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IKEA, a recent visit to their marketplace

  • h

It's been some time since I've stopped by an IKEA. The last few CH threads focused on the IKEA Swedish market were less than favorable and some downright disappointing. But since I was there to pick up a few kitchen essentials at outstandingly low prices, I popped into their marketplace at checkout to see what's happening there.

I left with $72.00 worth of food stuffs! Let's see, a few tins of thin gingerbread cookies, several bags of black licorice (sweet & salty), frozen crepes, frozen cardamom bread dough, a few bags of Swedish meatballs, a few jars of apple jelly, apple cake, vanilla sauce, salmon lasagna, frozen cinnamon roll dough, 3 pieces of salmon filets, a few bars of chocolate, chocolate-almond candies and a couple of bottles of Lingonberry or Elderflower concentrate. I also popped over to their cafe and enjoy a mushroom/cheese crepe for lunch.

I had a ball!

Anyone been to an IKEA lately?

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  1. Funny, but I was going to stop by the only one on Long Island Friday, then I got lost going from A to B and ran out of time before a dinner appointment. I did finally see the building and parking lot though, if that counts!

    I have been trying to get there for years, but it's about an hour from home, plus the traffic getting there is horrendous.....but soon. Very soon. If just to check out the café.

    13 Replies
    1. re: coll

      Nearly all of the IKEA's I've been to in the US and in Europe are in odd locations. The one I stopped into in NJ is off the Turnpike, offers 3.5% tax to attract shoppers and takes about 25 mins from my place but it's in an industrial park off the airport. Once you are inside IKEA you're transported :) and could be 'anywhere' on the planet!

      I had a fun time. So if you do get to go to a location near you, please share your experience here.

      1. re: HillJ

        Ours is right next(almost attached) to one of the big shopping malls here, and not too far from an even bigger shopping mecca area, so it's just crazy. No way you could just pop in on a whim. But I do have something I might be checking out in the area soon, this time I will make it a priority and not an afterthought.

        1. re: coll

          I may re-visit because a number of these food items would make a super easy to put together gift basket...add a few non food kitch essentials from some of the other dept areas...oh, I could knock out a few holiday gifts in an hour!

          1. re: coll

            I think that's part of their business model, kind of like casino designers in Vegas, make it such a trek and a pain to get in and out that you just stay and spend more money than you planned.

            1. re: hill food

              I'll let you know how it goes, once I finally get there!

          2. re: HillJ

            HillJ, do you mean Elizabeth, NJ? I have fond memories of watching the planes take off when I was a young'un. :-)

            There's also one quite close by in Paramus.

            1. re: ohmyyum

              Yes, Elizabeth. Paramus is an unnecessary haul from my place but Eliz. is 25 mins. The planes fly low enough over that part of the NJ Turnpike to distract me!

              1. re: HillJ

                We drive two hours one way to our nearest Ikea. Granted, we don't just go for food :) Also have great Chinese food en route with former CH Alan Barnes.

                1. re: c oliver

                  Fun! As you can see I went for the 3 piece SS with lid pots but came out with $70 plus worth of food stuffs, lunch and reasons to return. It had been so long since I had visited IKEA, I was a bit swept off my feet.

            2. re: HillJ

              The Ikea in Connecticut couldn't be more convenient. It is located at the intersection of two Interstate highways (I-95 and I-91) and is about 30 seconds off of the exit.

              1. re: mels

                Sure, the NJ Turnpike is a major highway heading into NYC. I didn't mean it was inconvenient or hard to travel to, it's 25 mins from my place w/no traffic, I meant IKEA locations are typically situated in industrial areas. The site in Elizabeth/NJ sits outside a major airport and industrial park.

                1. re: mels

                  The one in Burbank (one of 3 LA-area Ikeas) is right off a major freeway, near another, and in a giant shopping center district with Sears, Macy's, Old Navy, Best Buy, movie theaters, etc.

                  1. re: Savour

                    Yeah, I've been to the IKEA in Burbank twice actually. In Philadelphia were my son graduated college the IKEA is in a large industrial park area at the end of a very long highway.

            3. Almost makes the drive to Orlando worthwhile.

              Good score.

              1 Reply
              1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                It was (a good score, thanks). Funny thing was I went to buy a 3-set of SS pots with lids for $10.00...and left with ...well they had me at 'hello'

              2. woo..how is the cardamon bread? sounds delicious.

