Popkultur – Georgian spices and flavor brought to Europe
19 February, 2016
Popkultur – Georgian spices and flavor brought to Europe
Meet Anastasia Lundqvist, the owner of the culinary shop Popkultur in Sweden, that produces and sells Georgian spices abroad and brings typical local flavor to Sweden, England and Germany. Among traditional Georgian spices the foreign culinary enthusiast produces famous adjika sauce and Svan salt as well. Here we present to you the interview with Anastasia , the woman behind the idea, published on Karg.ge.

"Actually I never imagined myself to do the spice blends from Georgia. I was born in
Central Asia in sunny Kyrgyzstan and immigrated to Sweden with my parents 16 years ago. I studied international relations and had an ambitious plan for career in international development. Travelling to different countries sparked my interest in ethnic food and especially spices. What makes food taste different in different parts of the world? Spices, herbs and condiments! Asian food is lemon grass and ginger, Middle East is cumin, cardamom and sumac, Nordic countries are dill, salvia and allspice. I explored spice markets in every country I visited, made friends with the spice sellers and got bellowed once at the market in Yogyakarta by buying 1 kilo of fake vanilla pods.geotv.ge

How you got “infected” with Georgian spices? Why do you like Georgian spices so much? Are they somehow “special”

Georgia, Georgian cuisine, wine, nature, and hospitality are an irresistible blend for everybody to be enchanted by Georgia. I felt in love with people and food, it reminded me of my years in Kyrgyzstan and at the same time I was like Alice in wonderland discovering new ”eat me” things. I was experimenting at my kitchen by doing Georgian dishes and they could not find the spices in Europe that give that particular Georgian flavor. So, I got a crazy idea to make my own blends by importing some of the ingredients from Georgia.

So, you produce spices in Sweden? And export spices from Georgia as well? Please tell us what do you produce, when did you started this production up and why?

I travelled in Georgia to collect different samples of Svanetian salt and all of them were different, depending on the producer. Those times I could not find a producer in Georgia to import the blends to Sweden due to strict control and regulations. So, I came up with my own blend by adding sea salt to give a particular mineral and mild taste. I wanted to give a luxury and at the time funky touch and came up with The spice connection Popkultur as a brand. I put a map of Georgia on the label to promote Georgia as a culinary country. I had fortune to find a very good designer who could implement my ideas and put it on the paper. Spices like summer savory, dry adjika and jonjoli cannot be produced in Sweden and I was lucky to finally find a reliable producer in Georgia that met all the requirements to import to Sweden. But I still have my own blends, that is my ”baby”, people like these blends and the response was very positive.
How do you market and sell Spice Connection products in SWEDEN?

Now I sell the spices via my webshop, ethnic shops in Sweden and export to England and Germany. The volumes are still not very big, but the products have big potential. And I am learning a lot about the business development. I am a creative soul and like to cook and taking a path as an entrepreneur pushes you to think differently in terms of profits, gains, losses, contracts, patents and negotiations. I am still learning about many things and he key is to believe in your product and have partners you trust. No obstacles would stop you then", reads the interview.

By Tariel Zivzivadze

Read full article here

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