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Marie Wikström Brings Her Parent’s Swedish Deli Cuisine Back To Andersonville

WikstromsPhoto1Sweet and salty. Acidic and mildly acidic. Creamy and smooth.

When you’re looking to make a good pairing, it helps to start with good products. No one knows that better than Andersonville business owners Greg O’Neill, Ken Miller and Marie Wikström.

O’Neill and Miller own and operate Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, a retail store, and Appellation, a wine bar and restaurant, which opened in late August at 5212 N. Clark St. in the same space. Wikström’s family owned the now-closed Wikström’s Gourmet Foods & Delicatessen — the Swedish Deli, in Andersonville.

“(Marie Wikström) doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar store, but she has a lot of affection for Andersonville and the market there,” O’Neill said on Thursday, referring to her online business, Wikström’s Specialty Foods. “She’s still very committed to getting the finest quality Swedish and Scandinavian products to the area.”

Now, those who miss being able to stop into the Swedish Deli for pickled herring, Limpa bread and more will have that chance on Saturday during a “pop-up store” from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. inside Pastoral.

“Quite frankly, Pastoral is not a Scandinavian-focused business, but we try to feature the best of what is around the world and around the block,” O’Neill said, referring to places like Simon’s Tavern right next door, and the Swedish-American Museum across the street. “We also value a sense of community. We value the Swedish heritage of Andersonville.”

imgres“This is the 50th anniversary of (the naming of) Andersonville, and it’s really important to preserve the products and names and traditions” of the neighborhood, he added. “People came from all over to (the Wikström) deli during the holidays, and we want people to know that they can still get (those same products) all holiday long at Pastoral.”

Pastoral will continue to sell Wikström’s products after the holidays end, too.

Visitors will be able to talk with Wikström on Saturday to ask her questions and sample a variety of what she has to offer. These include her “twist on a classic” lingonberry jams, which are stirred and not cooked and are blended with a little bit of tart cherry and Riesling wine.

“It’s paired very well with cheeses, with pork and meatballs,” Wikström said, adding that one could serve it with pork roast, Swedish meatballs or warmed brie. She said Pastoral has been serving it with some of the company’s goat cheeses and other soft cheeses, too.

Visitors to the pop-up store will be able to sample and purchase three types of Sweden’s most popular cow’s milk cheeses: Vasterbotten, Prast, and Herragard’s. Wikström will also offer summer sausage as well as Swedish Limpa bread, a sweet rye made with orange peels, anise and caraway seeds. Glogg will be available, too, as will be other products for immediate purchase or order.

O’Neill said one of the cheeses that Wikström sells, Herragard’s, is an ingredient in his restaurant’s patty melt. “We aren’t trying to be gratuitous,” he said. “We are trying to integrate those flavors into what we do.”

Marie Wikström’s parents, Swedish immigrants Alfhild and Ingvar Wikström, sold Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and Finnish fare for more than 48 years. The store’s recipes were handed down from Alfhild’s mother. In 1969, 10 years after moving to the United States, the couple formed a mail order company that shipped all over North America and Canada, according to swedishdeli.com. The company was noted in Saveur magazine, National Geographic Traveler, Martha Stewart Living, the Chicago Tribune and other publications.

Pastoral and Appellation are “a great addition to Andersonville,” Wikström said. “They are trying to keep the (Swedish) heritage alive in Andersonville.”

A portion of the sales from both Wikström’s pop-up store event and Pastoral will go to the Swedish-American Museum as part of Julmarknad weekend from Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“We will be sending people right next door to Scottie (Martin) at Simon’s Tavern” during the event, too, O’Neill said. “Scottie is the King of Glogg in Andersonville.”

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