If you order cheesecake at a café like mat&dryck at Astrid Lindgren's Näs in Småland, you may be served something you don't expect. Called ostkaka or Swedish curd cake, its name combines the Swedish words for cheese (ost) and cake (kaka). As the ingredients suggest, it's made by incorporating cheese curds with eggs, almonds and sugar, then baking the mixture in the oven. The popular dessert has a consistency more like textured porridge than creamy American cheesecake. Have yours warm, with sour cherry preserves and whipped cream, just as the Swedes do.
Also in keeping with Swedish tradition, begin in the middle when serving ostkaka. This was especially important in the past, when the dish was baked in a copper pan with a tin coating. If the coating had cracks, the cheesecake could mix with the pan's poisonous copper. By serving from the middle, hostesses insured that their finest guests would ingest the least amount of copper while enjoying the creamiest, least burnt portions, which were saved for children and servants, according to ancient Swedish lore.