There are some small things about spending time in other countries that it’s just hard to get your head around. Matters that are more complex than translation difficulties. One such complication in Sweden has been the lingon (-et) which literally translates as lingon berry. So what, you ask, is a lingon berry? If you are Swedish and reading this, maybe you could comment and help me out a bit?
The lingon berry is so little known in English that there’s not presently even a Wikipedia entry about these berries. So what do I know?
- Lingon berries are red and grow on low bushes in Swedish forests
- Presumably they grow only in cold climates, hence the confusion of never having heard of it in English
- Their main use is in a kind of jam known as lingon sylt. This jam is sweet, but with a sharp edge
- This jam is supposed to be eaten with meatballs, and apparently old people in Sweden eat a lot of it with meat
Personally I think it tastes good on bread, or mixed with vanilla ice cream. But then I am probably destroying years and years of Swedish culture.
But if you do know more about this fruit, please let me know!
Thanks to all the excellent comments from readers of this blog, I can now confirm that the Lingon Berry is more commonly known as a Cowberry in English. There is a page at Wikipedia about this –
Further, there are at least two different kinds of lingonsnaps on sale in the Swedish state alcohol shop Systembolaget.