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Travel Guide 2   >   Europe   >   Sweden   >   Recipes

   
 

Swedish Recipes


Many Swedish recipes are based around fish and seafood, especially herring, which is unsurprising given the country's long coastline and maritime tradition. Crayfish are also popular in Sweden, and are especially eaten in August, when the Swedes hold crayfish parties known as "kräftskivor".

Swedish crayfish party (kräftskiva)

On the other hand, Swedish recipes often contain relatively few vegetables - because historically there was limited choice of vegetables available during the long winters. That said, Swedish dishes do make use of potato, rutabaga (known in the United Kindom as "swede"), turnip, and cabbage preserved as sauerkraut. Additionally, a jam made from lingonberry, which is a small flowering plant that grows wild in Scandinavia, is a popular condiment with many dishes.

It probably would be fair to say that although some herbs are used in cooking, most Swedish traditional dishes are fairly plain, and the Swedes do not make use of spices to anything like the extent of some other countries. However, that does not mean that Swedish food is not tasty or satisfying.

Some of the most popular Swedish dishes include:
  • Knäckebröd - Knäckebröd is a crispy cracker-like bread made using rye. For breakfast (Swedish: frukost), the Swedes often eat in the form of open sandwiches, which are topped with topped with cold cuts, hard cheese, messmör (cheese spread) or even caviar.

    Knäckebröd

  • Smörgåsbord - Smörgåsbord is not so much a meal, as a style of eating. Many small dishes are prepared and laid out in a buffet to which guests and family members can help themselves. Smörgåsbord is especially popular during holiday periods, and is known at Christmas as "Julbord".

  • Ärtsoppa - Pea soup.

  • Gravad lax - A popular appetizer, gravad lax is cured salmon with vinegar, salt, sugar and dill. It is normally eaten with a dill and mustard sace, and served with bread or potatoes.

  • Inlagd sill - Pickled herring.

  • Surströmming - Fermented Baltic herring in brine.

  • Lutfisk - This is a very unusual dish made using stockfish (air-dried white fish). The fish - usually cod, but sometimes ling - is prepared using a multi-step process involving soaking in water, the in a mix of water soda lye (a caustic soda solution), and finally in water again. As a result the fish swells up and attains a jelly-like consistency. The fish is then cooked (usually by steaming), and served, most often with a white sauce containing pepper and other spices.

    Lutfisk (on the left) with various accompaniments

  • Blodpudding - This is a blood sausage (like the British "black pudding").

  • Kåldolmar - Kåldolmar are cabbage rolls filled with rice and pork. They are served with boiled potatoes and gravy, and lingonberry jam.

  • Janssons frestelse - This dish is potato, onion, and cream with with pickled sprat (Swedish: ansjovis), oven-baked. Because of the Swedish word "ansjovis", many people think this dish includes anchovies - it does not - anchovies are known in Sweden as "sardeller".

  • Köttbullar - Köttbullar is meatballs made from ground (minced) meat (usually beef, but sometimes beef and pork mixed), with breadcrumbs, chopped onions, seasoning ans spices. The meatballs are traditionally served with boiled potatoes and gravy, and usually with picked cucumber and lingonberry jam as well.
  • Kroppkaka - Potato dumplings, filled with pork and onions, and normally served with butter or cream, and lingonberry jam.

  • Pyttipanna - Potatoes, onions, and sausage or ham, chopped and then fried together in a pan.

  • Raggmunk - Pancakes made from potatoes.

  • Köttsoppa - This is a meat (beef normally but sometimes reindeer or elk), and root vegetable soup. It is often eaten with plain simple dumplings (Swedish: Klimp) made from wheat flour, milk and egg.
  • Smörgåstårta - This is a savory "cake" made out of layers of buttered bread with creamy fillings (egg and mayonnaise usually) between the layers, and topped as well. Many different fillings and toppings may be used, but common ones include caviar, liver paté, olives, prawns and smoked salmon. The dish is served cold, and cut into slices before eating.

  • Ostkaka - This is a cheesecake, but not like American/British cheesecakes. It is prepared by baking a cake made from milk curd (or nowadays cottage cheese). Normally ostaka is served with jam and whipped cream, or fruit and ice cream.

    Ostkaka

  • Saltlakrits - Salty liquorice.

  • Kanelbulle - Cinnamon Roll.

    Kanelbulle

  • Spettekaka - This dessert from southern Sweden is made using eggs, potato flour and sugar. The mixture is put on a skewer and cooked over an open fire until it becomes very dry and crispy (after cooking precautions are taken to retain this dryness). The cakes can be very small or even several feet (over a meter) in length - the large cakes needing to be cut with a hacksaw as they shatter if you attempt to cut them with a knife. Spettekaka is normally served with vanilla ice cream, dark roast coffee and port wine.

