When you hear the word ‘caviar’, you probably get an instant picture in your head – a picture of jewelled fish eggs, vodka, champagne, Russia and luxuriousness.
Until you hear about Swedish caviar – or more specifically a popular Swedish fishy foodstuff called ‘Kalle’s kaviar’.
Kalle’s caviar comes in a tube, emblazened with the image of a blue-eyed, blonde-haired boy called Kalle. It hit the Swedish market in 1954, and has remained an extremely popular food since then. The tube contains smoked, sugar-salted cod and sik roe. It also contains lots of sugar, lots of salt, potato flakes and tomato purée. To eat it, one simply squeezes it from the tube, like toothpaste, onto sandwiches usually containing boiled eggs. Kalle’s caviar is a fishy staple in the Swedish diet. It has a very pungent, extremely salty fishy taste.
It seems to be a divider amongst people. Some people love it, some people despise it. I would politely say that it’s an acquired taste. It certainly is a taste that has taken me twenty years to acquire. When I first tasted it, I remember balking and questioning if it was even fit for human consumption. But now, I will happily squeeze the fishy stuff onto my boiled egg at breakfast time.
Sure, it’s caviar. But not as you know it.