Uniqueness of Swedish Cuisine

Gambar Uniqueness of Swedish Cuisine

What is the first thing on your mind when you hear the word Sweden? Ikea? Swedish Meatballs? Or perhaps even more Surstromming? There are many things that the country has to offer that are worth exploring. You will be delighted in surprise when you see how well these dishes are.


Their Use of Unusual Ingredients

Who in their minds would think to pickle herring for meals? Swedes of course. Fisheries are a huge part of their diet due to the large coastline and marine variety. Being neighbors to Norway also helps Swedes to obtain high-quality Salmon and other fish for their meals.

Compared to other countries in the Europe continent, Swedes hardly go fancy and use so many herbs in their dishes. Most of their meals are also easy to reproduce. You can see some dishes have numerous variations to fit individual palates.

The best example would be the open sandwich, that in itself is a highly popular dish. And at the same time, you can customize it to have anything you like. The infinite combinations also lead to another classic which is the shrimp open sandwich.


Popular Swedish Dishes

Here are some of the most popular dishes that you can find anywhere in Sweden. Even though they are traditional dishes, some of them already have worldwide recognition.


·        Meatballs with Lingonberry Sauce and mashed potatoes.

While potatoes can be mashed or only boiled, the combination of the three is a classic, typical Sweden cuisine. The meatball is smaller than Italian meatballs, therefore, Swedes fried them in butter instead of fried and bake them.

Of course, you can find this dish at a nearby IKEA. But experiencing a true Swedish meatball in Sweden can be a unique experience.


·        Smorgastarta

The literal translation is sandwich cake, which is what the dish is all about. Picture multiple sandwiches in a baking pan to mold them. You can fill the layers with eggs, meat, vegetables, or even seafood. Of course, you can mix them both, but traditionally, you either get a seafood-filled cake with salmon and shrimp. Or you get a meat-filled cake with ham, roast beef, and cheese.


·        Kroppkakor

At a glance, they look like little balls of potatoes. But this national meal is very easy to make, it was one of the most popular dishes among the students there.

Kroppkakor is a potato-based dumpling with fried pork fillings. Served with butter and lingonberry jam which is a staple for any potato dish in Sweden. In the northern region, there is a similar dish called Palt. The difference is in whether they use boiled or raw potatoes. Different regions have their recipe with different raw and boiled potatoes ratios.


·        Smulpaj

Berries are one of the most popular fruits in the region. And Swede has one of the best berry-based dishes. Smulpaj or berry crumble is a warm dessert of berries topped with crumbled dough.

You can add layers of grains and nuts as the final topping before serving. But the most popular method is to have them with whipped cream or custard. The best part is you can change the berries based on the season or go with your favorite ones all year round.


·        Semla

This bun used to only be available during the “Fettisdagen” or “Fat Tuesday”, the day before Ash Wednesday. But today, you can find them between January and March, or even during Christmas.

The history of these almond cream-filled buns dated back to the middle ages. However, it was not until the 1800s Swedes started adding whipped cream and almond paste to the semla.

Naturally, Denmark and Norway as the neighboring countries also have similar dishes. However, Danes prefer to use a choux pastry instead of a roll. And Norwegian used wheat flour and go heavy with the fillings.


·        Surströmming

The infamous pickled herring is often called one of the weirdest dishes in Europe. The fermentation process creates a pungent odor from the fish, making it an even more acquired taste than blue cheese. However, Swedes love their Surstromming and often add one to their open sandwich.


Swedes and Their Eating Habit

Being a country with vast nature makes Swedes opt for hearty meals. As you can see from some of the dishes above. They appreciate the large calories in their meals. That is why, some of the most popular breads and snacks in Sweden are very sugary. Another thing to note is how many times they eat in a day. In addition to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Swedes also insert snacking time between each meal.

Swedes are also the country with the second-highest coffee consumption. As they also love milk and its byproducts. Cheese and yogurts are common in their modern cuisine.


With all of their unique properties, you must try these cuisines if you ever visit the country. Of course, there are a lot more dishes to explore, as you may want to try every single combination on an open sandwich. You can take it as an adventure to introduce various cultures to your palate.

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