  • Knäck - Knäck is a traditional Swedish sticky toffee which is eaten at Christmas.
Here are some recipe books and cookbooks for Swedish food:


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Books about Swedish Cooking and Recipes


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Fika: The Art of The Swedish Coffee Break, with Recipes for Pastries, Breads, and Other Treats

By Anna Brones

imusti
Released: 2015-04-07
Hardcover (168 pages)

Fika: The Art of The Swedish Coffee Break, with Recipes for Pastries, Breads, and Other Treats
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  • Ten Speed Press
Product Description:
An illustrated lifestyle cookbook on the Swedish tradition of fika--a twice-daily coffee break--including recipes for traditional baked goods, information and anecdotes about Swedish coffee culture, and the roots and modern incarnations of this cherished custom.

Sweden is one of the world’s top coffee consuming nations, and the twice-daily social coffee break known as fika is a cherished custom. Fika can be had alone or in groups, indoors or outdoors, while traveling or at home. A time to take a rest from work and chat with friends or colleagues over a cup and a sweet treat, fika reflects the Swedish ideal of slowing down to appreciate life’s small joys. In this adorable illustrated cookbook, Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall share nearly fifty classic recipes from their motherland—from cinnamon buns and ginger snaps to rhubarb cordial and rye bread—allowing all of us to enjoy this charming tradition regardless of where we live.

The Traditional Swedish Cookbook: Recipes from the Land of the Midnight Sun

By Anthony Boundy

Released: 2018-08-16
Kindle Edition (56 pages)

The Traditional Swedish Cookbook: Recipes from the Land of the Midnight Sun
 
Product Description:
Swedish cooking is greatly influenced by its cold, northern location. Winters are long, and fresh vegetables aren’t always available. Root vegetables, however, such as potatoes and beets, do grow plentifully in Sweden and make up the primary source of complex carbohydrates.

Swedish food is very mild. The country was never a part of the European spice trade, and many dishes are flavored by a delectable dill sauce. A favorite accompaniment to just about any meal is lingonberry. From breakfast, lunch to dinner, lingonberry jam finds its way to the table.

Surrounded by the sea, Sweden makes full use of its abundance. Herring, salmon, and other types of fish are a staple. This Swedish Cookbook has many traditional recipes for preparing seafood the traditional Swedish way. Potatoes, especially boiled, accompany many seafood dishes. Herring and boiled potatoes are a national favorite.

While there are many types of bread in Sweden, everyone loves their crispbread, which can be topped by just about anything. This Swedish Cookbook has some great ideas for the perfect crispbread sandwich.

The recipes in this Swedish Cookbook are tasty, easy-to-prepare and will make you feel like a Viking. Skoal!

50 Ways to Make a Meatball: The 50 Most Delicious Meatball Recipes (Recipe Top 50's Book 66)

By Julie Hatfield

Otherworld Publishing
Released: 2015-02-01
Kindle Edition (133 pages)

50 Ways to Make a Meatball: The 50 Most Delicious Meatball Recipes (Recipe Top 50 s Book 66)
 
Product Description:
You sit and think about the meatball you’d like to eat
Take one look inside this book to finally see
This isn’t rocket science but there’s a large variety
There must be 50 Ways to Make a Meatball

Discover the many versions of these tasty balls of meat
There are Italian, Swedish, and even Japanese
Some are big, some small, some stuffed with melted cheese
There must be 50 Ways to Make a Meatball

Now don’t go off and travel the globe for recipes
Save your money, I know that you’re intrigued
Just use this cookbook and stay home, it’s all you need
These are the 50 Ways to Make a Meatball



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The Swedish Christmas Table: Traditional Holiday Meals, Side Dishes, Candies, and Drinks

By Jens Linder

Skyhorse Publishing
Released: 2018-11-20
Paperback (208 pages)

The Swedish Christmas Table: Traditional Holiday Meals, Side Dishes, Candies, and Drinks
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Product Description:
Festive foods for a traditional Christmas season.

Yuletide is a time of delicious smells wafting through the halls: onions sizzling on the stove, a wood fire gently smoldering in the grate, and fresh-baked gingerbread ready to hang on the tree. It’s a time of tradition and recipes handed down from one year to the next. The Swedish Christmas Table is a festive homage to the international history of the month of snow and mulled wine, advent calendars, and gathering family. Set your table with such seasonal delicacies as:

  • Mulled wine, eggnog, and seasonal cocktails
  • Roasted nuts
  • Fudge, nougat, and marzipan
  • Christmas ham
  • Vegetable pie with roasted walnuts
  • Frosted fruit
  • And so much more to delight and impress!

