Acquired Tastes: How a banana-chicken casserole became a beloved Swedish comfort food

In Acquired Tastes, The A.V. Club takes a deep dive into the food and drinks we can’t live without.

The recipe for Flying Jacob reads like a stoned dad’s trip to the bodega. It starts with rotisserie chicken, heavy cream, and bananas baked together, then it’s all topped with fried bacon and peanuts, like a casserole mated with Elvis’ favorite sandwich. The story behind Flying Jacob is all the more remarkable—and unlikely. This beloved delicacy/monstrosity all happened thanks to one humble Swede who, with a single letter, changed his country’s culinary culture.

In 1976, the Swedish food magazine Allt Om Mat (All About Food) published a recipe that sounded downright bizarre on paper. Mailed to the magazine by an air freight worker named Ove Jacobsson, Flying Jacob was billed as a perfect-for-parties dish that’s “easy to make and tastes great.” Jacobsson dubbed …

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