                7 Replies
                1. re: Monica

                  All I've done so far is smell it :) and the fragrance was enough for me to buy two loaves. I'm going to make one this weekend and I'll report back.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    Please do. It sounds sublime. Our nearest IKEA is 7 hours away in Denver. The likelihood of getting one in Albuquerque is not good. Just not enough people here. I love their line, but they do little mail order. We managed to purchase our new kitchen faucet by mail order but not much else. I've been to that Elizabeth, NJ store several times. Waaaaaah!

                    1. re: sandiasingh

                      I didn't think IKEA did any food via mail order..or did you mean just non food items?

                      1. re: HillJ

                        Yes, I don't think they do any food items by mail order.

                  2. re: Monica

                    Monica, I'm so sorry but I didn't buy cardamom bread dough after all, it's saffron bread dough!! I had cardamom on the brain because I had just returned from Little India the day I started this thread, geez!

                    Well, the saffron bread is delicious!

                    1. re: HillJ

                      The saffron bread is traditional around the christmas season

                      1. re: Ttrockwood

                        And will be @ my place from now on. I hit IKEA on my way back from NYC today and picked up a bunch of new items and more crepes, saffron bread, jelly, concentrate and paper goods. I had a ball.

                  3. I went last week. I usually buy some teeth-breaking crackers, lingonberry jam and some surprisingly decent gravlax-style smoked salmon on the cheap. The thing I always have to get, though, is the herring, in jars in the refrigerated section. I like the mustard sauce. They used to have the delightfully-named "ABBA" brand; now they have another that tastes as good but not so great on the herring/sauce ratio.

                    The lingonberry jam is classic on Swedish pancakes of course but also goes well with wild game/venison meats.

                    28 Replies
                    1. re: BobtheBigPig

                      Oh you had me smiling over those teeth-breaking crackers, I avoid those now at the suggestion of my dentist (but those and a few others IKEA sells have been tasty). I've tried the mustard sauce before and felt my own was better. I'm not a fan of herring but I saw customers buying plenty of the herring while I was there.

                      While I didn't buy any myself, I noticed a number of different cheeses for sale that were new items (for me anyway). Might consider trying next time.

                      1. re: HillJ

                        Yes I saw the cheeses too. Pretty sure this is a new thing for Ikea. There are a lot of great places to get cheese around here, so I decided to pass this time. Sometimes I'll have a plate of meatballs while I'm there. Maybe not the best I've ever eaten, but the best I've eaten seated next to a palette of desks named "Dork."

                        1. re: BobtheBigPig

                          You do know the meatballs in the European stores were horse meat, right? Just saying . . . . . .

                          1. re: sandiasingh

                            To be clear, the meatballs in the US are a beef/pork mix.

                            1. re: sandiasingh

                              because the supplier lied about what was in the product they were supplying -- not Ikea's fault, and it gave a black eye to every food retailer in Europe.

                              There's also nothing wrong with horsemeat...millions of Europeans eat it every day.

                              1. re: sunshine842

                                Yep, but I'd like to make that choice myself.

                                1. re: sandiasingh

                                  so did the consumers in Europe. I was living in France at the time, and the case fascinated me from all angles -- the reaction of the consumers, the breaking of the stories as the fraud became apparent, and the recalls and apologies from the frozen-food companies and grocery chains. I read every article I could find in French and English -- it was a far more complex issue than was reported here in the US.

                                  This was not a case of the retailers stuffing mystery meat down the consumers' throats...when the authorities started to investigate, they found properly-labeled horsemeat being delivered to the processing plant in France, but everything leaving that plant was labeled beef.

                                  Nobody won...the retailers didn't do it intentionally, but they took millions of euros of product off the shelves, and recalled millions more. The retailers ended up bearing the brunt of it, because Spanghero (the processor) conveniently went belly-up.

                                  The plant is now open and operating under another name and under intense scrutiny - the only reason I didn't support shutting the plant down was that it was 125 jobs at the only employer in town....and the folks out on the floor weren't to blame, either. It was strictly a paper maneuver from the front office, and several of the guilty parties have already received jail sentences.

                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                    That's interesting. I recall the headlines that ran but I didn't follow the story in any detail.

                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                      Thanks for giving a fuller explanation.

                                  2. re: sunshine842

                                    Raw horsemeat (ba-sashi or "sakura") is a delicacy in Japan.

                            2. re: BobtheBigPig

                              lingonberry jam is classic on Swedish pancakes
                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                              so true! I bought the Swedish pancakes this time but opted for the lingonberry concentrate over the jarred jam this time because I thought I would add the concentrate to the pan I'm heating the pancakes in and see what happens.

                              1. re: HillJ

                                My husband eats lingonberry jam with roasted chicken.

