Swedes seem to have a special attachment to American culture. It is a bit of a love/hate relationship. They seem to appreciate a lot of it, while snarking at the same time.
But there is a strange phenomenon of naming things after American things for absolutely no apparent reason.
First of all, there is the infamous Boston Pickle, or Boston Gurka. This relish is a common find at local kiosks. You can add it to your hot dog, your hamburger, or just mix it up with your mashed potatoes – a common kiosk side dish.
Boston Pickle has never been near Boston. In fact it was developed by a Swedish company to be marketed as a Swedish topping. I have no idea why. But it is pretty good! I usually add a little to my veggie burger now and then.
Rhode Island dressing is a bigger mystery. Why islands seem to inspire dressings is beyond me, maybe all of the seafood? Rhode Island dressing looks a lot like Thousand Island, and I really am not sure what the difference is. Anyone with any experience? Anyone know why Rhode Island dressing is called Rhode Island?
The only story I have heard was that once when it was served it was poured into a strange shape that made it look like Rhode Island. But I cannot imagine a bunch of Swedish chefs standing around going ‘What shall we call this new creation of ours? Why look, doesn’t that remind you of the state of Rhode Island? I say we call this dressing Rhode Island Dressing!’
Anyways, here is a recipe for Rhode Island dressing to help you appreciate Swedish food culture!
1 cup of sour cream or heavy plain yogurt
1 Tablespoon chili sauce
1 Tablespoon Lemon juice
1 Tablespoon chopped peppers
5 drops of Tabasco
1 teaspoon vinegar
½ cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all of the ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to get right consistency.