  • Discover new holiday favorites and update old traditions. Featuring vibrant and retro holiday collages, The Swedish Christmas Table is a Christmas cookbook to inspire, cherish, and hold on to for years to come.

    Traditional Swedish Cooking

    By Caroline Hofberg

    Skyhorse Publishing
    Paperback (192 pages)

    Traditional Swedish Cooking
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    Product Description:
    Featuring the flavors and foods native to Sweden, such as fresh dill, venison, lingonberries, caviar, and aged cheeses, Caroline Hofberg presents a mouthwatering collection of modern and classic Swedish dishes. From apple pancakes to baby potato salad with asparagus, from cod with horseradish aioli to lingonberry chutney, every recipe offers a fresh interpretation of Swedish favorites.

    Traditional Swedish Cooking includes recipes for:
    Dill and chive bread
    Barley risotto with crispy bacon
    Creamy salmon potato salad
    Strawberry elderflower parfait
    Root vegetables au gratin
    Gingerbread muffins with lingonberries
    And so much more
    Pulling inspiration from the sea, woods, lakes, and farms, Hofberg shows her true passion for Sweden and Swedish cooking through the simple and entertaining way she prepares new and old classics. Beautiful, full-color photographs will inspire any cook.

    Skyhorse Publishing, along with our Good Books and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of cookbooks, including books on juicing, grilling, baking, frying, home brewing and winemaking, slow cookers, and cast iron cooking. We’ve been successful with books on gluten-free cooking, vegetarian and vegan cooking, paleo, raw foods, and more. Our list includes French cooking, Swedish cooking, Austrian and German cooking, Cajun cooking, as well as books on jerky, canning and preserving, peanut butter, meatballs, oil and vinegar, bone broth, and more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

    Lagom: The Swedish Art of Eating Harmoniously

    By Steffi Knowles-Dellner

    Quadrille Publishing
    Released: 2018-02-06
    Hardcover (192 pages)

    Lagom: The Swedish Art of Eating Harmoniously
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    Product Description:
    Lagom: n. just the right amount, balanced, harmonious.

    This beautiful, fresh cookbook offers genuine insight into how Swedes eat and cook – with recipes that fit around the seasons, occasions, times of day, and appetite. Eating and cooking in tune with "lagom" means embracing food that is good for body and soul, unfussy, delicious and sustaining, and all in harmony. The Swedes understand that balance is everything – that you crave comforting food when a bitter wind is howling outside, that refreshing, lighter meals suit hot, hazy days, that a mid-morning bun is good for morale, and that a long, sociable lunch with friends and family on a Sunday is the most rewarding way to end the weekend. There is a time and place for every kind of food, and when everything is in equilibrium, you will be content and satisfied.

    Splendid Swedish Recipes

    By Kerstin O. Van Guilder

    Penfield Books
    Spiral-bound (160 pages)

    Splendid Swedish Recipes
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    Product Description:
    This inexpensive, index card size spiral-bound recipe book features over 100 Swedish recipes. Makes a great gift or "stocking stuffer" for friends and relatives. The author came to America from Sweden in 1961.

    The Swedish-American Cookbook: A Charming Collection of Traditional Recipes Presented in Both Swedish and English

    By Anonymous

    Brand: Skyhorse Publishing
    Paperback (400 pages)

    The Swedish-American Cookbook: A Charming Collection of Traditional Recipes Presented in Both Swedish and English
    List Price: $16.95*
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    • Used Book in Good Condition
    Product Description:
    By presenting traditional recipes in Swedish on one side and the English translations on the other, The Swedish-American Cookbook takes authenticity to the next level. This book covers everything from breads to candies, meats to malts. It also contains example menus, helpful tips for preparation, and instructions for preserving various fruits and vegetables. Some recipes include Swedish caviar, cherry soup, almond cookies, baked chicken with parsnips, melon ice cream, meatballs, rusks, and dozens more.

    This cookbook is one of a kind. Initially published in 1895, The Swedish-American Cookbook is now updated with beautiful full-color photographs and an attractive, easy-to-follow layout. Also included is an extended explanation on the weights, measurements, and fruit used in the recipes in order to make the process helpful for cooks unfamiliar with Swedish recipes. Lindhal’s instructions cannot be clearer in this easy-to-read, faithful resource for authentic Swedish food.


     
     
     

     
     
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