Boorishly, we just lump everyone into the same “Scandinavian” group, calling him Swedish because, well, that’s his name. Who knew the Swedish Chef would be at the source of so much cultural misunderstanding? But it seems clear from this piece that America needs to try harder. Sweden is not just Ikea, ABBA, Dragon Tattoo books, and meatballs. Sweden is most definitely not a Muppet, even if this particular Muppet has become a thorn in Sweden’s side. Though some say there’s a definite Julia Child quality to the chef, and an actualSwedish chef claims he was the inspiration for the character, it turns out Henson’s inspiration for his chef may have simply been some Berlitz tapes.