                                1. re: Monica

                                  I'm going to give that a try, nice change from cranberry sauce.

                                  1. re: HillJ

                                    The lingonberry jam goes with just about anything... it's not sickly sweet. We trundle over to Ikea a few time a year to stock up on it and the cheap chocolate.

                                2. re: HillJ

                                  A year or so ago a friend, whose heritage is Swedish, asked me to bring him four jars of the jam!

                                  We're heading to the Bay Area and are 'buying and building' our kids an Ikea kitchen. Gotta check out that gravlax.

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    Oh I've had the lingonberry jam and the concentrate they are selling now is also very good. I've just never enjoyed it with chicken (as Monica suggested)...but I will! Kaj is correct when stating it goes with everything! The salmon is delicious.

                                    As for IKEA kitchen models, there wasn't one layout on display that didn't have some element I liked. Those displays really do a great job of inspiring buyers. I wanted to move into one of the living room setups :)

                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      We've done two Ikea kitchens in the last eight years. They're real workhorses. And look great also. HIGHLY recommend.

                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        Good to know! I was eyeing a new faucet while I was there.

                                        1. re: HillJ

                                          If you wish, email me and I can give you more info. I'm such a fan.

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            If I ever have reason to redesign with IKEA, I'll def. reach out to you. Thanks!

                                            1. re: HillJ

                                              Even our bathroom has their cabinets and faucets!

                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                Wow, you are a fan! I saw a few white bathroom cabinets, raised off the floor that aren't that diff from what I have now...for considerably less money too.

                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                  That's what we have! Love 'em. HUGE fan :)

                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                    me, too -- had an Ikea kitchen in our house in France and loved it enough that Ikea is the top (and nearly only) contender to replace the tired, dated kitchen in this house.

                                                    We're actively discussing that we like the Ikea cabinets, the price is good....so why jump through the hoops of getting quotes from anywhere else?

                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                      You KNOW I agree!!! As I said, we have two of them. I know that had I had a single doubt about them, I wouldn't have built another one. We could fly in and help build :)

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        Careful what you offer to commit yourself to do! :)

                                                        We'd probably have to put it to a full test....then go harass Veggo.

                                  2. re: HillJ

                                    I use Ikea's ligonberry jam in my Ischl Tarts.

                                  3. re: BobtheBigPig

                                    We love herring but I thought the Ikea's versions had way too much sauce and way too salty...I am a big fan of Acme pickled herrings from Costco..yumm...i can eat the whole jar in one sitting.

                                  4. Ok since we all know I'm a little slow, you are telling me that Ikea is now selling food and produce? Prepare at home stuff?

                                    I know Ikea had a very elaborate cafeteria or dining area and that is what I was assuming most of these topics have been regarding.

                                    I'm not a good judge of prices so are you indicating you feel you got an exceptional value for your $72. spent, or are you just illustrating how much you unexpected purchased?

                                    This is interesting......do they include their own unique cooking tools with their food? An octagon whisk?

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                      jr, IKEA has a Swedish food market, a cafe where they prepare and sell the food stuffs sold in their food market and a smaller cafe near the exit where you can buy things like a $1.00 ice cream cone, hot dog or cinnamon bun. They sell Swedish food stuffs, no produce. Which includes a number of frozen items, refrigerated staples and dry goods. I bought a boatload of food, plus my lunch at the cafe, and a 3 SS pot set (which is why I went) for $72.00. My purchase was a good value. The salmon alone was a deal. 3.5% sales tax as it applies. Coupons at check out. Free parking. 25 min from home. Fun morning out.

                                      I'm surprised you've never been there.

                                      1. re: HillJ

                                        HillJ, oh I have been to IKEA plenty of times, just not much in recent years. I've actually eaten in their cafeteria (that's how I would explain it) just because it was so extensive and a bit of a novelty for a furniture store. lol

                                        I just never noticed their selling frozen or take home food. Is that new or was that there the entire time and I was just oblivious to it? (Got me thinking I should take a trip there, I've been "updating" some rooms in the home, could get some good idea's there)

                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                          There the entire time. The food market is behind the main check out area. You either get back in line to pay for food stuffs or you go to the super small line at their mini cafe. But if you've walked straight through the entire store to the main exit (and not backtracked) you've already passed it.

                                          I hadn't been in some time myself and was very surprised by the deals store wide.

                                        2. re: HillJ

                                          I thought their $1 ice cream cone was horrible...so waterly...and sweet.

