Meals on Wheels – in Sweden with the Marco Polo.
Swedish island idyll.
Crystal-clear water, luscious greenery and picturesque wooden houses dotting the landscape: this unspoiled part of the world is some 35 minutes by ferry from Stockholm – in summer. When the harsh Scandinavian winter makes the sea freeze over, you need to allow about an hour for the crossing. Sweden’s Utö is one of the main islands in the southern Stockholm archipelago. Some 230 people share this paradise, which extends over around 35 square kilometres.
Anyone who grew up here generally comes back over the summer – to work or to relax. The island welcomes up to 300,000 tourists from all over the world year after year. Today there is a very special guest among the new arrivals: Caroline Artiss, a British chef, who currently lives in Los Angeles.
Culinary voyage of discovery in the Marco Polo.
The element lithium was once discovered on Utö in a rock sample – but today a British woman will discover Swedish cuisine in the Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo: Caroline Artiss has travelled a long way to be initiated in the art of the “Stekt Strömming” by the food blogger Emmie Söderström.
The fried herring is a national speciality, which is served with freshly mashed potato and lingonberries: traditionally it is especially popular on celebratory occasions such as Midsummer and Christmas.
The chemistry’s right in the kitchen.
Too many cooks spoil the broth, as the saying goes, but there’s not much of that in evidence today. The chemistry between the two “foodies” is right from the word go, and with her lively charm the British woman not only delights the blogger and all the locals in an instant – the Norse weather gods also seem to be well disposed towards her: normally you can’t necessarily even rely on bright sunshine in high summer in Sweden. But this weekend is the most beautiful of the entire season so far, much to the delight of the islanders and their guests.
Local ingredients, global guests.
In this weather “shopping” is of course twice as much fun: the fish is freshly caught and collected from the angler, the parsley and the dill are from a nearby garden, the butter from a farmer in the region.
The chef from L.A. is completely bowled over: “Fresh ingredients are the be-all and end-all. If you have them you don’t generally have to do very much at all to conjure up a delicious dish!”
Into the wild with gourmet cuisine.
The new Marco Polo is optimally equipped for the occasion: the kitchen module is fitted with numerous drawers and stowage compartments. So you can take the cooking utensils you need wherever you like without any problems at all. The fresh water tank holds no less than 38 litres, the waste water tank up to 40 litres. This all-rounder even boasts a compressor-powered coolbox with a cooling output of up to minus 20 degrees Celsius! It’s no wonder that the two gourmets can hardly wait to get started on the cooking: but in this fine weather Emmie and Caroline soon agree that they will do all the preparations – from the lingonberries to the fish marinade – in the open air.
Marco Polo: the yacht of the mainland.
As the two women get to work peeling potatoes in front of the Marco Polo, a local man comes along and starts chatting to both of them. In the twinkling of an eye the chefs and the mobile kitchen alike have a new fan: the Marco Polo has clearly impressed the passer-by with its design and functionality. “It’s like a little yacht!” he calls excitedly. Caroline and Emmie are also delighted, as the herring has turned out very well in the vehicle’s kitchen: now the guests can come. Skål!