I like to think of myself as being quite organised. I almost always remember to bring bags with me when I go shopping and generally prepare a shopping list in advance, based on a sort of flexible menu for the week. A bit OCD, but there you go, this is my 'thing', this endeavour of cooking and eating, so I've been improving my shopping technique for a while now.
Last week I went grocery shopping with mountain man for the first time in Malmö and somehow didn't think about the language barrier. I imagine I expected the universal language of food to be sufficient. Mostly it was. I don't need to know the word for onions in order to select the ones I want (I now know it is 'lök' by the way and garlic is 'vitlök' which I must say I enjoyed learning, as the two are related botanically too). I did need to know the word when it came to weighing them though, that was fun. I'm sure other shoppers thought I was a bit mad as I dashed from shelf edge to scales repeating the word over & over under my breath for fear I would forget it before I had pressed the right button. Most of the food we put in our trolley was fresh fruit or veg, so there was repeated dashing from shelf to scales, with the associated muttering.
Fresh fruit & veg selected, I headed for the baking aisle. I'm not particularly brilliant at producing baked goods. This is partly because I enjoy cooking savoury food more, but also because I don't want to turn into a roly-poly pudding with diabetes and heart problems (which has much more to do with sugar and refined flour than fat by the way, but that's another story)
I do like to make wholegrain breads and spelt pizza dough and for that I need certain kinds of flour. Ahhhhhh, but I have no idea what it's called in Swedish. The baking aisle had lots and lots of different flour and in the end, I chose purely on 'feel'. I ended up with a wholegrain ('fullkorn') and plain ('vete') wheat flour (I think) and last night mixed them together to make pizza dough. It seemed stickier to knead than it would at home and the plain flour looked rather yellow to me, unlike the bright white of flour at home, but maybe plain flour in Ireland is bleached?
The result was hugely successful. Lovely crunchy & slightly chewy pizza bases and a small loaf of foccacia, drizzled in sunflower oil (higher burning temp than olive oil) rosemary & salt and baked for 20 minutes, then dipped in olive oil and guzzled down. I have no doubt it wouldn't pass the test of a fussy Italian, but we both loved it and managed to eat the entire loaf of foccacia. The lesson in my grocery shopping adventure? Don't be scared to make mistakes, sometimes the best discoveries happen that way.