Yesterday was Thursday. Which can mean only one thing. Pea soup and pancakes. Obviously.
Sweden does good work when it comes to lunch. Most restaurants offer “Dagens Lunch” or “Dagens Rätt.” Lunch of the day. Usually it consists of bread, salad, a drink, and whatever the main meal is. And for a reasonable price. Around $10 depending on the exchange rate. It dates back quite a while as an affordable meal for the working force. Socialism at its best.
Anyway, I quite like dagens lunch. It tends to be delicious and is affordable enough that I can still convince myself that I’m being thrifty. And yesterday, I went in for dagens lunch. Luckily, I knew exactly what I was going to be eating. Because it was Thursday.
Thursday’s dagens lunch is always pea soup and pancakes. Quite the combination. Like peanut butter and jelly. Malone and Stockton. Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday.
Anyway. Pea soup, for those of you wondering, looks like green baby diarrhea. It is, despite the coloring, quite delicious. Just a bunch of mushed up peas with some ham thrown in for good measure. And usually eaten with a big dollop of mustard thrown in the mix. The pancakes are of the classic Swedish variety. Thin. Both sides slightly marbled from the pan. They are glorious. And usually eaten with large dollops of jelly and whipped cream.
For reasons absolutely unbeknownst to me, pea soup and pancakes are a Thursday staple in Sweden. I’ve asked around. No one has yet given me a reason that I truly believe. Mostly because every answer I have received has started with the person admitting that it’s a good question. And then they throw out their theory. I’ve heard everything from it being towards the end of the week so restaurants needed a cheap alternative because cash flow was getting low. I’ve heard that somewhere along the line, fancy hotels, which usually had set menus, adopted this meal and so it stuck. I’ve even heard that the military is behind it all because of their need to feed all those young men who were in on mandatory military service a few decades ago. I don’t know.
I do know though that my lunch was delicious.
Welcome to Sweden. Where pea soup and pancakes are a Thursday tradition.