Swedish has become my go-to, second only to Italian, somewhere near French, more than Spanish – köttbullar med potatismos & sås is now a family staple (though not so much these days, in light of my reduced meat consumption).
- Wondering if Swedes ever add black truffle paste to their gravy.
On GK’s effort:
- Recently, I was devastated to learn that GK had not used real SPAM in our first exchange, rather a different brand of luncheon meat – KSCX was born out of a lie.
- The kimchi, presumably from the batch of pogi kimchi a while back, looks great – I love the neat symmetry in the slices.
- I can’t understand how the SPAM was cut to turn out in such uneven shapes.
- I’m noticing just now GK uses Korean chopsticks, along with what appears to be a Thai spoon, and Japanese bowls.
Gravlax, as soon as I can get a whole salmon fillet.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)
6 thoughts on “12.340 Köttbullar in Truffle Gravy”
Some notes below:
1. I’m sure there are people who add black truffle paste to the gravy for köttbullar. Isn’t truffle really expensive though?
2. The comments about the sliced SPAM duly noted, I will make sure to cut them better next time 😉
3. The chopsticks are Korean yet. The spoons (and the forks+knives) are actually Scandinavian (either Swedish or Norwegian, don’t remember) with a “Viking” pattern. I will try to provide a close-up next time. And the bowl for the rice is Swedish, from Designtorget (https://designtorget.com/?___store=eu), although I guess they are trying to go for a “japanese” design. And finally the plate for the kimchi was actually bought at a market in Spain.
1. real truffles are expensive – truffle paste, not really.
2. wasn’t criticizing, just wondering…
3. scandinavians using viking-themed silverware is like japanese using ninja-themed chopsticks.
I actually found a good close-up of the spoon was already available online:
And the motif is actually of King Olaf II of Norway (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olaf_II_of_Norway) who according to Wikipedia:
Olaf II Haraldsson (c. 995 – 29 July 1030), later known as Saint Olaf (and traditionally as St. Olave), was King of Norway from 1015 to 1028…..
Pope Alexander III confirmed Olaf’s local canonisation in 1164, making him a universally recognised saint of the Roman Catholic Church and started to be known as Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae – eternal king of Norway. He became an equally important saint of the Eastern Orthodox Church (feast day 29 July) and one of the last famous saints before the Great Schism. Following the Reformation he was a commemorated historical figure among some members of the Lutheran and Anglican Communions.
The saga of Olav Haraldsson and the legend of Olaf the Saint became central to a national identity. Especially during the period of romantic nationalism, Olaf was a symbol of Norwegian independence and pride. Saint Olaf is symbolised by the axe in Norway’s coat of arms and Olsok (29 July) is still his day of celebration. Many Christian institutions with Scandinavian links as well as Norway’s Order of St. Olav are named after him.
So I guess he is more of a symbol of national pride and Christianity than being a mere “Viking”…
This is undoubtedly the most randomly esoteric bit of knowledge ever to grace the pages of GMTD.
The more important question is why would you have, and so regularly use, a spoon about the Eternal King of Norway?
The answer is quite simple:
I got them (I have several of them) as gifts, and they make up the majority of the spoons I own. They are actually part of sets of knife+forks+spoons, but since I never use knife and forks in the dishes I cook for our exchange they have never been featured.
Plus it’s a cool looking spoon, which I like even more when I found out about the story behind the motive…