                                          1. re: Monica

                                            Just dull. No real flavor of any kind. The cinnamon buns, premade I felt the same way about, meh. But they all sell like hotcakes!

                                            1. re: HillJ

                                              The cinnamon buns smell so wonderful! The flavor is nowhere as good as the aroma. I no longer succumb.

                                      2. I LOVE the ikea marketplace! There are two things I can't leave without on any visit:

                                        (1) Orange and elderflower marmalade: if you've never liked orange marmalade, don't completely give up hope until you've tried this one. I've looked for excuses to eat this, but here are a few of my favorite uses: (a) on thumbprint cookies, (b) mixed with butter as a spread for fresh-baked rolls, (c) as a cake layer filling, (d) warmed atop vanilla ice cream, and (e) on a spoon.

                                        (2) Grönsakskaka - potato and broccoli cakes: it might be difficult to pronounce, but they're so easy to devour! Once defrosted, you can shallow-fry them or just crisp them up on the stove. They are somewhat flaky, but they'll hold their own if you're delicate. The broccoli in these is neither overpowering nor stale. I find them addictive when eaten on their own, but I was especially surprised at how well they do in a Benedict. For a super-easy vegetarian brunch, just top them with a poached egg and some hollandaise. I like to add a little arugula. Or I've also done the same prep but with leftover red pepper coulis and thought it equally delicious (La Madeleine's tomato basil soupe would also be an excellent in-a-pinch base -- every kitchen should keep a jar of this on hand!)

                                        Now I've worked up an appetite.

                                         
                                         
                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: nocomicsans

                                          Yep, I've had both but didn't buy them this visit. I did buy the elderflower concentrate though. I use it in cocktails and as a syrup on french toast. They had quite a few different cakes this time. Thanks for adding the photos!

                                          1. re: HillJ

                                            Love the concentrate! It's a great non-alcoholic substitute for St Germain. I bought a flat of it last year for a wedding punch, and after giving away half the leftovers I STILL have 4 bottles left. Didn't know it'd go so far! Here's the perfect punch: one bottle elderflower concentrate, one 2-liter bottle of orange/citrus club soda (unsweetened), one 1-liter bottle of blood orange Italian soda (World Market or Central Market), one small bag of frozen strawberries. Sherbet is optional, but every time I've made it that tends to be the coveted part -- peach or pineapple have been favorites.

                                            If anyone tries a variation of this, I'd love to know.

                                            1. re: nocomicsans

                                              Actually your version sounds a lot like the one we make during summer parties. Instead of the sherbet though we freeze either green grapes or seedless watermelon puree into a solid mass and let that float/melt down into the punch.

                                              I'm copying your version for future use, thanks!

                                            2. re: HillJ

                                              In the spring they had a rhubarb concentrate which was AMAZING but sadly seemed to be seasonal.

                                              1. re: Savour

                                                Oh I would have enjoyed that as well. During rhubarb season we made a great deal of concentrate from scratch though, it's so easy. A few CH threads on Home Cooking covered how to make the concentrate and how to use it. Fun read.

                                            3. re: nocomicsans

                                              That potato cakes sound good. Will try them next time.

                                            4. In the past, I have make the IKEA trips just for the marketplace. My main attraction use to be daim candy, but my friend tells me that they don't carry those any more.

                                              Thanks for reminding me about Lingonberry jam (and other goodies new to me) - I should go again!

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: cpw

                                                http://www.amazon.com/Daim-Candy-Bar-...

                                                Hit or miss @ IKEA is what friends mentioned to me. But, Amazon sells them.

                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                  I should order from amazon AND make the trip for the mentioned goodies!

                                                    1. re: cpw

                                                      I loved getting this Marabou Daim bar from IKEA:

                                                      http://www.amazon.com/Marabou-Daim-Mi...

                                                      Last time I was there the cashier told me they stopped carrying it in favor of IKEA-branded chocolate bars. It's over $15 with shipping from Amazon. Sigh.

                                                      1. re: hlk

                                                        don't knock the Ikea-brand chocolate bars -- they might not be Daim toffee, but they're **good** -- I mean really good -- chocolate bars, on a par with any large-producer chocolate in Europe.

                                                2. Not recently enough, and my stash of IKEA foodstuffs is getting low! I think I have to rectify that soon.

                                                  My regular list for an IKEA food shop always includes:

                                                  Lax Gravad
                                                  Lax Najad
                                                  Lax Varmrökt
                                                  (See a pattern there? I love making my own gravlax, but my husband hates the stuff, so it's sort of a waste unless for a party. The roughly 4 and 7 ounce packets at IKEA are perfect for me for lunches, and I find the flavor perfectly fine.)

