Wednesday, December 31, 2008

As Swedish as Äppel Paj

JoeWe spent this afternoon in our favorite Uppsala café, Ofvandahls. I say "our favorite" like it's some great secret we discovered, but the truth is that (according to the Swedish wikipedia entry) Ofvandahls has been a popular student hangout since it was opened in 1878. It's a cozy place, with at least a half dozen small rooms filled with mismatched tables and chairs, broad planked pine flooring, and a seemingly never ending supply of customers. It also happens to be a great place to go for a baguette sandwich lunch, a bit of pastry, or even a marzipan Linnaeus head.

Today, however, the sign out front read Valfri Äpple Paj, and while it may only have been optional, every Swede in the place was eating it. Now, I've never had äpple paj in Sweden before, so I can't say for sure whether this was a typical Swedish dish or maybe a special Ofvandahls thing; either way it was not what I expected. It was served in rectangles, and had a sweet top like a crumble, while the pie itself was a scattering of apple chunks in a lot of bread-pudding-like matrix. The whole thing was topped with a generous dollop of vanilla sauce (I thought it was generous anyway, but most of the Swedes in line in front of us got a second scoop, completely inundating their pie). It was tasty, but wicked filling.

Anyway, we sat for a couple of hours, Jennifer writing while I knitted (that hat I promised Jennifer for Christmas is almost done, honest). We had planned on staying longer, but it's mellandagar in Sweden right now, so naturally the café closed early. Honestly, I think we were lucky it was open at all.

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