Yesterday in Slate, I wrote about how one of the most popular questions asked of travelling Swedes is what they think of the Swedish Chef. Most commonly Swedes will answer that they think he sounds Norwegian—and that they wish you’d stop asking.
Ironically, the operator of the @Sweden Twitter account this week happens to be a real Swedish chef. You see, Sweden’s tourism board hands off the country’s official Twitter handle to a different random Swede each week as part of a very cool, very successful social experiment.
This week’s @Sweden is renowned chef Björn Frantzén, and in the just over 24 hours since my article has been published, he has been bombarded with Swedish Chef jokes and questions about the article. At least nine people have Tweeted at him with some variation of the word “bork”—and @Sweden is growing increasingly irritated.
When I reached out to Frantzén for comment for my original article, he emailed back that he had no interest in the topic. “I’m sorry to say that I have missed the whole thing about the Swedish chef,” he wrote. “So, I’m sorry but I can’t help you out.”
At the very least, his tweets seem to confirm that we Americans might want to come up with another topic of conversation for our chats with Swedish people. My suggestion: Jens Lekman.
The Swedish Chef, “Translated” by Swedes
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