Have you tried the divine Swedish oysters, herring and wild game in cranberry sauce? A taste of Swedish delicacies!
The fundamentals of Swedish
culinary culture are the traditional specialities, including salmon, herring
and other fish, wild game, berries and mushrooms.
Sverige or the Kingdom
of Sweden is a country in northern
Europe, on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Sweden occupies the south eastern part of the
Scandinavian Peninsula, bordering with Norway
to the west and Finland
to the northeast.
Sweden covers an area of 450 000 km², of
which 8% is cultivated land, 53% is forested, 11% are mountains and 9% are
lakes and rivers. The capital is Stockholm and other
large cities are; Göteborg, Malmö, Helsingborg and Uppsala. Some say that Sweden is a
small nation in a large country, as it has a population of just over 9, 000, 000.
During the 18th century Sweden
was a military power, even though it has not participated in a single war for
almost two centuries. During the politically unstable 20th century, it always
took a neutral position in the world's events and succeeded in maintaining this
position during the two world wars. The results, apart from the long term
successful economic policies, are a very high standard of living and a
developed social welfare system.
Sweden has been a member of the European Union since
1995. The radical transformations the country has undergone in this century
have made it a more modern, sophisticated and international community.
All this, as well as the tradition,
hospitality, climate and abundance of seasonal foods, has left its mark on
Characteristics of the cuisine
The Swedes are well known
gourmands who are always looking to tempt their taste buds. Anyone planning to
is in for a pleasant surprise - the consistent high quality of Swedish food and
their restaurants, in combination with an unforgettable ambiance, hospitality
and professional service.
Swedish agriculture is in the
process of transforming into long-term, more human and ecological methods of
cultivation and management. This, along with the positive ecological
predispositions, provides meat, vegetables, grains and other products of
Whatever you choose
on the Swedish menu, if it contains traditional ingredients, you are almost guaranteed
to be taken into an empire of culinary excellence.
The fundamentals of Swedish
culinary cuisine are traditional specialities made from high quality
ingredients, including salmon, herring and other fish, wild game, berries and
mushrooms. Fish and meat have always played a crucial role in the Swedish diet.
During the long winters, the lack of fresh vegetables had a direct impact on
the traditional menus. The greatest national delicacies are the Swedish
shellfish, and we recommend the oysters which have a fantastic taste, due to
their maturation in cold water.
Pickled cabbage and berry
jams, especially cranberry, are a good source of vitamin C through the long
winters. Cranberry jam is also added to heavy meat dishes, both for their
excellent flavour and their digestive properties. A somewhat more exclusive
jam, though still very common in Swedish cuisine, is the blackberry jam, which
is one of the dishes traditionally served at the Nobel Prize awards dinner.
The tradition of fishing or
hunting in Sweden
is dependent on the how far away the coast or the forest is. Hunters usually hunt for elk and moose.
Three meals are typically
served in the Swedish home: breakfast, lunch and dinner. A hot meal is served
in every school at lunch.
Among the working population,
lunch is usually a lighter meal. For example, a salad and a baguette, leaving
the most important meal of the day to dinner, which usually consists of a hot
It is considered polite and
simply good manners to eat everything on the plate, as Swedes are very humble
and not wasteful.
You are sure to find some of
these dishes on the Swedish table:
- Smörgåsbord - an open table offering
- Köttbullar - meat balls
- Inlagd sill - herring in brine
- Gravad lax - dried and salted
- Kräftor - freshwater crustaceans
- Kåldolmar - cabbage rolls
- Pannkakor - thin pancakes, like crêpes
- Ärtsoppa - pea soup
- Kroppkakor - potato dumplings stuffed
- Blodpudding - black pudding
- Falukorv - Falun sausages
- Janssons frestelse - a dish of potatoes,
garlic, anchovies and cream
- Knäckebröd - traditional Swedish
- Smörgåstårta - sandwich cake
- Apple, blueberry and
- Milk - Sweden is
the country with the world's highest milk consumption
- Filmjölk - sour milk or yogurt
- Coffee - Sweden is one of the greatest coffee
consumers, following Finland
- Natural juices
- Glögg - mulled wine
- Champis and Pommac -
- Absolut Vodka
Traditional Swedish cuisine is
filled with culinary delicacies; from seafood, poultry, lamb, beef, veal, wild
game, to excellent dairy products, mushrooms and berries; cranberries,
blueberries and blackberries. The food in Sweden is the result of its
agriculture, but also its natural diversity; forests, mountains, lakes and rivers.
Traditional methods of food preparation are smoking, fermentation, salting,
drying, marinating and poaching.
Once, the rich traditional
Swedish cuisine was dependent on the seasons. Summer was always associated with
tasty pleasures and sensuality, while the remaining seasons, due to the harsh
climate, depended on preserved foods. Until just a few decades ago, fresh food
was only available during the sunny and warm part of the year.
Spring and early summer were eagerly
awaited with great delight, together with the perch, roosters, baked rolled
herring fillets, fresh green asparagus and the first strawberries of the season.
The first potatoes cooked in spices were a charm, as they arrived steaming at
the table with a coating of butter. During the summer, meals were served on
terraces, picnics and gatherings were organised frequently, to celebrate food.
Off season traditional cuisine
During the summer, which was
quite a short maturation period, fruits and crops were harvested and saved for consumption
for the rest of the year. The Swedes based their survival on the summer
harvest. Cabbage and potatoes were kept in cellars for the winter, rye bread was
prepared and dried so it would last longer, while fresh bread was a treat for
only the highest classes of society.
The fruit available in the
winter was more precious than the summer apples or pears, regardless of the
taste and the majority of fruit was used to make jam and stored for the winter.
For the same reason, the consummation of fresh vegetables was considered to be
Drinking fresh milk and eating
butter or eggs, was considered to be an unimaginable pleasure. Milk was
fermented or enriched with bacterial cultures and consumed as yogurt or other
A full pantry was the pride of
every homemaker, and a guarantee for a plentiful winter.
Sweden's new cuisine has evolved from its traditional
roots, and in addition to the high quality ingredients and excellent taste, it
has become famous for its creativity and innovation, design and play of colours
on the table. Cranberries, root vegetables, herring, wild game and whole milk
cheeses are used in completely new ways and the senses are inspired by the
endless forests, lakes, coastline and the everyday life.
Whatever you choose on the
Swedish menu, if it contains traditional ingredients, it is sure to take you
into an empire of culinary excellence. All that is left is to wish you Smaklig
måltid or "enjoy your meal"!
- The capital Stockholm is the
world's cleanest city.
- The Sweden's best
known girl to children is Pipi Longstockings.
- Greta Garbo was one of Sweden's
greatest ever femme fatales.
- Alfred Nobel is a Swede
we have all heard of.
- The Celsius temperature
scale is of Swedish "origin".
- ABBA and disco mania came
to us from Sweden.
- Ingmar Bergman was a
Swedish film director of world acclaim.
- Absolute Vodka is a must
on the list.
- Volvo and SAAB are
absolutely cool cars.
- IKEA, need we say more?