Swedish food

We eat lots of kinds of food in Sweden. Husmanskost is the name of the most regular dishes. Only at the weekends we make a "big" dinner. Then the ingredients are more expensive and we make it more exclusive. At feasts we have traditionel dishes like dop in the pod and surströmming (fermented baltic herring).

Swedish food traditions

Genuine Swedish food- Is there such a thing? Sweden has a fine old culinary tradition. The Swedish husmanskost, good old everyday food based on classic country cooking, has been influenced by foreign cuisine over the years. Basically it is genuinely Swedish. Today the plain and hearty husmanskost is undergoing a renaissance in Sweden. The best of the old recipes have been revived and often revised so they are less sturdy and easier to prepare. Propaganda for better diets has also helped to improve the Swedish husmanskost, reduct the fat content and add fruits and vegetables.

Regional Specialties

In Sweden everybody has about the same food habits and customs. Many provinces have a reputation for special food. On the eastcoust the most important food is strömming (Baltic herring). That is a small silvery fish. Salmon, trout and whitefish are other important fishes. Norrland, the nine northern provinces of Sweden has a lot to offer. In Lappland you must try the dark gamy reindeer meet and åkerbär, the rare berry that grows wild along roadsides and ditches. The åkerbär looks like a small raspberry. The hjortron or cloudberry is another fine Norrland fruit. Two Norrland provinces, Västerbotten and Norrbotten are famous for their dumplings, palt. They are made of raw as well as cooked potatoes, flour and salt, and served with butter and lingonberries. Other Norrland specialties are tunnbröd, the thin white crispbread, and långmjölk (sour milk).

The Swedish smörgåsbord

The Swedish smörgåsbord is world famous. You can have it in IKEA in Milano and London. Today, the traditionell large smörgåsbord with its lavish of food can be found only in a few resaurants, usually at Christmastime. Once in a while, mostly in rural areas, the complete old-time smörgåsbord will be prepered. when you meet with a smörgåsbord of this kind. it's important to know the rules for how to approach it, or it may become just a hotch-potch of flowers and impressions. The commonly accepted and best way of enjoying the large smörgåsbord is to eat each kind of food separately it is deemed necessary.

Crayfish and surströmming

Surströmming

Sweden has an extensive coastline and many lakes, so it´s not surprising that fish plays a major part in the country´s diet. On the west coast the specialties are shellfish, fresh mackerel and cod. The crayfish season starts around August 8, and continues for about six weeks. It is taken quite seriously in Sweden, when the nights are long and the parties, floating on aquavit, run on into the twilight. The small, black, freshwater crustaceans are dropped live into boiling salted water with a huge bunch of dill; during cooking their color changes to a bright red. A speciality of northen Sweden, surströmming, is for sale from the third Thursday in August. To serve surströmming the proper way: · Tie a napkin around the can · Place it on the table · Then carefully open the can · A strong odor will at once reach your nostrils and fill the room
"Beginners" often need some time to get used to the unique smell of surströmming, some even go so far as to call it a stench. You serve surströmming with potatoes, sourcream, onoin and white crispbread.

Feast food in Sweden

At Christmas in Sweden we often start with eating a buffet-style. The buffet- style are filled with a lot of heavy dishes both hot and cold. Ham, meat- balls, different salads and a lot of other food. We also eat Dip in the pot when we eat a smörgåsbord, which is slices of rye bread which are immersed in hot bouillon and then enjoyed together with ham, pork, sausage or butter. Often after the buffet-style comes the Santa Claus with gifts. After the Santa Claus it is time for the traditional Christmas supper-lutfisk and creamed rice.

On Easter Eve we in Sweden eat a small smörgåsbord and boiled eggs are seldom missing. The smörgåsbord consists of ham, different herring, fresh salmon, eggs and a lot of different things. At midsummer we eat sometimes a small smörgåsbord, but mostly we eat boiled new potatoes, herring and a fresh green salad. And as a dessert we eat strawberries with whipped cream.


Why don't you try a Swedish-recipe!?

Janssons Frestelse (Jansson's Temptation)

6 to 8 potatoes 2 onions 2 to 3 tablespoons margarine or butter 1 to 2 cans anchovy fillets 2½ to 3 dl (1 1/4 to 1½ cups) light cream
Peel the potatoes, cut in thin sticks. Slice the onions. Sauté the onion lightly in some of the margarine or butter. Drain the anchovies and cut in pieces. Put the potatoes, onion and anchovies in layers in buttered baking dish. The first and last layer should be potatoes. Dot with margarine or butter on top. Pour in a little of the liquid from the anchovies and half of the cream. Bake in a 200 C oven for about 20 minutes. Pour in the remaning cream and bake for another 30 minutes or till the potatoes are tender. Serve as a first course or supper dish.

Kalops (Swedish Beef Stew)


1 kg beef with bones or 600 g boneless beef: rib, rump brisket or buttom round. 3 tablespoons margarines or butter 3 tablespoons flour 1½ teaspoons salt 2 onions, sliced 1 bay leaf 10 whole allspice 4-5 dl (1 3/4 to 2 cups ) water

Cut the meat in large cubes. Heat the margarine or butter in a heavy saucepan. When the foan subsides, add the meat and brown it well on all sides. Sprinkle with the floor and salt. Stir the meat. Add the onions, bay leaf, allspice and water. Cover and simmer till tender, 1 ½ to 2 hours. Serve with boiled potatoes, pickled beets and tossed salad.