IKEA is very well known for smartly designed Scandinavian furniture sold on the cheap. It's also known for its meatballs. For many, stopping in the IKEA cafeteria to eat a plate of meatballs with a dollop of lingonberry jam is a necessity. How else can you regain your strength after a hard day wandering through the glittering showrooms, opening various drawers, sitting around on modern furniture, and allowing your eyes to glaze over with wonderment?

I'm guilty of the occasional IKEA spree, but I rarely hit the cafeteria. More than that, I don't think I've ever browsed the food section beyond the check-out stands. Maybe I've been missing out:

For appetizers I served laks (what we call lox), from Bergen, Norway; senapssill (herring in mustard sauce), from Sweden; and sill i dillmajonnäs (herring in dill mayonnaise sauce), from Kladesholmen, on the West Coast of Sweden. The herring was terrific—sweet and tender, it met with approval from everyone present. Along with the herring I served a cheese: Morfars Brannvinsost, which translates into "Grandfather on my mother's side's burning wine cheese." It is made in Sweden with aquavit. It was a good, strong cheese but no one could taste the aquavit.

That's just the appetizer course from a meal prepared by the Atlantic's Alfa Betty-Olsen made (almost) entirely from IKEA food stuffs.

There are, unfortunately, a couple problems with sourcing a meal entirely from IKEA shelves: no vegetables and no booze.

Never-the-less, Betty-Olsen makes a brave go of it with what sounds like surprising results. Oddly, a company that makes somewhat cheap and disposable furniture has managed to gather a selection of foods that last forever and are easy to prepare. Go figure. It does my mostly-Swedish heart proud.

So, Blogtownies, do you eat of the IKEA? What's your favorite?