Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Tuesday, January 17th, 2006:
Hotdogs in Sweden

What I think:

Firstly, the quality of the hotdogs sold in Sweden is really crap, and what's in them is the worst possible meat by-products available - and these make up a pretty low percentage. The rest? I don't know. Still hungry? Read on...

A large number of supermarkets in Sweden have hotdog stands either outside the store, or inside - past the checkouts - just like at most (if not all) IKEA stores in the world. You will also find "gatukök" (roughly pronounced: "gah-tu-shook"; meaning street-kitchens) at the side of the road in many places that serve hotdogs as well.

There are a few things you must know about buying hotdogs at a gatukök. In many cases, you need to specify that you'd like a hotdog with bread if you want it in a bun. Otherwise, you may well be given a hotdog on its own on a small paper plate. I found this quite strange at first; why would anyone want a hotdog without a bun? But I actually do see people eating them this way.

A bit of history for you: Buying hotdogs on the streets began in Sweden in 1932. There were no gatukök back then. There was some guy walking around with a metal box full of hotdogs hanging from his neck. It was quite a posh thing to do to buy hotdogs from him. He served these, without buns, in little wax-paper holders, much like the ones we see today (only we have buns now). Sweden was a hotdog-bun-less country in those days, sonny. I'm told that this is why people still have to ask for the bun today.

Sweden's biggest hotdog maker, Sibylla, have a nice flashy site with the history (in Swedish). Go there - but being flashy, you'll probably need Flash, if you haven't already got it. You probably won't find what I'm talking about if you don't know any Swedish, but it's a fun site anyway.

Anyway, back to the gatukök. Another thing I found strange about these is that you can order mashed potatoes with your hotdogs as well (with or without bread). That's right, fast-food mashed potatoes. Unless specified, this is the powdered stuff. This is served using ice cream scoops, and plopped onto a paper plate. Apparently, some people order a hotdog with bread, with a couple of scoops of mashed potato on top. This is called a "special". No joke.

Hotdogs belong in buns, and should never have mashed potatoes on or even anywhere near them, whether powdered or real. It's time that the Swedish government did something about it. That's what I think.

The news today (oh, boy)
From the world outside:

Sweden: Sex pest accused blames 'woman': A court in Malmö has witnessed extraordinary exchanges between prosecutors and a man who allegedly posed as a woman called Alexandra to lure teenage girls to take explicit photos of themselves and meet him for sex.“Your mind’s made up – you don’t care who Alexandra is,” the 30-year old man told prosecutor Ulrik Rogland.Prosecutors say that the man tricked a large number of girls using the pseudonym Alexandra. The girls felt secure as they believed that they were chatting with a woman, and therefore went further than they otherwise would have done, the prosecution argues. The case that the 30-year old had systematically planned the crimes hangs on the allegation that he was ‘Alexandra’.
From The Local - Sweden's news in English


UK: Man Held In Terror Swoop: A 27-year-old man has been arrested by anti-terror officers in connection with the failed London bombings on July 21. The man was held at 11.40 in Kensington Church Street, Kensington, west London. He was arrested by officers from Scotland Yard's Anti-Terrorist Branch. The man is being held on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism under the Terrorism Act 2000.
From Sky News

US: NASA taking fast track to Pluto: NASA says the New Horizons spacecraft will be the fastest ever launched, more than 10 times faster than a speeding bullet. New Horizons is scheduled to lift off atop a Lockheed Martin Atlas V rocket at 1:24 p.m. ET on Tuesday from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to begin a 10-year, 3-billion-mile mission.
From CNN

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