Restaurants / 5 mins read

Five Swedish Traditional Foods

October 8, 2018

Smorgasbord: Difficult to talk about Swedish food without mentioning the smorgasbord. A traditional smorgasbord is a table spread of home cooked food such as beef, meatballs and smoked fish. So popular the word is now often used to describe a buffet in many countries. Lingonberries are widely used to accompany a variety of dishes such as meatballs, porridge, pancakes, black pudding, stew, fish… Found in abundance in the forested areas of Sweden, these little red berries are traditionally collected to make jam. Identified as a so called ‘superfood’, containing high numbers of antioxidants and antibiotic properties, Lingonberry jam (which tastes a little like cranberry jam), goes with anything just like ketchup and mustard.  Another famous popular local dish which requires Lingonberry jam is Raggmunk as they are called in Sweden. Raggmunk are pancakes made from potato, onion and garlic, often served with bacon. Eaten at any moment of a day, but more common for breakfast and lunch, Sandwiches are very important in the smorgasbord and in Swedish daily food at large.




Kräftor: If you love Crayfish, you must visit Sweden in August. Crayfish which used to be eaten only by the upper-class citizens in the 1500s, has now become a national delicacy enjoyed by all with mass importation having brought significantly the price over the centuries. A crayfish party is a traditional summertime eating and drinking celebration in the Nordic countries. The tradition originated in Sweden, where a crayfish party is called a kräftskiva. Crayfish parties are generally held during August, a tradition that began because the crayfish harvest in Sweden was, for most of the 20th century, legally limited to the late summer.[2] Nowadays, the kräftpremiär date in early August has no legal significance.


Knäckebröd: It is impossible to visit Sweden without seeing or heard of knäckebröd (Cripbreak)? you’ll often find the knäckebröd served alongside your main meal. Once considered poor man’s food, crispbread has been baked in Sweden for over 500 years. It can last for at least a year if stored properly, and remains among the most versatile edible products.



Surströmming: Surströmming (fermented Baltic herring or, literally, soured Baltic herring), is one of Sweden’s most infamous products and is especially popular in northern Sweden.

When opened, surströmming releases a strong and sometimes overwhelming odour so it is usually eaten outside. As a considerable pressure is built up in the tin, it should be opened under water. You then wash the herring before serving it. If you ever want to try surströmming, make sure you are doing so far from people since it has a reckless pungent smell of rotting fish and it systematically brings around all the fly communities from the neighborhood. Yes the smell is that worst! FYI, a whole apartment block has already been evacuated in Sweden before because someone had opened a tin in his apartment.

Eaten normally by the end of August, some eat it out of respect for the tradition few people also claim that they like its spicy and savory taste.


Julbord: Julbord, which means christmas table is basically a smorgasbord with few more dishes that is only available during christmas. You can get the julbord in many restaurants in Sweden from the end of november until christmas eve as the Swedish Christmas season usually begins even some time in October. The food served at restaurants is more or less the same as what people eat in their homes on Christmas eve. Julbord or even Christmas in general in Sweden can be special if it is your first time to spend Christmas in there and it might get borring after you have experienced few Swedish Christmas in the cold and in the company of the same julbord, same TV program such as “Kalle Anka”year after year. A typical Julbord include bread, cheese, butter, potatoes, ham, meat balls, salmon and herring which is basically the same food you get for Eastern or midsummer..

But to make Julbord a bit special Swedes came with few more food such as Knäck, Julgröt (Rice Pudding), Glögg (most common Christmas drink), Julmust….



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