                                                  The mustard dill sauce for the lox - multiple jars, as we like it for a number of things. Mmm, on boiled potatoes...

                                                  Lots of jars of lingonberries, as my children seem to think the sun rises and sets on lingonberries, and they are forever poaching jars from my pantry. We like sweet+ meat and use it that way often (lingonberries with venison is so good). We also make a lot of vegetable fritters around here, and the lingonberry preserves are an excellent condiment on the side. My kids will swear that lingonberry preserves are the Best Thing on peanut butter toast.

                                                  The drink concentrates are wonderful, and we regularly buy the lingonberry and blueberry and elderflower.

                                                  And, while not in the Food Market, IKEA paper napkins are always on my list. I have long been a fan of cloth napkins, but as my household has diminished in size, and my casual entertaining has increased, I enjoy having a variety of purty and sturdy napkins that don't require a lot of housewifery, y'know? <grin>

                                                  13 Replies
                                                  1. re: cayjohan

                                                    I saw a BIG cart of paper napkins on display that day along with fun shaped silicon ice cube trays and some early peeks at holiday goodies (paper, decorations, tree trimmings).

                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                      I love their paper napkins -- nice enough to use for company, even.

                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                        Totally agree re the paper napkins. Quite sturdy and nice/cool designs.

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          I usually buy the white ones -- boring, maybe, but also as elegant as paper napkins can get.

                                                          (and strong enough that you will only need one napkin during the course of the meal....)

                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                            The prices were incredibly low too.

                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                              I'm super picky about paper products in our home and since we don't have an IKEA here, I've been buying them at our local restaurant supply store. They are high quality and very inexpensive.

                                                              1. re: sandiasingh

                                                                I hit two restaurant supply stores in NJ & NY a few times a year and a few auctions too. There are deals out there for sure. From paper goods to vintage appliances.

                                                            2. re: sunshine842

                                                              I have some pretty ones with big green leaves on a white background. Perfect for rib dinners! And, HillJ, their prices are insane, aren't they? But as I've said to others here, I did a pretty darn big kitchen including a farm sink and before appliances, spent only $3k!

                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                Yeah IKEA prices had be gobsmacked! It's encouraging to know custom kitchens can be affordable. I'm impressed with what I saw that day shopping. I may have to convince my brother to remodel...just to have some fun with the options.
                                                                Guinea pig.

                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                  After having done two of their kitchens for us, we're heading to the Bay Area and will do one for our daughter and SIL.

                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                      if you have an extra few K sitting around, you can come do one for me!

                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                        We will "consult." No extra Ks sitting around. I have grandchildren for goodness sake :)

                                                      2. I went there recently. I bought some lingonberry and gooseberry jam, a few frozen desserts, a rose hip drink, and a spiced apple drink.

                                                        The lingonberry and gooseberry jams are really good, especially the gooseberry. The frozen desserts (an almond one and a blueberry cheesecake) were ok. The rose hip drink was decent, tastes fairly similar to tomato juice. The spiced apple drink was too heavy on the cloves for my tastes.

                                                        Really wish they would bring back the cloudberry jam.

                                                        17 Replies
                                                        1. re: StringerBell

                                                          http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/pro...

                                                          I've only bought the cloudberry jam once..didn't realize it was hard to come by.

                                                          I'm having a hard time understanding how rose hip can taste like tomato juice???

                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                            Well, I guess they still have it at some locations, just not the one here. You can't order it online though unfortunately.

                                                            Have you tried the rose hip drink? My girlfriend and I both took a drink and she said it tasted like tomato juice before I could get the words out of my mouth. It had a slightly more fruity taste than tomato juice but still very similar.

                                                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9v7oV...

                                                            See, I'm not crazy. "It smells like V8" "It tastes like sweet tomato juice"

                                                            1. re: StringerBell

                                                              No I haven't tried the drink but now I'm curious. Next time I head to IKEA I'll look for it.

                                                              I do drink rose hip tea though and it doesn't taste anything like V8.

                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                I just made rose hip jam from some I harvested at the beach, and found it more of a light, perfumed, almost cranberry flavor. Tomato is the farthest thing I would compare it to. I too would be interested in the ingredient list, obviously not 100% rosehip. The name including "drink" gives it away.

                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                  Good point. And yes your description of rose hip is spot on.

                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                    I looked up the ingredients, it was just sugar, pectin and I think 17% rosehip syrup or juice. Where the tomato taste might be detected I don't know.

