When you think of global cuisine, Swedish food may not be one that immediately comes to mind. However, the Swedes have a rich culinary tradition that provides visitors with interesting food choices that are delicious and very much traditionally Swedish.
Swedish cooking stems widely from their climate – consisting of a lot of summer light and intense winter conditions that forced inhabitants early on to find ways of preserving food for the long winter season. For this reason, the locally-sustained resources are the main sources for their most popular dishes, ranging from herring to meatballs to cinnamon buns.
Some of the best Swedish dishes are highlighted below — DISCLAIMER: we take no responsibility if these images entice you to impulsively buy a ticket to Sweden at your earliest convenience.
Swedish Meatballs (or Kotbullar)
Anyone who’s been to an IKEA in the states and eaten at the food court could have probably guessed this would be one of the dishes highlighted, however it’s important to note how varied these meatballs can be from family to family. The Swedes often vary their ingredients so as to make their family’s own unique meatball, some adding onion, some serving them with gravy. However some aspects do stay the same, such as the breadcrumbs used in the meatball as well as serving them with delicious ligonberries (another Swedish staple).
Although maybe not the most eye-appealing dish, pickled herring is a true staple of any Swedish spread. The dish comes in a variety of flavors – mustard, onion, garlic and dill, to name a few – and is often eaten with boiled potatoes, sour cream, chopped chives, sharp hard cheese, sometimes boiled eggs and, of course, crispbread (see below)
In addition to the usual bread and butter with the meal, you’ll often find crispbread served as well. Crispbread comes in a variety of flavors and sizes, and can be topped with anything from sliced boiled eggs to ham, cheese, cucumber or just plain butter.
A Swedish potato pancake, Raggmunk consists of pancakes fried in butter, served with fried pork and of course the famous ligonberries again. IHOP in the states has attempted to create a similar dish, but it’s just not the same.
Kanelbullar (or cinnamon buns) Kanelbullar are a classic at Swedish coffee parties, as Swedes have a definite sweet tooth. When invited to someone’s home for coffee, you’ll generally get a cinnamon bun or another sweet to go with it — and we’re not complaining about that.
That’s at least a start on the Swedish food tradition — are you salivating yet?
If you want to learn more, I’d recommend visiting here as it’s where I got most of my information for this post!
As they say in Sweden, “smaklig måltid” or ENJOY YOUR MEAL!