A new Swedish restaurant in South Korea
It is good to see that the popularity of Swedish food is gradually increasing across the world. The latest Swedish restaurant to open is Hemlagat, in Seoul, South Korea. Despite some difficulties in obtaining Swedish ingredients they have come up with an impressive menu, including variations on many of Sweden's most popular dishes.
Seoul is not an obvious place to open a new Swedish restaurant, but with the city's populaion more than double that of the whole of Sweden we hope they can drum up enough customers to succeed. We wish them every success.
We have readers every month in over 100 countries, so if you know of any new Swedish restaurants or shops opening in your part of the world please let us know.
Why Swedish food? New visitors to SwedishFood.com may find our short guide useful. Read more >>>
Like to know what other people are making? See our TopTen most popular Swedish recipes. Read more >>>
Review of site layout
SwedishFood.com has now been open for 1 year and so I am reviewing the layout of the site and hope to introduce some improvements in September. One distinctive feature of the site, compared with other recipe sites, is that we use a lot of relatively large images. I like large images but they take longer to download, which may cause a problem for some users. I would welcome your views about this. Please click on which you would prefer:
NEW Warm goats' cheese salad
Varm getostsallad med cranberries
Swedes produce some wonderful goats’ cheeses and often serve them in warm salads. Although it is hard to buy Swedish goats’ cheeses outside of Sweden this salad works well with any soft goats’ cheese. The use of dried cranberries and maple syrup in the dressing makes the salad quite sweet, but as a small starter it is perfect for entertaining and is one of my wife’s favourite starters! Read more...
Have fun: organise a crayfish party!
August is the time when Swedes hold lots of crayfish parties during which they eat lots of freshwater crayfish (crawfish) cooked in beer and dill, helped down with plenty of snaps and increasingly silly songs.
Up until 1994 it was illegal to fish for crayfish before the first Wednesday in August, but as most of the crayfish eaten in Sweden is now imported the law has been abolished. Nonetheless, many Swedes still stick to the date and hold a "crayfish première" then although I know lots of Swedes who hold crayfish parties in July and early August.
In the UK we tend to think of August has being the high point of summer, but in Sweden things begin to wind down at the start of August and on August 16th many attractions close for the rest of the summer. As a result for many Swedes crayfish parties are a way of saying goodbye to the summer and rounding off their long summer break.
Whether you are starting or finishing your summer break, try and make time for a crayfish party. Of course, you should be sat outside, near a lake and eating by the light of paper lanterns, but even if you can't create such an idyllic scene they are still great fun. Read our guide to holding a crayfish party>>>
Swedish cake of the month
Upside down-kaka med plommon och vanilj
Plums are now reaching their peak so try our recipe for upside down-kaka med plommon och vanilj (upside down plum cake with vanilla). Based on a recipe in Allt Om Mat, a popular food magazine in Sweden, it looks and tastes delicious. I like it with a little whipped cream and some extra cooked plums on the side. The cake also keeps well in a tin for several days. Take me to the recipe >>>
Plum frangipane tart and poached plums with cardamom
Our recipe for plommontarte frangipane (plum frangipane tart) is based on a recipe from Katinkas Kitchen. Ideally it should be made using mandelmassa (Swedish almond paste), which you can make yourself using our recipe, buy it online or from a specialist stores, or you can substitute any other white marzipan.
The recipe for pocherade plommon med kardemumma (poached plums with cardamom) is based on our demonstration of Swedish food at London's Borough Market. Although very easy, the addition of cardamom really enhances the taste of plums.
Marinated strawberries with elderflower parfait
Marinerade jordgubbar med fläderblomsparfait
Marinerade jordgubbar med fläderblomsparfait (marinated strawberries with elderflower parfait) is one of my favourite Swedish desserts. It is very summery and so elegant that it is fit to grace any occasion, whether it be a very special dinner or just part of a relaxing lunch with friends. Even better is the fact that it is easy to make and although it needs preparing a few hours in advance it is simple to serve. Take me to the recipe >>>
More strawberry recipes...
For lots more wonderful Swedelicious strawberry recipes click here.
I am not sure why redcurrant bushes are quite so popular in Sweden, other than the fact that they seem to grow very well, but it seems as if every Swedish garden has a few redcurrant bushes.