                                                                    1. re: coll

                                                                      Personal taste buds? Some folks say cilantro tastes like soap to them...

                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                        Seriously...try it. It's not my taste buds.

                                                                        Here's another review:

                                                                        "The Taste: The aroma is odd, with a whiff of tomato and flour. The taste is lightly sweet, with notes of tomato, earth and jam. It has a thick, rich mouthfeel. I don’t like the taste at all. It reminds me of the tomato sauce from canned pasta."

                                                                        http://www.nearof.com/?p=611

                                                                        Here's another one:

                                                                        "I don’t want it to have the texture of watered down tomato sauce. Actually, that’s also what it tastes and looks like. It’s a bit sweeter than just tomato, but overall it’s just yuck."

                                                                        "Maybe you can repackage it and sell it as a tomato drink? I would still not like it, but it gives people a better idea of what it tastes like."

                                                                        http://omnominal.wordpress.com/2012/0...

                                                                        These two reviews, along with that youtube one I posted earlier, were the first three results (aside from Ikea's website) when I typed in "ikea rose hip drink review."

                                                                        I've never had rose hip anything else so I can't comment on what rose hip tea, fresh rose hips, etc. taste like. But this is drink is most definitely reminiscent of tomato. I did kind of like it though.

                                                                        1. re: StringerBell

                                                                          I hope I didn't insult you StringerB. I only had a hard time imaging how rose hip can taste like tomato juice. Because I've had both and neither taste like the other. Is tomato juice a listed ingredient?

                                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                                            I didn't take any offense, don't worry about that. Tomato juice is not listed as an ingredient. It could have something to do with how the rose hips are processed or maybe the cultivar of rose hips that they use. These are likely boiled whereas rose hip tea is just steeped with fresh or dried rose hips. But like I said I haven't had rose hips in any other form so I don't know what they're "supposed" to taste like.

                                                                            I don't know. I will have to try it again, and try something else made with rose hips though. I'm kind of curious now.

                                                                  2. re: coll

                                                                    Last night we 'dined' on IKEA crepes, warmed in a 325 oven for 10 minutes and dressed with their shelf stable vanilla sauce and lingonberry jam (found a jar in my cold pantry hidden behind jarred lemons) and it was light, delicious and fun!

                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                      Now those crepes sound really good. We're going to be in the SFBA over Christmas and that might make a nice, easy dessert when we're with the 'kids.' Thanks.

                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                        Tip: the crepes are sold in bags frozen, prefolded about 16 to a bag. Defrost, open up each crepe and warm opened so they crisp up and don't steam

                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                            Once the bag is defrosted/room temp Iine a baking tray with paper and warm in a 325 oven for 10 mins tops. You want to reheat that lovely butter in the batter and re-crisp the crepes. Just be sure to unfold each crepe first so they don't steam. We used the vanilla sauce and jam right out of the containers.

                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                              Thanks. I'm considering making cioppino for a special dinner and that sounds like a simple and not heavy dessert to end with. But a little wow factor also. Are they basic so you could go savory also?

                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                Absolutely; basic crepes. While @ the IKEA cafe I enjoyed the crepes they serve with chopped mushrooms and cheese. Light and lovely..and prompted me to buy the frozen version on my way out.

                                                                                I love cioppino! Which fish do you use for it?

                                                          2. Interesting to read everyone's picks. I've never bothered to visit the marketplace when at Ikea. I'll make a point to next time I'm there.

                                                            1. Whether I was at the IKEA in Chiba, Shenzhen or Brooklyn, the one thing I had to buy was their hazelnut chocolate bar

                                                              I could be in the market for savory snacks too-recommendations anyone?.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                Some of the chips looked interesting. The freezers are filled with savory snacks; both for heating & defrosting to room temp.

                                                              2. I pick up a few packages of Marzipan every time I go. Hella cheaper than Odense!

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: Savour

                                                                  When I was there, I counted seven different products that are marzipan based. The chocolate covered almond paste confection in the freezer had an intense rum flavor to it and no rum reference listed on the label.

                                                                  Another taste confusion like the rose hip drink perhaps?

                                                                  1. re: Savour

                                                                    Good idea... will need to look for marzipan next time.

                                                                    1. re: emily

                                                                      Went to Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY for the first time @ that location. Always return with the 8+ oz jars of herring, with mustard sauce, sour cream, onions and carrots, and of course to justify my purchase to Mrs., 6 chocolate bars....
                                                                      She actually hides them from the grown ups!

                                                                    2. re: Savour

                                                                      No kidding, marzipan?

