Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lingonberry Tuesday: Martin's love letter

Ever since I was a kid I've loved lingonberries. Maybe it's because my roots are in the north where the red golden berries thrives. As far as I am concerned this berry runs deep into Swedish cultural heritage – you feel the pine wood, the moss and the colors of the forest, dark green and dark brown, when you eat them. These berries have a majestic quality as well. The idea that if I would walk from here to the polar circle through forest, 1400 km, I would almost never lose lingonberries from my sight, makes one realize the impact these berries have had on this region.

So when I put them down in my morning cereals, pour them over my veggie balls or any kind of food (we do that here, put jam on all sorts of food) I feel thankful to this majestic Taiga. So for me this berry is far more than a tart berry that I was taught to love from young years, it's a symbol of the old times, it makes me think of my grandfathers father, a baker, in Hälsingland, his fathers friends and neighbors – hard workers, timber men, miners and so on. They were probably looking forward to a time when picking berries, catching fish and hunting in harsh climate wasn't a necessity for feeding the family and through their militant struggle for living wages their kids didn't have to continue doing so. But for me picking this wild berry and making this jam is still an small homage to these working class people and their struggle. And to that part of our Swedish heritage.

Martin loves the forest.


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