You Are What You Eat, Francis Strand


Francis Strand


Magazine editor (and blogger – How to learn Swedish in 1000 difficult lessons at


Vasastan, Stockholm
[We’re neighbors! –Ed.]

Relationship status:
Married (partnership to be specific, although now that we can actually do the real thing, we’re planning on switching over, probably around the 10th anniversary of when we got hitched the first time)

What did you eat today?

Filmj̦lk Рwhich is something like yoghurt and buttermilk Рwith raw cashews, almonds and pumpkin seeds, an apple, black coffee

What do you never eat?

Organ meat – except for foie gras, which I know is very politically incorrect but what can I say, I’m not politically correct when it comes to food

Complete this sentence: In my refrigerator, you can always find:

At least 15 jars of various kinds of jams, marmelades and lemon and lime curd, a bottle of champagne, Spanish sweet peppers (sometimes totally wilted), butter, fresh ginger (should that be in the fridge?), filmjölk, jalapeños, chorizo, parmesan cheese, tomato paste and Kalles Kaviar (that peculiar Swedish concoction of fish eggs, sugar, tomato and potato flakes in a tube)

What is your favorite kitchen item?

Probably my Kitchenaid mixer, although the hot water cooker comes in a close second

Where do you eat out most frequently?

At our neighborhood bistro, Tranan – which does upscale versions of classic Swedish dishes… I always get potato pancakes with bleak roe and sour cream. More often than going out, however, we order sushi from Ita Mae (a restaurant on the ground floor of our apartment building – very convenient!)

World ends tomorrow. What would you like for your last meal?

Wow. Never thought about it. But amazingly, a last meal immediately comes to mind: First, a Bellini cocktail to whet the appetite. Then to start the meal, a small bowl of cream of Jerusalem artichoke soup with brioche to sop up what I can’t get without (rudely) scraping the spoon against the sides of the bowl. The main course would be a perfect crabcake – light but buttery and rich without being greasy – with a little jug of hollandaise sauce on the side; some thin spears of green asparagus, a little undercooked; and even if it’s a strange combination, potatoes baked in the oven in duck fat (the way my sister’s French mother-in-law does it), all served with Louis Roederer champagne. For dessert, an outrageously large helping of my latest sweet obsession, bread pudding made of banana bread and dark chocolate custard, served with a cup of strong black coffee and a snifter of good old-fashioned Grand Marnier.

I read Francis’s blog before I came.  It’s an engaging ex-pat read with great style; it really captures what’s charming and what’s frustrating about being in Stockholm.  I’m totes a fan, and now I scored a YAWYE with him!  I love the internets.

2 thoughts on “You Are What You Eat, Francis Strand

  1. So I just commented on Francis’s post, asking if there was possibly a way to be invited to his last meal.
    Ganda,I just discovered your blog, I love it!

  2. Hate to break the bad news but the chorizo in the ‘fridge
    is basically “organ meat” sausage. They grind up anything
    left over and stuff it in a casing. (but I do like the taste!)

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