In a perfect world, the Swedish sausage wonder locally known as Falukorv would be some sort of vegetable, for I am now vegan and have been for the last quarter of a century.
And I would say happily vegan. Good health. Quite energetic for my years. The only shadow now and then cast upon this vegan bliss is the utter lack of dietary falukorv (this sausage is made from a grated mixture of smoked pork and beef or veal with potato starch flour, onion, salt and mild spices—ingredients courtesy of Wikipedia); specifically, my mother’s oven baked falukorv—with cheese and mashed potato.
Occasionally, I even dream about this sausage, literally—as in my sleep: I smell it, I hear it sizzle, I slice it and scoop up some mashed potato with it, I chew it; gorging myself with this non-fattening and not very unhealthy dreamed, unbelievably delicious sausage.
Falukorv is a Swedish institution, much older than and much more Swedish than, say, ABBA or Volvo or Ikea or meatballs. Falukorv, when I grew up, was also the big mystery: since we didn’t have the Internet then (yes, there was a time when the Internet wasn’t even a glint in Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee’s eye), no one really knew what ingredients went into the thing and a lot of guessing took place about what it could possibly contain to taste that incredibly good.
My mom, by the way, was an incredible cook—dangerously incredible, and a professional to boot; and like all incredible cooks she loved food, and the only thing she loved more than food was to feed her delicacies to others—honestly, this gave her life meaning.
We’d have fried (or oven-baked) falukorv (with mashed potato or sometimes creamed macaroni) at least once every two weeks at school and once a week at home. A dietary staple to put it mildly, and so very much a favorite.
A great thing about this Swedish wonder-food is that it is already cooked when you buy it so you can slice it and eat it cold (as a sandwich meat or just on its own—yes, it’s that good).
To be honest, I don’t know if falukorv is still as big a thing in Sweden, my memories stretch back beyond half a century these days, but I kind of hope it is. It would be a shame if this people’s tradition would die out now only to survive in my dreams.