Eating Granny Snot

Phlegmnomenally good!
Phlegmnomenally good!

On my quest for cinnamon buns in Sweden, I came across a lot of wienerbröd (literally “Viennese bread” or otherwise known as a plain old Danish pastry). The popular variety in Sweden have a custard-like filling, with icing on top.

I was about to tuck into one of these, when I was informed of the name of the custard-like filling.

“We call it momors hosta – “Granny’s cough”.”

Not easily put off, I tucked in. I felt cold, wet, phlegmatic custard slide down my throat. “Granny’s cough” – what an appropriate name. Needless to say, I couldn’t eat any more.

However, this experience got me thinking – what other words or descriptions are there in Swedish that we simply don’t have in English? I don’t speak Swedish but through spending some time in Sweden, I’ve made a short list:

  1. Knullruffs – After-Sex Hair 

    Well, the Swedes do have a bit of a reputation for whiling away the long, dark winter hours between the sheets (don’t blame me – I’m just reporting the stereotype!).  They even have their own special strain of chlamydia.  Knullruffs is undoubtedly a very useful word.

  2. Kåseri – Storytelling 

    This refers to a practice of telling stories on a topic, often anecdotal, often entertaining, but with a serious undertone. This is common on the radio and it sounds like a lot of fun. I want to institutionalise this in the UK!

  3. Langett städa – Cleaning round the edges 

    My absolute favourite phrase. You know when you have guests coming over but you’re in a hurry? You might look at the state of your house with a sense of despair, then grab the hoover and vacuum only the visible dirt. This is langett städa – only cleaning the surface and visible stuff. It definitely does not involve cleaning under the rug 🙂

Author: Phoebe Amoroso

Phoebe Amoroso is a Tokyo-based reporter, multimedia journalist and storyteller. Hailing from the UK, she moved to Japan in 2014 and has since been shouting about the country to all who will listen. She divides her time between covering breaking news and producing feature stories for TV; writing about everything from business and tech to food and travel; and guiding hungry visitors who want to sample the best of Japanese cuisine. When not working and/or eating, she can often be found running up a mountain or cycling by the sea.

2 thoughts on “Eating Granny Snot”

  1. Hmmm, “Granny’s cough” sounds like such an appetizing description for custard…I’ll probably never look at this pastry the same again! ha thanks for sharing, I’m definitely telling my friends about this little pearl of wisdom (;

    – Jonathan I

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