Trasa, smörkniv and osthyvel (dish cloth, butter knife and cheese slicer)

So my fiancée and I were making our version of Thanksgiving dinner last night and we were constantly  wiping off stuff from the counter with the Swedish version of a sponge. We got to talking about how weird it is when we go to the US to visit family and try to clean the kitchen without the Swedish “trasa” – it just doesn’t feel right to use a sponge or a wet stinky dish cloth. Even others have experienced this problem!

In Sweden, we use what’s called a “trasa” – they look like this normally and can be purchased in any grocery store, hardware store, convenience store – you name it. They are these square/rectangular pieces of cloth that are super effective at wiping down countertops, tables, windows, floors, sinks, around toilet, and anything else you can throw at it. The best part is that it rinses easy and it’s easy to squeeze the water out before you go onto the next wipe job. If you want to pick some up on Amazon, here’s a set that’s actually quite cheap.

Then we got to talking about other #trulyswedish kitchen products like the smörkniv, or butter knife. This is a piece of wood carved in such a way that it has a broad section for taking and spreading the butter. It is so simple yet so ingenious, and every American I’ve ever met – this one included – always ends up wanting a set. The best ones are the wooden IKEA ones but you can get plastic ones too.

Then there’s the cheese peeler or “osthyvel.” Another great Nordic invention. It allows you to “peel” a piece of cheese resulting in the perfect slice for sandwiches. It works best with harder cheeses; you’d never use it on brie for example.

Here’s a good looking one that I found on Amazon.

I’ve lived in Sweden a long time now so I use these products every day. But all it takes is one day with my family in the US to realize how #trulyswedish these products are. They work so well – I wonder why more Americans don’t have them in their kitchens.

What’s your favorite Swedish kitchen invention?

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