I've really had a thing for Swedish food lately (yesterday's post made that pretty obvious), and it can't be because I'm working my way through the Stieg Larsson trilogy (just saw the preview for the English language version of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" the other night, starring Daniel Craig - if you haven't seen the original Swedish version, rent it). No, it's probably because I come from a long line of herring lovers. My grandfather, Sam, was from Russia/Poland (depending on where the borders were in 1910) and my father always told me he would keep a herring in the ice box at home, slice off a hunk when he felt like it, and then smoked a cigarette. It took me years to get over the funk, but after I became acutely aware of the joy of pickled products, I have now embraced herring of all kinds - matjes, mustard, creamed - and love it with nothing more than some hard, firm toast, or knäckebröd.
But the other source of my recent fascination with all things Swedish is skagen. It's essentially a cold water shrimp salad, and the way they make it at Tre Kronor is simply wonderful. If you haven't been up to this neighborhood favorite, I suggest you give it a try, and please, don't just fall back on the meatballs.