By Ana Maria Gonzalez
Mauricio Foghagen, Salvadoran from Santo Tomás, has been in Sweden for 19 years. From a very young age he liked the kitchen, learned that art during his Boy Scout meetings. He worked as a waiter in a restaurant on the Costa del Sol, and he liked the environment of serving and cooking so much, who decided that one day he would be a chef.
Because of the catastrophe, product of the two earthquakes of the 2001, Mauricio wanted to emigrate from the country. At that time, several travel agencies promoted an asylum program in Sweden, which included residence, housing and work. This, in the end it turned out to be a hoax. Arriving at the airport of the Scandinavian country, immigration authorities told him and hundreds of Salvadoran families that there was no asylum program, many were deported, but Foghagen managed to stay because he met his partner and got married.
He lived for a time in Hedemora, in the province of Dalarna, northeast of Sweden. She studied intensive cooking courses for a year at the Komvux school, to be a chef. Upon graduation he put his new knowledge to use and worked in a seasonal restaurant in Kiruna, north of sweden. Before the pandemic he traveled to Stockholm, and due to the economic impact of COVID-19, lost his job and had to reinvent himself.
He started selling pupusas and all kinds of Salvadoran food on request, delivered at home in the most popular train stations in Stockholm. but he's not the only one, in the Scandinavian country there are many Salvadorans who sell typical food, like pupusas, tamales, beef soup, roast, quesadillas and semita, among others.
But Mauricio wanted to reach not only Salvadoran diners, also to the scandinavian people, and there the idea of the “gastroneta” Salvadoran food "El Rincocito Azul", giving life to this dream from the 11 September 2020. To remember its roots, the logo has the Parish of Santo Tomás Apóstol, the municipality where he was born and has memories of his childhood. But it has been quite a challenge, before starting your food delivery sales, learned to make pupusas by watching videos on the internet, Now he is an expert and his pupusas have a special touch.
In order to carry out his undertaking, he had many challenges, one of them was to enter the Scandinavian gastronomic market, which is not easy, since he had to receive the permits to operate the gastroneta in different parts of Stockholm. He also had to receive advice on importing raw materials, the latter was part of the commercial training provided by the Embassy of El Salvador in Stockholm.
The sleepless nights have paid off, your frequent customers travel great distances to taste Salvadoran food and remember the flavor of their country. But Foghagen has diners from all kinds of countries, latin americans, Nordic and Asian, among others. The food they enjoy the most are pupusas and cakes “Hula Hula”.
On their menu are the inevitable fried yucca, roast, stuffed with chilaquilas, güisquil fillings (chayote), shrimp skewers, and typical desserts such as empanadas, quesadillas and semites.
Mauricio encourages Salvadorans to achieve their purpose and fulfill their dreams. "Is not easy, but nothing is impossible in this country. To my 19 years of being here, I have done it ".
If you ever visit Stockholm and want to taste a piece of your land, Search social networks for the "Rinconcito Azul".