“Yorn desh born der ritt de gitt der gue! Orn desh dee born desh de um bork bork bork!”
Yes, I really had to sing the whole thing. Give me my nostalgic moment, Swedish Chef was my very first culinary inspiration and I’ve destroyed way more food than him in my lifetime. However, according to a thoroughly researched article from Slate, the famed Scandinavian muppet may not actually be Swedish at all.
Although Swedish Chef’s garbled dialect is derived in part from Jim Henson’s own Swedish language tapes, native Swedes including a film professor at Stockholm University and the head of the U.S. Swedish embassy who were shown clips said the muppet’s trademark accent mimicks the “lexical” or sing-song tones both Scandinavian languages use to clarify a word’s meaning (like in Chinese). However, the Norwegian tones are more exaggerated, like Swedish Chef’s own.
But let’s get back to the real cultural significance here: don’t you want your kids’ first kitchen experience to be 1. with a muppet, 2. in the same jibber-jabber they’d hear you saying “now you julienne the zucchini,” and 3. be centered around cårven der pümpkîn?
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