I grabbed the burger in my hands and took a bite into the juicy looking hamburger… splash! From the sides of my burger sprayed the juices locked into the meat, the fragrant juice in the burger that is there when the burger patty is freshly prepared.
This was a gem, this place was a bloody gem and I was super happy to have found it – the prices too weren’t too expensive, it was the same as a hamburger from Max or Vigårda, and it sure could give them a run for their money.
McDonalds in Sweden faces some very tough competition in the fastfood hamburger space. Up till 1991 McDonalds had almost never lost turf war when it entered a city, then it entered northern Sweden and specificially Lulea and Umea. It was in 1991, after a few years of opening that McDonalds in northern Sweden shuttered their doors, they had to bow to the reality of finances – they could not dislodge the powerful local chain Max. But Northern Sweden did not only produce one hamburger chain, while Max is the major one in Sweden and perhaps throughout the Nordics, there is another national hamburger chain slowly on the up, Frasses Hamburgare.
The name of the store came from a cartoon character Frasses, from the show Karl-Alfred. You definitely know it, the English name of the show is Popeye, and the Frasses character is Wellington Wimpy.
Why not named after Popeye or Olive Oyl, I have no idea.
Established in 1975, Frasses currently has 40 chains throughout Sweden, and yet phenomenally only 1 in the big cities. This is a national chain that avoids the biggest cities in the country, with a strong presence in many small towns, but a single outlet in Stockholm and none in Gothenburg and Malmo. While Max positions itself as the Swedish hamburger join, Frasses describes itself as a taste of the North.
The lone outlet in Stockholm is located near the the hip location of Odenplan in a highly competitive street. It didn’t seem to have many customers in comparison to its neighbours, perhaps because it was a fast food franchise rather than a restaurant in a street full of restaurants.
I ordered the special, the Skrov Royalmeny Västerbottensost which includes two juicy beef patties and vasterbotten cheese in between and on top.
Vasterbotten cheese is considered the classical Swedish cheese, the king of cheese. Vasterbotten cheese is a hard and aged (usually aged for around 14 months) cheese that is described to taste a bit like parmesan with slightly more bitter notes and a high fat content. It is produced by only one supplier Norrmejerier and has become a product high in demand but low in supply because it is still produced by only one supplier. The cheese itself is particularly popular during the summer months, or specifically the crayfish day and is also the most important ingredient in the highly popular Västerbotten cheese pie.
It was an amazing burger, and honestly there should be a lot more people trying out the food at Frasses. I used to say that Max was the best fastfood hamburger joint Sweden, I’m not so sure now…
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