The formation of the New Nordic Food manifesto made Swedish food trendy as it promotes a local and sustainable way of eating. As more Swedes turn into foodies, their weird culinary delights have come into the limelight, especially those involving bananas.
Bananas were first introduced in Europe in 1905 when the shipment arrived in Norway. However, despite Norway being a close neighbor of Sweden, bananas did not get there until 1944 in the form of a 20-tonne load. This massive amount of bananas may explain the resulting actions as Swedes had to find a way of consuming the tropical fruit.
Initially, bananas were expensive and exotic, and people looked upon them with fascination and suspicion. Eventually, swedes became captivated with bananas to become involved in a never-ending battle with the Danes about who could consume the most bananas in Europe. Sweden is the title holder due to their exciting ways of preparing bananas.
Like people from other nations, Swedes typically use bananas by eating them as they are, baking banana bread, or slicing them onto pancakes. Quite strangely, they do not regularly slice bananas onto a bowl of cornflakes. Instead, they put them into several interesting dishes that evoke a gag reflex from their visitors. But, this changes after they try the dishes.
For most people, the thought of pizza does not include banana toppings, but the swedes do. In Sweden, there are various pizzas with banana toppings, such as Milano pizza, Indiana pizza, and Hawaiian pizza, depending on where you are. But, there is one type of pizza that makes visitors scratch their heads; the Banana Curry Pizza.
The Banana Curry Pizza is made of a thin-crust pizza base that may look like cardboard or twine to some people. It also contains grazed smoked cheese or mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, two sliced bananas spread on the pie, and a generous sprinkling of curry powder. Does this sound disgusting or delicious? The answer depends on the person because in Sweden, the banana curry pizza is among the most popular, and it is available at almost all average pizza kiosks all over the country.
There is another type of banana pizza that most swedes are unaware of, while others perceive it to be a myth, the Turbo, named after its after-effects. You can find this pizza at a small pizzeria in Dalarna. The Turbo pizza contains ham, cheese, and regular sauce before topping it up with bananas, pineapple, prawns, pork, and béarnaise sauce. According to credible sources, the Turbo pizza can keep you in the toilet for a significant period afterward.
Nonetheless, when talking about authentic Swedish banana cuisine, the top prize is a casserole known as the Flying Jacob. Since its creation almost a half-century ago, the Flying Jacob has become ubiquitous. The casserole became popular in the 1970s, and it is still served in nursing homes and cafeterias, available as a flavor for baby food and also sold frozen. The popularity of this dish demonstrates a uniquely Swedish feeling towards food.
The first recipe was initially published in a popular recipe and cooking magazine. It was created by Ove Jacobson, a worker in the air freight industry. In 1976, he found himself unprepared for a dinner party. He searched his kitchen and used what he found to create the first Flying Jacob. His neighbors loved the dish. Among the neighbors was Anders Tunberg, the “All About Food” editor. Tunberg nicknamed the dish Flygande Jakob in reference to Jacobson’s last name and occupation but also refers to a 1940s long-distance runner. Tunberg encouraged Jacobson to submit the recipe to the magazine.
The Flying Jacob is the ultimate dish that illustrates the clever use of bananas. This dish is easy to make: get a whole rotisserie chicken and chop up the meat, cream, chili sauce, bacon, roasted peanuts, and four bananas. Throw it in the oven until it bubbles, and serve it over rice. Although this may sound strange to some, it is considered to be among the best cure for hangovers.
Therefore, when you visit Sweden and longing for a banana, forget what you know about eating bananas and prepare them the Swedish way. Take your bananas and combine them with the most unusual ingredients.