Saturday, June 18, 2011

Photographic memory: reindeer ahead

Where you can see this: any road in northern Sweden. More so in winter, but also in summer.

Why it's a nuisance: Because reindeer are stupid. I'm sorry, but there's no way around it. Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer might be adorably cute and fluffy and famous, but his relatives in Sweden are just not smart. Once these animals are in front of your car, leisurely jogging along, you are doomed to tailgating them forever. Or at least until you get oncoming traffic. Even honking does not help.

Why it can be more than a nuisance: In the winter especially, reindeer can lurk next to roads, and then suddenly decide to jump into traffic. With the dark Swedish winters, that is not a good thing.

What you can do to help: Reindeer meat is very tasty. No, really. It's also a traditional Swedish food. So you could say it's not just a meal, but a cultural experience to eat it. Will your kids eat it? They might, as long as you don't mention Dancer, Prancer, Comet and the rest of the gang.

Some tasty ways to enjoy reindeer is:
  • Suovas - Thin slices of dried, salted, and smoked reindeer meat that is often fried and served with just potatoes and lingonberry jam, or with a cream sauce. Delicious! There's a nice, easy to follow recipe here.
  • Renskav - Small, thin slices of reindeer that can be used to make all sorts of stews. Wikipedia has some pictures and recipe ideas.
  • Reindeer fillet - Tender, tasty, and just plain yumm. This recipe, which features the fillet marinated in cider, and served with cranberries and chantarelle mushrooms sounds perfect.

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