                                                                      I wish I knew that they stocked it while living in Shenzhen, China. Outside of a Leonidas, the only other place to look was Hong Kong.

                                                                    3. After reading this thread I got the itch to go since I haven't been in a few years. Much to my chagrin as soon as I walked in I saw an end table that I recently bought from a local furniture store for $150. for $39. at Ikea! It must have been a special on that item because they seemed to have it featured in every section of the store, my son actually said he thinks Ikea was mocking me. lol

                                                                      I honestly forgot how much I LOVE this store. I went with no particular agenda and just picked up a few items, but left with tons of idea's of projects I want to do now.

                                                                      We also picked up some items at the market but one of the best deals I saw all day were the $.50 hot dogs at the mini cafe before leaving!! Too bad I had already had the Swedish meatballs for lunch at the cafeteria or I would have done some serious $.50 hot dog damage. Luckily my son was able to squeeze down 2 of them! Seriously when is the last time you saw a $.50 hot dog? For me it's got to be 25 years ago Monday Night Football, $.50 dogs and draft beer at Norman's which is now KC's Corner in South Plainfield, NJ.

                                                                      Thanks for bringing Ikea back into mind HillJ.

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                        Good for you Jr (& your son). IKEA wowed me too and I hadn't been in some time. When my younger son was in France, IKEA was where he went to furnish his studio. He raved about the bargains and ease to hard-working people. He returned home intending to teach this gal a thing or two and succeeded!

                                                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                          The first food we had there were those hot dogs. After serious shopping (we've remodeled two homes and two kitchens with $$$$$$$$$$ spent at Ikea) we needed a little sustenance. Too bad there was no beer!

                                                                          1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                            I saw a table we happen to own from Ikea at a high end consignment store for sale at about $150. We bought it several years ago new for $60. It happens.

                                                                          2. Went yesterday. Picked up some of the Glogg and the rhubarb concentrate, which is back in stock! Amazing in sparkling water or champagne. I also picked up several packages of marzipan -7 oz is under $2 with the Ikea family card right now! Also, the frozen broccoli potato cakes, which are delicious and some saffron St. Lucia buns.

                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Savour

                                                                              Good for you! You picked up some goodies. I liked those saffron buns warmed with some jam.

                                                                              1. re: Savour

                                                                                "rhubarb concentrate... Amazing in sparkling water or champagne"

                                                                                whoa. there's a gear shift moment.

                                                                                1. re: Savour

                                                                                  what do you make with marzipan?

                                                                                  1. re: Monica

                                                                                    Sometimes I cover cakes, like fruitcakes with it, or princessetarte. Last week I used it to line the bottom pie crust on a fresh cranberry pie.

                                                                                    1. re: Monica

                                                                                      and if you're a VERY crafty person you can make the absolute silliest most outlandish decorations for cakes and cookies and more.

                                                                                      I tried working with it once, but didn't have the time, patience and dexterity for that little flight of fancy.

                                                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                                                        I would *love* to be able to craft marzipan in to the tiny-but-perfectly-formed fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, ladybugs, and mice that the artisans of Europe produce.

                                                                                        So stinkin' cute, but so stinkin' challenging.

                                                                                        Seriously -- feast your eyes on this: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mar...

                                                                                  2. Last week I was shopping at IKEA and decided to have lunch there while I was at it. Bad idea. Had the mushroom/cheese crepes and they were one of the worst things I've had in...well...ever. Just kind of floury/glue-y with a weird aftertaste. I'm glad I only spent $4-ish on 'em. Maybe I should've gone with the meatballs, but they looked kind of awful. Oh well. The candles I bought smell more delicious than the food I ate!

                                                                                    12 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Bax

                                                                                      we're not talking about the restaurant food -- this is the packaged food offered for sale in the food boutique after the regular check-outs.

                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                        Ha! Not entirely...the OP I wrote at the time included how much "i" enjoyed the crepes Bax is describing as flour glue!

                                                                                        To each their freakin own!

                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                          Yes -- OP wrote about enjoying them. And I was, honestly, afraid to buy packaged stuff because the crepes were so disappointing.

                                                                                          1. re: Bax

                                                                                            Well you missed out on some interesting packaged foods. As many of the CH's contributing to this thread have said. Maybe next time.

                                                                                            1. re: Bax

                                                                                              I also bought and enjoyed their frozen premade crepes with some of the jarred jam and vanilla custard sauce. Light and satisfying.

                                                                                          2. re: Bax

                                                                                            I think 2 best things to get at their food court are the meat balls and chicken fingers. I actually love their chicken fingers and their french fries.

