A dear friend of Nordstjernan has left us. Professor Jan-Öjvind Swahn, born 1925 in Karlskrona in the Blekinge province died peacefully in his sleep during the night of March 21.
Our meetings will stay with me forever. We first met on a train from Lund to Göteborg close to 40 years ago and kept contact off and on ever since. It is well known that as a gastronomic connoisseur Jan-Öjvind Swahn had an appetite, but his appetite for life was much greater than that. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from everyone and every aspect of life and other people's lives made him just as accessible for producers, kings and notables as for a young student his first year in Lund. It was the quickest trip to Göteborg ever.
We last met over lunch at Brösarp Inn in January this year — according to Jan-Öjvind, Sweden’s best in all categories. He spent the last few years in a nearby service apartment and enjoyed being near a gastronomic destination more than anything else. When we met last he was not happy about his deteriorating eyesight due to macular degeneration, which made it hard for him to work. He was at the time working on a book about Swedish disasters and had asked me to bring a copy of Lilly Setterdahl’s book on the Titanic we published in 2012.
Jan-Öjvind Swahn accomplished so incredibly much during his 90 years.
His specialty was cultural folk history, and through his academic career he taught as an associate professor and senior lecturer in Lund, Uppsala and Göteborg and as an associate professor and examiner with the title of professor at the Royal Academy of Turku. He has written, translated or edited several hundred books and written countless articles and reviews in newspapers and in trade and popular press, including Nordstjernan. Swahn was among the scientific advisors for the Swedish National Encyclopedia and wrote hundreds of articles for it and several other encyclopedias. In later years, much of his research centered around food and drink and much of his advice and gastronomic trivia have been published by us.
He first appeared on radio at the age of 15 and there have been a number of recurring program series since in both Sweden and Finland. He became loved and a household name among Swedes through television where he starred since 1958. He is unforgettable as presenter and participant in the popular series "Fråga Lund” (Ask Lund) and its Finnish counterpart "The Professor Rounds," but also as judge and host of "Kvitt eller dubbelt” (Double or Nothing).
Loved by many, liked by everyone. Sov i ro, dear friend
Nordstjernan

Ulf Barslund Martensson
Editor & Publisher

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