Today I missed out on dinner plans with the other people at the conference because I was talking to the meeting organizer about cracks on the surfaces of neutron stars (!!). It turned out to be a blessing in disguise because nobody else at the meeting was willing to try Tunnbrodsrulle with me, so here was my chance!
For those who missed Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" for Stockholm, Tunnsbrodsrulle is a hot dog/mashed potato wrap served with mustard, (as I discovered) sweet relish, onions, tomato, ketchup and mustard and (gulp) *shrimp salad*
These things are served in very small walk-up stands about every 6 blocks in Stockholm. These places also serve hamburgers, fries, cokes, chicken fingers. It's like a walk-up hamburger place on the beach in California.
I ordered mine on the way back to the subway station. I was worried that the people at the stand might not speak english, and I couldn't pronounce "Tunnsbrodsrulle" (or really remember what it was called). Fortunately, the stand I went to had a menu with pictures and different (pronouncable) versions called "Originalrulle" and "Doublerulle", etc. and of course the teenager who helped me spoke English.
When I started ordering I was happy that I had watched Bourdain because when the guy asked me if I wanted "salad" I knew he meant "shrimp" and was like, "oh, no thanks." The dudes behind the counter were stunned. After they grilled the hot dog and started assembling the wrap they asked me again, like, "No salad?" "No salad!" (I was worried about an allergy attack -- turns out "no salad" was the right choice -- see below)
The only hitch came when they asked me if I wanted Relish. I've found that in Sweden people start out speaking Swedish to you, and then they try English, and if you still don't understand, they try German. So they asked, "do you want haxtenbusrghegen?" (or something like that). I was like, "huh?" Then he tried it in German. Finally the other guy, who's watching the grill goes, "you know, is like..." and then shows me a spoonful of what I thought was relish.
(minor aside: Last night at our conference dinner several people were horrified to discover that an innocuous-looking substance that looked like avocado slices in creamy avocado/cucumber salad dressing was actually composed of anchovies mixed with some mysterious green sauce! Apparently, in Sweden, if you can't identify a food, it's probably made from fish and could possibly kill you. Thus, I wasn't about to let the guys smear something green on my Tunnbrodsrulle because god only knows what it is...)
So the guy finally says, "here, taste" and comes over with a fork full of sweet relish, which I usually wouldn't put on a hot dog, but I worried that this hot dog/potato wrap might be tasteless without it, so I told him to put on relish. He puts on like 1/2 cup.
In all it contained: hot dog, mashed potato, tomato, relish, lightly cooked onions, ketchup and mustard (dispensed from hanging ketchup/mustard dispensers). He even wrapped it up in tinfoil so I could take it with me on the subway -- but I opened it up and ate half while I was walking so I could get the full effect.
Verdict on the Tunnbrodsrulle: warm Mashed potatoes + sausage + bread, even with relish, is a warm, wonderful feeling when it's 40 degrees, sprinkling, humid, getting dark, and your feet hurt. Perhaps I'm not a purist for passing on the "salad" but I did get a hint of what it would have been like because at the bottom of the wrap there were a few stray shrimp... let me tell you, shrimp + relish + ketchup is a recipe for barf.
20 minutes after Tunnbrodsrulle goodness, all I can taste is that one single shrimp. I can't imagine what it would have been like with a "paddle" full of "salad"
Here is me + my fat neck enjoying Originalrulle on the way back to the subway. You can see from my smile (and my fat neck) that I am really enjoying the food in Sweden. (Lunch at the university today was like Barr-family dinner: roast pork, rice, roasted veggies and the whole thing was covered in sour cream... also a warm, wonderful feeling on a cold day.)
I took this picture in front of a car with Swedish writing on it so you know I was in Sweden and not in like Minneapolis.
Just found this close-up photo on my iPhone -- not sure why it didn't load the first time
It was pretty late at night when I came home, from the physics institute today, so the only pictures that came out were the "art-shots" from the subway (or T-Bana) as it's called.
There is a visitor at SwRI right now whose name is Morby... here is a picture of his subway stop: