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5 Things To Eat In Sweden!

Sweden has a place in my heart and it has so much to offer when it comes to food!

journals

5 Things To Eat In Sweden!

Sweden has a place in my heart and it has so much to offer when it comes to food!

5 Things To Eat In Sweden! | DonalSkehan.com, Sweden has a place in my heart and it has so much to offer when it comes to food!
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
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With long dark winters and never ending summer nights the Swedes certainly know how to make the best of the seasons.

Tradition plays a big part in the foods that are eaten in Sweden and the calendar is dotted with special occasions when specific types of food are enjoyed.  I particularly like the appropriately titled “Fattisdag” or Fat Tuesday which is celebrated on Shrove Tuesday which is the perfect excuse to eat “Semla” or giant buns filled with cream and marzipan.

Summer is heralded by midsummer celebrations when pickled herring and boiled new potatoes with butter take centre stage, while in late August, giant brat pans filled with vibrant red boiled fresh water crayfish are savoured in a ceremony which involves, silly hats, songs and a lot of sucking- don’t ask!

Even if there isn’t a specific occasion in the diary the Swedes still have Fika, a mid morning break where it is perfectly acceptable to stop what you’re doing and enjoy coffee and cake with a friend.  As you can tell this is my kinda country! Here are my top 5 things you have to try if you visit Sweden.

With long dark winters and never ending summer nights the Swedes certainly know how to make the best of the seasons.

Tradition plays a big part in the foods that are eaten in Sweden and the calendar is dotted with special occasions when specific types of food are enjoyed.  I particularly like the appropriately titled “Fattisdag” or Fat Tuesday which is celebrated on Shrove Tuesday which is the perfect excuse to eat “Semla” or giant buns filled with cream and marzipan.

Summer is heralded by midsummer celebrations when pickled herring and boiled new potatoes with butter take centre stage, while in late August, giant brat pans filled with vibrant red boiled fresh water crayfish are savoured in a ceremony which involves, silly hats, songs and a lot of sucking- don’t ask!

Even if there isn’t a specific occasion in the diary the Swedes still have Fika, a mid morning break where it is perfectly acceptable to stop what you’re doing and enjoy coffee and cake with a friend.  As you can tell this is my kinda country! Here are my top 5 things you have to try if you visit Sweden.

1. Fermented Baltic Sea Herring

I only very recently popped my Surströmming cherry, as with it’s rather specific whiff and taste it only appears on very dedicated Swedes smorgasbords!  Baltic sea herring is fermented in the tin for around six months, after which time, the stench should be just appropriate for eating!  The can should be opened with caution as the contents are quite literally bulging out, resulting in a ferocious spray of vile smelling liquid upon piercing it with a can opener.

To serve the fermented fish, their bones are removed before being sliced up and place on a crisp bread with butter, sliced boiled potatoes, red onion and dill.  The resulting open sandwich is best enjoyed by holding your nose!

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1. Fermented Baltic Sea Herring

I only very recently popped my Surströmming cherry, as with it’s rather specific whiff and taste it only appears on very dedicated Swedes smorgasbords!  Baltic sea herring is fermented in the tin for around six months, after which time, the stench should be just appropriate for eating!  The can should be opened with caution as the contents are quite literally bulging out, resulting in a ferocious spray of vile smelling liquid upon piercing it with a can opener.

To serve the fermented fish, their bones are removed before being sliced up and place on a crisp bread with butter, sliced boiled potatoes, red onion and dill.  The resulting open sandwich is best enjoyed by holding your nose!

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2. Kanelbulle

One of the first things I tried when I arrived in Sweden was the mighty Kanelbulle, a cinnamon bun which is without a doubt one of their most popular baked goods.  These cardamom and cinnamon laced buns come in various shapes and sizes but the filling is always the same, a sugary, buttery spiced paste which layered within a sweet and moist bread dough.  They can be found everywhere from the best bakeries in the land to motorway gas stations! Get the recipe.

2. Kanelbulle

One of the first things I tried when I arrived in Sweden was the mighty Kanelbulle, a cinnamon bun which is without a doubt one of their most popular baked goods.  These cardamom and cinnamon laced buns come in various shapes and sizes but the filling is always the same, a sugary, buttery spiced paste which layered within a sweet and moist bread dough.  They can be found everywhere from the best bakeries in the land to motorway gas stations! Get the recipe.

3. Princesstarta

A staple of the traditional Swedish fika, a Swedish Princess cake is instantly recognisable from it’s large neon green marzipan dome which conceals layers of whipped cream, light sponge, crème pâtissière and fresh raspberries or jam.  If you can manage to prevent yourself from licking the window of the Swedish bakery you’ve singled out, make it a number one priority to get inside and order a slice!  As cakes go, it’s a tricky and intricate job to make one but if you fancy giving it a go, there’s a recipe here.

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3. Princesstarta

A staple of the traditional Swedish fika, a Swedish Princess cake is instantly recognisable from it’s large neon green marzipan dome which conceals layers of whipped cream, light sponge, crème pâtissière and fresh raspberries or jam.  If you can manage to prevent yourself from licking the window of the Swedish bakery you’ve singled out, make it a number one priority to get inside and order a slice!  As cakes go, it’s a tricky and intricate job to make one but if you fancy giving it a go, there’s a recipe here.

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4. Fresh Water Crayfish

If you get lucky enough to bag a place at a Swedish crayfish party or “kräftskiva” be prepared to eat a lot of food, drink a lot of schnapps and try your hand at singing traditional Swedish songs (the schnapps will help)!  Most families in Sweden enjoy their kräftskiva in mid August where giant platters of juicy sweet crayfish boiled in water infused with crown dill, salt and sugar are served straight to the table.  Audible sucking of the crayfish is perfectly acceptable behaviour and is in fact encouraged in order to savour the sweet and subtle flavour!

4. Fresh Water Crayfish

If you get lucky enough to bag a place at a Swedish crayfish party or “kräftskiva” be prepared to eat a lot of food, drink a lot of schnapps and try your hand at singing traditional Swedish songs (the schnapps will help)!  Most families in Sweden enjoy their kräftskiva in mid August where giant platters of juicy sweet crayfish boiled in water infused with crown dill, salt and sugar are served straight to the table.  Audible sucking of the crayfish is perfectly acceptable behaviour and is in fact encouraged in order to savour the sweet and subtle flavour!

5. Summer Mushrooms

During the summer in Sweden, the forests are alive with edible plants and funghi.  Most noteworthy is the golden trumpet shaped chanterelle mushroom which is highly sought after and on a good days foraging you can come away with kilos of these beauties!  If you aren’t up for getting your hands dirty on the forest floor, most Swedish summer markets will have the chanterelles on offer.  Pan fried in butter and enjoyed on toast is simply the best way to enjoy them.

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5. Summer Mushrooms

During the summer in Sweden, the forests are alive with edible plants and funghi.  Most noteworthy is the golden trumpet shaped chanterelle mushroom which is highly sought after and on a good days foraging you can come away with kilos of these beauties!  If you aren’t up for getting your hands dirty on the forest floor, most Swedish summer markets will have the chanterelles on offer.  Pan fried in butter and enjoyed on toast is simply the best way to enjoy them.

Check out the behind scenes episode of Donal’s European Adventure below and make sure to tune in to Follow Donal my new TV series, for more from Stockholm, on the 11th of January over on Food Network UK.

Check out the behind scenes episode of Donal’s European Adventure below and make sure to tune in to Follow Donal my new TV series, for more from Stockholm, on the 11th of January over on Food Network UK.

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