This article originally appeared on MUNCHIES on June 18, 2015.
In the MUNCHIES inbox, we get a lot of strange requests, pitches, and general tomfoolery. "How do I pitch a story?" (Just send us the actual story idea.) "Will Action Bronson come to my small town in Idaho and hang out?" (Probably not.) "Want some weed?" (Maybe, but don't send it to us in the mail—that's just common sense.)
Earlier this month, we received an octopus-topped, many-gallon Bloody Mary from Dan Miller of Erie, MI, and learned a lot from our chat with Dan about his creation. But our newest fixation is a series of over-the-top sandwiches concocted by two lively young Swedish women, 23-year-old Olga Grönvall Lund and her best friend Kajsa "Kegen" Lorentzon, who together go by the name MÄCKISH.
When we spotted this display of true weirdness in our inbox, we had no choice but to find out what the hell it was made of. It looked sort of like that cake on the cover of the Rolling Stones' album Let It Bleed, but with … olives? Cucumbers? Is that ketchup, or some sort of raspberry purée? Whipped cream, or cream cheese?
Turns out it's a Swedish "sandwich cake" called a smörgåstårta. And the ladies of MÄCKISH have been making all sorts of crazy sandwich-y type things and sharing them via their Facebook group and events of the same name.
So we figured, what the hell—let's chat with these charming Swedes and see what on Earth is going on in their kingdom of sandwich art.
MUNCHIES: Hi, ladies. Tell me about this smörgåstårta.
MÄCKISH: A smörgåstårta is not something you do very spontaneously—it has to be a special occasion. The normal Swedish person sadly eats it at funerals, but we wanted to bring it to life again and wanted to upgrade it, therefore: our "Mäckishpyramide." Olga and Anders craved to do a Italian one and go loco with everything Italy had to offer. We invited some friends and together we build this pyramid and it took us hours and some bottles of wines. So we made it to see how far we could go with the smörgåstårta concept and also to have a fun evening with friends.
Why do you think smörgåstårtas are only popular in Sweden?
Because Swedish people love cakes and sandwiches. That's basically what it is—cake plus sandwich—but without the sweet. How delicious is that?
Would the world be better off if more people were making giant sandwich cakes?
Well, of course! At least everyone would be fat and happy!
What is MÄCKISH and how did you guys decide to start it?
It actually started with just [having the] munchies. You take a piece of bread and put whatever you feel like on it, and voilá you have a Mäckish. We wanted to share this world of creativity with the rest of our friends. And there we go. We are always hungry and creative.
Because they're so reachable. You always have bread at home, at least knäckebröd (crisp bread), and it's so freaking good. We have seen spaghetti Bolognese, lobsters, fried banana on Mäckish. Everything is possible to add, if you desire.
How did you come up with the name?
In Swedish you call a sandwich macka. We have an obsession to put "ish" at the end of words, and therefore, MACKISH. But to spice it up, we put in the Ä instead of A. MÄCKISH! Try it yourself-ish.
Do either of you have any culinary training?
Olga has a great sense of cooking and Kegen is doing her best, but none of us are professional educated. But with Mäckish we are king. Thats the amazing thing about Mäckish. Everyone is good at it. Its just your imagination that can stop you.
What is the craziest Mäckish that you have seen on your group?
It is the three-course menu baguette. A normal-sized baguette divided into three parts. Starter: pesto, tomato, mozzarella topped with olive oil salt and pepper. Main course: Cream cheese, roast beef, caramelized onion, sesame seeds topped with chives. Dessert: Philadelphia (ed. note: ???) and deep-fried banana topped with a crumble of cashew nuts. It was NUTS!
**What's next for **MÄCKISH?
This is a world takeover. One day, we're gonna be in the dictionary, but until then we wanna share the love of Mäckish everywhere. We do pop-up events in Stockholm and Berlin, and we want to expand. A cookbook is something we have been talking about and a YouTube channel is something you will see in the near future.
What would be in a MUNCHIES Mäckish?
Imagine everything you want to eat. Take that times ten and put it on a new baked, fresh from the oven, sourdough bread with a lot of butter on. On our next one, we are imagine a deep-fried seafood mix, a wasabi-chili mayo and some fresh vegetables to get it down to earth again.
Thanks for sharing your sandwich obsession.