steamboat blidösund

Steamboat kitchen, galley

In the heart of the steamer Blidösund we find Byssan, the kitchen where food is prepared for both restaurant guests and crew. The galley is small and cramped, with a maximum of three people working at the same time: one for cold dishes, one for hot dishes and one for the dishes. The historic kitchen has been adapted, from coal-fired stoves to modern-day solutions, but traditions like the steamboat steak live on.

Tenancy in early years, 1911

For the first fifty years, Blidösund's restaurant business was leased out, and the food consisted of simple dishes without a fixed menu, which depended on what ingredients were available for the day. The kitchen received orders via a speaking tube from the serving staff.

1970s: Simple menus and harsh working conditions

In the 1970s, menus were simple, with items such as tomato salad, gravlax, herring and potatoes. The classic steamboat steak then cost around SEK 35. All food and dishes were sent up and down by rope via a hand-operated food elevator, which was a heavy and slightly dirty job.

Changes up to the 1990s

Until the late 1990s, food was cooked on a coal-fired stove, which meant that staff had to fetch hot coals from the boilers in the engine room. The temperature was difficult to control, making cooking challenging. Washing up was also primitive; steam was used to heat water which was then poured into tubs where crockery and glasses were washed. Hot water taps and dishwashers were then future luxuries, which today are on board and are a prerequisite for running the restaurant business.

Steamboat steak: a classic from the 70s

Tradition is important, and the classic steamboat steak is as relevant now as it was in the 70s. A steamboat steak consists of an ordinary fried steak with fried potatoes, and fried yellow onions. Until the late 1990s, the steak was cooked directly on the coal-fired stove top, which produced a more sooty and less fatty steak than if it had been pan-fried. The steak and potatoes lay side by side with the onions on top. Gravy was served in a small snifter next to the plate, and extra potatoes were on a metal platter. To make the Shovel Steak, the steak is cooked on a coal shovel directly in the coal fire in the engine room.

Modernization of the galley

Nowadays, orders are automatically sent to the galley via the restaurant cashier, and food arrives at the touch of a button in an electric food elevator. Improved refrigerators allow for a wider range of dishes. Menus have been developed with both traditional and modern requirements in mind, such as the steamboat steak which is still served but with a focus on good quality. Raw materials and producers that are sustainable, local or certified. The person creating the menu must carefully consider the dishes that need to be well acquainted with the conditions and prerequisites of the special kitchen on board.

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