Recently I’ve been musing on the peculiarities of memory, and especially taste memory. Moving into another country is a full day job. Apart from the paperwork, which can be considerable, arranging for the physical move itself can take a toll. Then there’s the emotional cost and the inevitable culture shock. For me, one of the changes that struck me more than anticipated was food.
Thankfully, New England cooking resembles Nordic cooking quite a lot, just like the landscape. In most cases, I’ve been able to make do with the ingredients found here, or find substitutes. My most recent search for substitutes involves liver. I gather that many people don’t like the taste of liver. I can’t say it’s a great favorite of mine either, except for one particular brand of casserole and one particular brand of sausage I grew up with; those I quite like.
The other day I was thinking of the Finnish liverwurst I loved as a child. I especially like it on a slice of a particular type of whole grain sourdough ryebread with a thin slice or two of cheese. Although I haven’t had them in years, the thought stuck so insistently that I had to try and recreate the sandwich.
Exhibit A: My dorky breakfast from this morning – a Herodotus quote mug and geeky napkins by fellow Etsy seller Nicole Porter. The kind of ryebread I’m thinking of isn’t available in this area. Instead, I chose a slice of Wasa sourdough crispbread (Fin. näkkileipä; Swe knäckebröd), because Wasa does the sour rye taste very well without any modern humbug like caraway. The cheese is extra sharp cheddar, sliced thin with my trusty Swedish cheeseplain that I brought over with me, and the liverwurst is a brand of Braunschweiger from the supermarket.
It was close, but the taste was off enough to leave a nagging feeling; perhaps it was the bacon(!) in the sausage. The texture of this Braunschweiger is also much too coarse compared to the one I’m craving. I will need to continue the search for a liverwurst that’s closer to the Finnish brand I remember. I’m looking forward to sampling. 🙂
Any comfort foods you’d like to share?