Enjoy Advent the Swedish way
Candles, lussekatter, glögg and pepparkakor
On the first Sunday in Advent Swedes light the first of four Advent candles and start the countdown to Christmas by eating some Lussekatter (Saffron buns) with a cup of coffee or a glass of glögg (mulled wine). It's a time to bake some pepparkakor (gingersnaps) and start the preparations for Christmas in earnest. More…
One of the highlights of Advent in Sweden is Luciadagen (Lucia's Day) on December 13th. Lucia processions take place all over Sweden to commenorate the coming of lighter days. The processions are led by a young girl dressed up as Sankta Lucia (Saint Lucia) who always wears a crown of candles. Lucia concerts take place all over the world, but you usually have to turn up early to get a good seat. Read our Swedishfoodpedia article to learn more about the history of Luciadagen. More…
Welcome to SwedishFood.com
Thank you for visiting our site. I set it up just over a year ago to help other English speakers around the world who would like to learn more about Swedish food.
All our recipes have been tried and tasted, include a clear summary, list ingredients in British and American units and include a photograph of the finished dish.
Happy cooking! John Duxbury
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Lutfisk: love it or hate it?!
American author Garrison Keillor, in his novel Pontoon, famously described lutfisk as "Not edible by normal people"! Lutfisk is dried cod which has been rehydrated using lye, a chemical used for cleaning drains! It does makes the fish rather gelatinous, but Swedes traditionally eat lutfisk at Christmas.
Lutfisk is normally served with boiled potatoes, peas and either a Béchamel sauce, flavoured with allspice and cloves, or a mustard sauce. I like to add some crispy pancetta and to lightly sauté the peas with finely chopped shallot. More…
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Saffron buns with white chocolate
Lussebullar med vit choklad
Swedes bake millions of saffron buns during Advent, mainly a type called lussekatter, which are formed in S-shaped spirals with two raisins which are supposed to resemble cats. They are, of course, very nice but my personal favourite is lussebullar med vit choklad (saffron buns with white chocolate). They really are Swedelicious!
They are wonderfully light and buttery with a filling of almond paste, white chocolate and dried fruit (dried cranberries have been used in the photo above). If I offer people a choice of traditional lussekatter or lussebullar med vit choklad I find that nearly everyone chooses the chocolate buns! Try them for yourself and I am sure you will agree with me. More…
"Frozen tuber" of reindeer
Tjälknöl is an ingenious way of cooking a large piece of reindeer (caribou). Tjälknöl is really two words: tjäle means ground frost and knöl means tuber, like a potato tuber.
The method was invented by the Sami people in the far north of Scandinavia. The Sami would bury a piece of reindeer in the snow to preserve it. When required, the meat would then be cooked very slowly from frozen on a charcoal fire, then soaked in a hot marinade and left to cool.
The result was an absolutely stunning piece of meat, quite dense, slightly salty and delicately flavoured. The meat is eaten cold in a very thin slices with rårörda lingon (raw stirred lingonberries), potatisgratäng (potato gratin) and, perhaps, some syltade svamp (pickled mushrooms).
You can make the dish with venison or beef, but I think it is worth making with reindeer if you get the chance. More…
A Christmassy nut and brandied fig tart
Julig nötpaj med cognacsfikon
Brandied figs, nuts and a little dark chocolate provides the filling for julig nötpaj med cognacsfikon (a Christmassy nut and brandied figs tart), a wonderful festive treat. The tart keeps well so it can be made a day or two in advance for stress-free entertaining. Christmassy and Swedelicious. Perfect. More…
Spelt crispbread with seeds
Dinkelknäckebröd med frön
Although it is possible to buy really good knäckebröd, it always feels a bit special when it is homemade. Try our recipe for Christmas! It is easy to make and tastes really Swedelicious! Oh, and if tie some up with pretty ribbon it makes a nice little present. More…
Distinctive features of Swedish food
Swedish food has a growing reputation across the world. For instance, Jamie Oliver described Swedish food as "Big, bold, brave and definitely up there with the best in the world". But what makes Swedish food distinctive? Check-out our guide…
"Caviar of Kalix"
We are gradually producing a Swedishfoodpedia and have already assembled lots of articles on Swedish food including entries about:
Check out our latest article, by Christer Frånlund our expert on food from the north of Sweden, explains why Kalix löjrom ("Caviar of Kalix") is a prized delicacy which is served at special occasions such as Nobel Banquets, Royal Weddings and other celebrations. It is also the only product in Sweden to have Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status because the colour and flavour of the caviar from Kalix is so special. Kalix löjrom is served at all the best Christmas parties in Sweden. Perfect with Champagne! More…
An alternative to glögg
Fancy a change from glögg? Try Sambucus, a warm Swedish drink popular during Advent made using fläderblomssaft (elderflower cordial/syrup), juniper berries, vanilla and white wine. The recipe has been adapted from Margareta Schildt Landgren's lovely new book Simply Swedish, flavours for all seasons. More…
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Swedish Restaurant of the Year
The Salt Bar in Macclesfield is one of the UK's newest Swedish restaurants, but we think it is the best and deserves the title: The Swedish Restaurant of the Year. Sadly we've got no champagne to give away, but we hope that the team at The Salt Bar will be pleased anyway!
We think The Salt Bar offers good value Swedish food and top-notch service in a lively friendly setting. A midweek 2-course dinner is £12.95 and you can even add a glass of wine for just £1.95. No wonder it is always so busy. It has also tempted a lot of people to try Swedish food for the first time and we like that. More…
We are also very impressed by Bygga Bo, a new child-friendly Swedish café and shop in Walthamstow in east London. Finally, the young team at Scandikitchen, just off Oxford Street in London, also deserve a special mention as they continue to put smiles on faces with good service, tasty open sandwiches and delicious cakes. Read our reviews of other Swedish restaurants in the UK by clicking here.
The ultimate Swedish dish
Try our recipe for Sweden's most famous dish: köttbullar (meatballs) with pressgurka (pressed cucumber), rårörda lingon (lingonberry sauce) and potatismos (mashed potatoes). I've tried köttbullar in lots of places and I really think this is the best recipe! More…
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