                                                                                            1. re: Monica

                                                                                              I sometimes get the gravlax plate and it's really not bad at all.

                                                                                              1. re: Savour

                                                                                                That gravlax plate is why I schedule my IKEA trips around a mealtime, really. I'm either a gravlax snob or a gravlax slut, depending upon which of my kin you're talking to, but from either perspective, IKEA puts out some tasty gravlax. And our location always has very fresh greens on the plate - big plus in my estimation.

                                                                                                I have an IKEA date with the Hub tomorrow. We will dine very cheaply on gravlax and meatballs and then, lulled into submission (self-deprecating <grin> here), will proceed to open our wallets. My kids are not car owners, so we "take orders" for IKEA runs; we'll walk out of the food market tomorrow with likely 20 or so packets of the various lax for the restocking of ours and the kids' freezers. It's a good product, and it's a nice meal option. If this were a TJ's thread, I'd be YAYing all over the place.

                                                                                                1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                  will have to try the gravlax meal soon.

                                                                                                  1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                    "a gravlax slut"

                                                                                                    I can identify with this. or nova lox or lox or sable or white fish. smoked, cured, pickled. yeah I get really slutty when it concerns preserved fish. herring, matjes, kippers, anchovy... although I have yet to try Lutefisk. someday.

                                                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                                                      We are in accord, hill food.

                                                                                                      And lutefisk? Not so bad. I wonder if IKEA could make it groovy by offering it. ;-)

                                                                                                2. re: Monica

                                                                                                  Me too... I don't know what's up w/ those chicken fingers but they're really good.

                                                                                              2. I haven't been recently but things I always love to buy there are their Muesli, rye crackers, and the dense rye bread mix that comes in a carton...so easy to make and very good if you like the heavy dense rye bread.
                                                                                                Also love the elderflower syrup and the elderflower/orange marmelade is indeed the best marmalade ever!

                                                                                                You have me very curious to try the frozen crepes!

                                                                                                1. Ikea sells a square bread, I believe seven slices to a bag simply called, soft bread. Out of the bag the bread is boring but warmed in the toaster and enjoyed with jam it's really tasty.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                    Interesting! I don't recall seeing this but will look next time.
                                                                                                    Which I am now thinking might be soon :-)

                                                                                                  2. Has anyone ever been to the IKEA Christmas Julbord? I've wanted to go for years, but never made it.

                                                                                                    They shut down regular business in the cafeteria and serve crayfish, gravlax, ham, meatballs (not sure about the noodles), sausages, cheese, possibly herring, and probably desserts, and it's an all-you-can-eat buffet for something like $13. I can't vouch for the quality of the IKEA versions of all those things, but I love their meatballs, and most of those other options are among my favorite foods.

                                                                                                    This year, it's on Friday, December 13th. Here's a link:
                                                                                                    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/cat...

                                                                                                    And this is hilarious -- I just Googled it, and found a Chowhound thread *I* started about it three years ago!
                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/746241

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                                                                                                      Thanks for the info Big Bad V, I was not aware of the IKEA tradition. But it looks like my daughter participated in the thread you started in 2010, how funny is that!

                                                                                                    2. had their herring in holiday spice(orange peels, cinnamon, clove..etc) and chocolate with candy pieces spread. I loved both.

                                                                                                      1. Just rereading this as we're heading to IKEA tomorrow morning! We're returning home with less than we came down with (Christmas gifts for the grandkids!) so it can be scary going in there with ANY room in the car :) Thanks for this thread, HillJ.

                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                            Just read through everything and have lots of inspiration! We're doing a house exchange and unfortunately their freezer is completely full so I can only get fridged things and non-perishables :( But I can probably do plenty of damage!

                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                              Actually the frozen items come in small portions so you may find that some of the freezer items could be defrosted and used. For instance the saffron bread is excellent warmed or toasted and the crepes reheat in a dry pan in seconds. Each package is 1-2 meals tops for two people.

                                                                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                Unfortunately we leave on Saturday :(

                                                                                                        1. I was at IKEA last night and was happy to discover that Daim bars are back! Daim is like Heath or Skor, but much better. They stopped selling them at IKEA (or maybe just my local one stopped) a couple of years ago, and I could only get them when my sister in law brought them back from Denmark. I bought two bags last night and I'm considering going back for a few more (in case they stop selling them again.)

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: 4X4

                                                                                                            Very excited when I saw them on my last visit a couple of weeks ago. Bag 1 was opened on the way to the car and my son laughed at me when I got home and the passenger seat was littered with Daim wrappers.