7 Things to Know About Swedish Food

There’s more to Swedish food is than meatballs and chewy fish-shaped sweets. To learn the difference between pickled herring and fermented herring, or what to serve with lingonberry jam or crispbread, here are 7 facts to know about food traditions in Sweden.

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Small towns in Southwestern Sweden | © Per Pixel Petersson/imagebank.sweden.se

1. Lingonberries go with anything

Just like ketchup and mustard, lingonberry jam is widely used to accompany a variety of dishes, from meatballs and pancakes, to porridge and black pudding (blodpudding). Even though it’s sweet, lingonberry jam is rarely used on bread.

2. Pickled herring, the center of the smorgasbord

You can swap meatballs (köttbullar) for mini sausages (prinskorvar) or cured salmon (gravlax) for smoked, but a smörgåsbord wouldn’t be complete without pickled herring (sill). This fishy favorite remains the basis of every typical Swedish buffet.

3. Crispbread is the best base

In addition to bread and butter, crispbread (knäckebröd) is almost always served alongside the main meal. Once considered poor man’s food, crispbread has been baked in Sweden for over 500 years and can last for at least a year if stored properly!

4. Prinsesstårta

A beautiful—and delicious—addition to window displays of bakeries throughout Sweden is green princess cake (prinsesstårta), topped with a bright pink sugar rose. The cake is made with yellow sponge cake lined with jam and vanilla custard. It’s finished off with a heavy topping of whipped cream and is carefully sealed with a thin layer of sugary sweet green marzipan.

5. A calendar of sweet delights

In Sweden, people always find a good excuse to indulge in something sweet—so much so that specific calendar days are designated to the celebration of particular sugary specialties! Cinnamon Bun Day (Kanelbullens dag) is celebrated on October 4th. Buns filled with cream and almond paste, known as semlor, are eaten on Shrove Tuesday (fettisdagen). Waffles (våfflor) are reserved for March 25th.

6. Crazy for crayfish

Crayfish parties (kräftskivor) are popular in August, when Swedens spend warm summer evenings feasting on these red, bite-sized, freshwater (or saltwater) shellfish in their gardens or balconies.

7. Surströmming, something fishy

From late August to early September, locals uphold a stinky fish tradition: they open cans of fermented sour Baltic herring (surströmming), a preparation who’s smell is reminiscent of rotten eggs or raw sewage!

A longer version of this article was originally published on www.sweden.se.

VisitSweden is Sweden’s official resource for tourism and travel information. From the bustling capital of Stockholm, to the archipelago and picturesque towns of West Sweden, and the magnificent wilderness of Swedish Lapland, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this incredible country. For more information about visiting, please visit www.visitsweden.com.

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  • iamtrue2bill

    Since 3 of my 4 grandparents came from Finland, and since Finland was ruled by Sweden in the past, we enjoyed most of the same foods. We called the hard bread ‘hardtack.” Lingonberries were frequently served, as was pickled herring. There was also “lutefisk,” dried cod, which was so preserved it had to soak forever to become soft again! My grandmother made a fish soup with it. Ah, memories!

  • Mehania Asir

    THIS IS PLAGARISM. THE ORIGINAL INFORMATION IS FROM https://sweden.se/culture-traditions/10-things-to-know-about-swedish-food/
    DO NOT CREDIT THE AUTHOR FOR THE INFORMATION. THIS IS FAKE.
    I AM DOING A PROJECT ON SWEDEN AND I WAS LOOKING AT SOME DIFFERENT WEBSITES, WHEN I REALIZED THAT THIS WAS COPIED. PLEASE READ THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE AND NOT THIS FAKE ONE.
    EDIT : So I just saw the link to the original article of the bottom, but it’s still not right to not put the original article in the heading. More views = More ad money. See what I’m trying to say? They purposely didn’t credit the author in the title so that people will click it. Then, they will give the original article at the bottom, so the reader would have read it and the fake “author” would have earned money from ads by then.

    • https://melissialenox.wordpress.com/ M. Lenox

      Your comments give the appearance that you are not well read or knowledgeable about sharing practices related to information in any format on a website or blog. Re-posting is strongly encouraged and rarely discouraged. Links to original content on secondary location(s) become a conduit for an already engaged and interested audience to connect to the original source. Reposting is beneficial to all involved parties. I would hope you will educate yourself before sharing such awful and awfully incorrect statements in the future.