Cook Spanish with Swedish entertainer Plura
Swedish singer-songwriter Plura Jonsson does more than make and play music (he’s been a part of the rock band Eldkvarn since its conception in 1971)—he also writes cookbooks. His “Pluras spanska kokbok” sold out immediately when it was first published. “The produce and the supply are what’s the biggest difference between Spanish and Swedish food,” Plura says to Expressen. “Otherwise it’s hard to compare. There are so many food cultures on the Swedish arena, while Spain is more homogenous.” Plura says he most often cooks a mix of Mediterranean and Swedish foods at home. “It comes and goes in periods,” he says. When he has guests over, he likes to treat them to tapas, followed by lamb stew. And his all-time favorite dish? “Boiled lamb in dill sauce, done the right way, is a great thing. As is freshly caught lobster with homemade mayonnaise.” Plura became interested in food very early on: “I was first breastfed, then my mother made amazing food; I grew up in a family of foodies.” When he moved away from home in the late 1960s, he began cooking for himself and often had to call his mother for recipes. He says he eats almost everything that’s done nicely, but never prepared foods—for both health and taste reasons. Haricots verts and fig salad (from “Pluras spanska kokbok”) 1 pound green beans 4 fresh figs, quartered 1 handful walnuts, crushed 1 pearl onion, thinly sliced 2 oz chives, chopped 2 oz parsley, finely chopped manchego cheese (or substitute with Parmesan) salt and pepper olive oil vinegar Clean the beans and put them in boiling water, lightly salted—they should still be a bit crispy when done. Pour out the water and cool the beans in cold water. Change the water often, or the beans will heat up the water. Let them sit in cool water for 10 minutes, then put in a sieve. Spread the beans on a serving plate and arrange the quartered figs on top, sprinkle the onion on top, the crushed walnuts, the parsley and the chives. Finally, pour the olive oil and vinegar over it all. Salt and pepper, and finish by putting slices of manchego cheese on top.

Chives, Swedes' favorite
Six out of ten Swedes say that homegrown vegetables taste better than store bought ones. And just as many put down money on their home growing. Forty-five percent of Swedish households grow something edible. The most popular thing to grow is chives, after which come red and white currants, rhubarb and strawberries, according to new statistics from Jordbruksverket (the Swedish Board of Agriculture). Every fifth Swede also has an apple tree in his backyard or allotment garden area.

Benefits of oxygen in health care
A new Swedish study will for the first time look into whether the use of oxygen treatment actually increases survival statistics in patients possibly suffering heart attacks, according to daily Upsala Nya Tidning. The study will report whether the patients would do just as well or even better breathing normal air. 6,600 patients with suspected heart attacks at Akademiska sjukhuset (Uppsala University Hospital) and several other Swedish hospitals are going to participate in the study, which will be coordinated from Uppsala.

Swedes buy wine for billions
Swedes drink more and more wine, according to a semi-annual report from Systembolaget. And the money spent on wine in Sweden isn’t exactly peanuts. In just a three-month period, wine was purchased for a total of 3 billion SEK ($458,255,210). Hard liquor and beer were sold for 1.2 billion ($183,332,019) each. Systembolaget sold 1.7 million more liters of wine between January and March of this year than the same period last year. In total, 43.8 million liters of wine were sold. Not very surprising—the sales of alcohol increase as weekends draw near as well as after people receive their paychecks. The increase in sales during the January to March period was mainly due to Easter ending up in the first quarter of the year.