Refrigerators of the World

Under the pale moon, for so many years many of us have wondered: What do other people have in their fridges? This week, Sweden showed us.

One of the many wonderful things about Sweden is that each week, the country hands over its official Twitter feed to a different Swede, to tweet their Swedish thoughts and do their Swedish bidding. Most of the time, @Sweden, like the @RestOfUs, simply posts mundane musings or pictures of snow or Eurovision nominations. (Unfortunately, sometimes @Sweden gets racist, and Sweden gets embarrassed.) But every so often, @Sweden is downright delightful, just like the real Sweden.

Earlier this week, Heather Jonasson, the woman manning the account, tweeted what seemed like just another idle @Swedenism:

It wasn't long before the world joined in, opening their iceboxes and letting people peek inside.

So what does humanity have on hand? Mostly, a lot of eggs, milk, beer, and ... condiments, especially Heinz ketchup.

To Stockholm:

As well as abroad. Here's Puerto Rico:




Hong Kong:



The U.K.:


India's seemed by far the healthiest:

And the most under-stocked was perhaps in Belarus, "the country":

Some even offered a look at their magnets:

The far-flung fridges seemed remarkably similar to the American ones. Here's Seattle:




And a New Orleans newsroom:

Perhaps none were as sad, though, as the dorm-room fridges. Like this one in The Netherlands:

Or Turkey:

Or Finland:

Why is this so compelling, that the whole world would pause to tweet their leftovers at a small Scandinavian nation? Food voyeurism has a well-established appeal, based on the popularity of past projects examining what the world eats in a day or what kids in various nations eat for breakfast. Traveling is exciting, and other countries seem exotic. But when you're at some picturesque Parisian sidewalk cafe, don't you also wonder what ordinary, frazzled French moms whip up for dinner when they rush through the door after work? (Or, okay, after they stroll home sexily with a perfectly-behaved baby in tow and cigarette in hand.)

It's kind of comforting to know that, despite their differences, people everywhere let the milk go bad and order pizza even when there's perfectly good kale sitting there.