Arranging Pippi's Picnic
February 16, 2018 10:42 AM   Subscribe

Swedish speakers and eaters, when you see the word ananaspudding, what do you think of? We are trying to recreate the picnic in the book Pippi Longstocking and we're not quite sure what type of pudding this is.

My friend and I have a blog about making literary food, and we like to be as accurate as possible (except when we decide not to).
Here's the original Swedish text:
Nu får ni blunda medan jag dukar upp", sa Pippi. Tommy och Annika knep ihopögonen så hårt de kunde, och de hörde hur Pippi öppnade korgen och prasslademed papper. "Ett två nitton, nu får ni titta", sa Pippi till sist. Då tittade de. Och deskrek av förtjusning när de såg allt det goda som Pippi hade dukat fram på denkala berghällen. Där låg små goda smörgåsar med köttbullar och skinka, en heltrave pannkakor med socker på, flera stycken små bruna korvar och treananaspuddingar. För se Pippi hade lärt sig laga mat av kocken på hennespappas båt.
Does this sound like a normal picnic, or a crazy picnic?

We have two theories about the pudding, one that it's the pineapple chiffon pudding usually called ananasfromage, and the other that it's some more common kind of fruit pudding that Pippi puts pineapple in because she is wacky and grew up in the South Seas.

Also, the smörgåsar med köttbullar och skinka--would you take an open-face sandwich on a picnic? Most meatball sandwich recipes we've seen have a beet salad in the middle--is that what you think they would have had?
posted by exceptinsects to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Norwegian here. My guess is that the ananas (pineapple) pudding was deliberately meant as a nod to Pippi growing up in the South Seas. It would have been pretty exotic at the time (pineapple was usually canned, not fresh). I don't think it would have been a fruit pudding with pineapple added; I'm guessing the chiffon.

Re the sandwiches, yes, Scandinavians take open-faced sandwiches on picnics. We usually put a small piece of wax paper in between the slices so they don't stick together. The meatballs would have been sliced and layered with the ham. No idea re the beet salad, though - I hated beets as a kid (still do), so I vote that Pippi would not have put beets on her sandwiches!

Thank you for a lovely stroll down memory lane : )
posted by widdershins at 11:52 AM on February 16, 2018 [14 favorites]

And please put a link to your blog on your profile! (Or if it's there and I'm not seeing it, tell me where it is.)
posted by FencingGal at 12:10 PM on February 16, 2018 [3 favorites]

I agree with widdershins on everything, and it looks like a pretty normal picnic. One of the important things to know about Pippi is that she is quite good at a lot of stuff, even as she looks crazy. Maybe it is lost in translation, because Swedes have strange habits. For instance, I love beets and everything beety, but beet salad on meatballs? That seems off. OTOH, I am Danish not Swedish and Swedes have weird food preferences, Pippi or not. See the smörgåstårta. (Does research, recoils in shock and horror) OK they do eat meatballs with red beet salad. Are you sure you want to do this? Also, maybe there were both meatball and ham open sandwiches at the picnic, you never know.
Also an other vote for a blog link from me.
posted by mumimor at 12:30 PM on February 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Added a link on my profile! It’s called 36 Eggs.
posted by exceptinsects at 12:43 PM on February 16, 2018 [8 favorites]

Many, many times in Sweden I have had a meatball sandwich with beetroot salad. It's an excellent combination. The salad is usually very similar to this one - cut into small pieces, with apple for crunch.
posted by cincinnatus c at 3:28 PM on February 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Grew up in Sweden. And I remember this exact picnic from reading Pippi too! I think they did a picnic in the TV show as well, but I couldn't find any pictures or video of it to see if they stuck with the same stuff.

I agree that the inclusion of pineapple is a hint at her South Seas upbringing, since it was still pretty exotic even when I was a kid in the 70:s. And I would also guess at a version of fromage with crushed pineapple. My "Vår Kokbok" (Our Cookbook) has an entry in the index for Ananaspudding that leads to this page for lemon fromage, of which a variant is with pineapple. And it's very similar to the one on this page for "Hemmets Kokbok" (The Home Cookbook) - search for "Kall ananaspudding."

As for the rest of the picnic, the sandwiches and little brown sausages sound pretty normal. Yes to open faced sandwiches, packed in a plastic tub with some wax paper if necessary. Ham and cheese sandwiches with some mustard, and sliced meatballs with cheese or with beet salad would all be normal. Or both ham and sliced meatballs on one sandwich would be fairly normal too. The pancakes with sugar would be a bit less normal, at least where I grew up. But it sounds good and doable, so not so crazy. Think crepes in layers with regular sugar - would be easy to eat and tasty too!

And your blog is fantastic! What a great idea, I'm totally a fan. Can't wait until you do Grandfather’s bread and toasted cheese with goat’s milk (Heidi by Johanna Spyri), because that always sounded SO GOOD to me too!
posted by gemmy at 5:22 PM on February 16, 2018 [7 favorites]

I’ve been following your blog! Thank you for it!
posted by purenitrous at 9:25 PM on February 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

It’s more the bringing of both pancakes and sammiges that’s OTT, I’ve had pancakes with cream and jam on picnic, usually folded in quarters for ease of transport. Pudding in Sweden is with egg and corn-starch and more like a panacotta or creme caramel, you can look at chokladpudding recipes.
posted by Iteki at 11:55 PM on February 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

I did not grow up in Sweden but I lived there for 9+ years. After reading that passage, I believe those open-faced sandwiches are of two types; one has ham and one has meatballs (probably meatballs cut in half, rather than sliced), both on buttered bread. Given that this was a children's book I am going to guess that the meatball sandwiches did not include beet salad because I think that kind of thing tends to be disliked by children, including Swedish children. When I see him later today, I will ask my native Swedish buddy if he disagrees. Cool project!
posted by Bella Donna at 4:07 AM on February 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks so much for everyone's help! The pineapple pudding turned out way better than we expected, and we just let people decide how they wanted to construct their own sandwiches out of the available ingredients.
We couldn't find any small brown sausages, but they were at least Swedish!
We decided to roll up the pancakes to make them easier to eat with your fingers.

A complete post will be coming soon, but you can see a photo here!
posted by exceptinsects at 9:49 AM on February 20, 2018 [3 favorites]

exceptinsects, what a lovely picnic! And the Swedes I know totally roll up their pancakes from time to time for exactly that purpose. Excellent work!
posted by Bella Donna at 11:15 AM on February 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Mod note: Final update from the OP:
Update: we finally made the full post about the picnic, in case of interest!
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:23 PM on May 16, 2019 [3 favorites]

« Older Allergists of MeFi, I have a question   |   Help me turn my unwieldy lawn into a paradise! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.