Swedish cuisine is famed for its variety and versatility with the northern and southern parts differing from one another regarding their food habits. North Sweden traditionally thrived on meat dishes while the southern part included a lot of vegetables to their platter. Bread, berries, meat, potatoes, and jams (particularly raspberry) are some of the primary ingredients dominating in most of their dishes, giving them a special flavor and aroma.
What is it: A delicious potato pancake, prepared from grated or ground potato, alongside flour, applesauce, or eggs. Primarily fried in butter, seasonings of spices or herbs, onion, or garlic serve as flavorings. The toppings used for this dish might either be sweet like sugar or apple sauce or savories such as cottage c cheese or sour cream. Sides like lingonberries jam and fried pork go with this dish.
What does it taste like: Smooth, crispy, and buttery, altering according to the dips and sides teamed along with it.
What is it: A Swedish casserole having potatoes, pickled sprats, onions, cream, and bread crumbs as its primary ingredients. Prominently seen as a part of the Christmas platter, this dish is also served on other special occasions like Easter. There have been specific claims regarding the origination of its name. According to some, it attained its name after famous opera singer Per Adolf Janzon, who was famed as a gourmand. Gunnar Stigmark, on the other hand, mentions that his mother had given the dish its name on deriving inspiration from the famous film Janssons frestelse.
What does it taste like : A smooth, creamy, savory delight, melting in your mouth the moment you have it.
What is it: A delicious layered cake, having spongy cake, raspberry or any other flavored jam, pastry cream, and domed whipped cream in each of its layers. The cake has a beautiful green appearance mainly because of its green marzipan topping. A pink marzipan rose can be spotted sitting right on top. White sprinklings of powdered sugar envelop the entire surface. Initially named as green cake or gron tarta it was later named Prinsesstårta after the three Swedish princesses, who were extremely fond of this cake prepared by their teacher Jenny Akerstrom particularly on their birthdays. The third week of September is commemorated as the Princess cake week in Sweden, with about 500,000 of them sold every year.
What does it taste like: Sweet, and spongy, with the addition of marzipan taking its taste to a different level altogether.
What is it: A sweet cinnamon roll, having sugar, butter, and flour as its additional ingredients alongside cinnamon. Famous throughout Europe, as well as America, the Swedish version also includes cardamom, thus attaining a unique flavor. Haga, a city in Sweden, is famous for its large-sized cinnamon rolls that are about 30cm long, known as the Queen of the Kitchen or Hagabullar. Sweden, as well as Finland, celebrates the 4th of October as the Cinnamon Roll Day.
What does it taste like: Soft, yummy, and buttery, the addition of cardamom makes it aromatic.
What is it: A layered sandwich cake made from white or rye bread, with fillings of mayonnaise and cream. One can add stuff like ham, olive, shrimp, cucumber, tomato, lemon slices, and grapes. It is mostly served cold, similar to a dessert cake, with the types ranging from fish, meat, vegan, or even a combination of meat and cheese, or veggies, and cheese.
What does it taste like: Creamy, and cheesy, with the flavor varying in accordance to the fillings and toppings used in its preparation.
What is it: A traditional dairy product of Sweden mostly made by fermenting cow’s milk, primarily served for breakfast with muesli and cereal. Ginger, cinnamon, fruits, berries, jam, apple sauce, and sugar often serve as additional flavoring.
What does it taste like: Mild, and a little acidic, the taste would improve upon the addition of suitable flavorings.
What is it: A tasty meatball platter having meat and herbs as its primary ingredients, with pickles as well as mashed potatoes often serving as sides.
What does it taste like: Crispy on the outer side and soft inside, with the herbs enhancing its aroma to the fullest.
What is it: A nutritious soup prepared from dried peas, popular worldwide. In Sweden and Finland, toppings of mustard and aromatic herbs go along with this soup. In both the countries, it is traditionally served on Thursdays and this norm is followed even at present ion most homes as well as restaurants, military messes, and schools. Punsch, a traditional liqueur, and crispy bread are mostly served as accompaniments. You can add pork to the broth if not making it as a vegan platter.
What does it taste like: Thick and grainy, this flavorful soup seems to be immensely filling.
What is it: A mouthwatering dish comprising of chopped meat, fried onions, eggs, veggies, and potatoes. Pyttipanna in Swedish translates to small pieces in a pan, perhaps because of its process of preparation. Pickled beetroot slices capers, as well as brown sauce, is mostly served along with this dish. Previously Pyttipanna was prepared using leftover meals though the trend has changed in the present times. One can also make a vegan and vegetarian version of the dish.
What does it taste like: A whole lot of ingredients that go in its making gives it a rich, elegant taste.
What is it: A northern Swedish cuisine similar to hash (chopped meat, potato, and fried onion dish). The main ingredients include pork or ground beef, combined with heart and liver, as well as chopped onions, beef stock, white pepper, black pepper, barley grains, and marjoram.
What does it taste like: Rich, delicious and spicy, one could team the dish with pickled beetroot, fried egg, or potato curry to get the feel of a wholesome meal.
What is it: A lip-smacking chocolate cake of Sweden likened to a molten chocolate cake or brownie. The prominent ingredients include eggs, flour, cocoa, butter, and sugar. Whipped cream, raspberries, or vanilla ice cream serve as its perfect accompaniments. Many say that the cake originated during the Second World War when Sweden experienced scarcity of baking soda.
What does it taste like: Dense and compact, it is crispy on the outer side and soft within.
What is it: A sausage platter, prepared by grating beef and smoked pork together, alongside potato starch flour, mild spices, onion, and salt. Though one can eat it without any sides, to enjoy a full course meal, you can team it with mashed potato, fried eggs, and brown beans.
What does it taste like: Smoky and salty, with every transcending you to a different level altogether.
On your next trip to Sweden, do make it a mandate to gorge on a few of the above-mentioned cuisines and even a much more than the list you find here. Kaldolmar (cabbage roll), platter (pancake), raggmunk (potato pancakes), and kalops (meat stew) are some other options at your disposal.
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