Redcurrants can be used as a garnish for lots of dishes such as with pannkakstårta (pancake torte), or to make a delicious rödvinbärssaft (redcurrant cordial/syrup) or, a delicious rödvinbärsgelé (redcurrant jelly) which is a popular accompaniment to game, lamb, grilled chicken or stew and for serving with cheese and biscuits. Most commercial redcurrant jellies are too sweet and lacking in flavour whereas this recipe produces a well-flavoured jelly with a gorgeous redcurrant colour and yet it is quick and easy to make! Read more >>>
Rödvinbärssorbet (redcurrant sorbet) is really easy to make as it doesn't even involve any cooking. Our recipe uses some orange liqueur to give it extra depth of flavour and to prevent it from becoming too hard. It can be served as a refreshing dessert on a hot summer's day, but it is also superb served in shot glasses in a tray of ice as part of a party buffet. Read more >>>
Chicken salad with rårörda röda vinbär*
Chicken salad with stirred redcurrants is really easy to make and can be served as a simple starter or, as I prefer, a light lunch during the summer with some good homemade bread. Read more...
*Sometimes Swedes write redcurrants as one word (rödvinbär) and sometimes as two (röda vinbär), but the choice appears to be whimsical!
Bilberries are beginning to ripen now so check out the bilberry section of our Swedishfoodpedia to find out more about bilberries and some of our delicious bilberry recipes. Read more...
The 2014 batch of smelly fish is released
The third Thursday in August always marks the release of the first of the year's new batch of surströmming (fermented herring), Sweden's most notorious dish. It's a big event in the Swedish food calendar although, to put it bluntly, the stuff stinks. Read more...
NEW Mixed salad with pumpkin seeds and feta
Blandad sallad med pumpafrön och fetaost
Salads are very popular in Sweden including as an accompaniment to hot food. Indeed, Swedes tend to eat salad more often than cooked vegetables and so in Vår Kok Bok, Sweden’s most popular cookery book, there are more recipes for salads than for vegetables.
Because there is such a wide variety of salads in Sweden there is no such thing as a typical Swedish salad to match a Greek salad. Nonetheless, there are a few characteristics of salads in Sweden including:
- they nearly always include a dressing or vinaigrette (Swedes like sauces),
- herbs are nearly always added (dill is particularly popular),
- raw vegetables (often grated) are usually included,
- seeds are frequently added (Vår Kok Bok devotes 2 pages to seeds),
- fruit is often added as a garnish,
- where cheese is included it is nearly always feta, probably because the saltiness appeals to Swedes’ palate.
This particular salad meets many of the criteria above and can be easily adapted to suit your own tastes and what is available, but I hope you think it is a good starting point for your own creation. Read more...
Salt baked beetroot
The humble beetroot when baked in salt becomes a stylish starter served in expensive restaurants in Sweden and across the world, yet it is very easy to make. It looks and smells good when it is broken open at the table and the delicious aroma of the beetroot is released. Read more...
With a very harsh climate Swedes had to learn to preserve foods to see them through their long hard winters. Although this is no longer necessary, the Swedes have developed a great affection for the old fashioned ways of preserving, including pickling.
Beetroots are particularly sweet and benefit from being paired with something acidic and so Swedes have a long tradition of pickling them. Inlagda rödbetor (pickled beetroots) are used as an accompaniment to classic Swedish dishes such as pyttipanna (Swedish hash - above left) and as an ingredient in biff à la Lindström (beef burgers - in this case barbecued).
Cucumber played such an important part in life in Scandinavia in the 18th century that the silly news season (July and August) was called "cucumber time". It was used to indicate the time of year when tailors could not expect to earn much money because, 'when the cucumbers are in, the gentry are out of town'.
In Norway it was called agurktid and in Denmark agurketid. The expression wasn't quite as common in Sweden, although I've seen references to gurktid in Skåne in southern Sweden. Instead, Swedes tended to say rötmånadshistoria (rotting month story). Nonetheless, all Swedes would know that gurktid meant the silly news season and this underlines the importance of cucumber in those days.
For me, cucumber time is a serious time. I grow outdoor cucumbers and it is the time when I turn my short stumpy ridge cucumbers into smörgåsgurka (pickled cucumber - above left). They get their name because they are normally eaten on a smörgås (open sandwiches) or with leverpastej (liver pâté). They keep very well and on a blind test my smörgåsgurka came out better than a well-known Swedish brand! Take me to the recipe >>>
Much quicker to make is pressgurka (pressed cucumber) where the cucumber is salted, pressed with heavy weights for up to a day before being covered in sugar, vinegar and parsley. It is the traditional accompaniment to köttbullar (meatballs) but my favourite use for pressgurka at this time of year is with barbecued mackerel. Take me to the recipe >>>
The world's best burger!
I think Henrik Lindström was some kind of culinary genius. He was an industrialist who came up with, what I think, is the world's best burger recipe. It is a recipe which is famous all over Sweden, but I really don't understand why the recipe hasn't gained the wider recognition it deserves.
Biff à la Lindström is made by adding pickled beetroot, capers, chives, onion, egg yolks and seasoning to ground beef. It really is that simple, so if your budget doesn't run to chucking a lobster on the barbie, why not try a Lindström burger instead? Read more...
Read Margareta Schildt Landgren's profile of Daniel Berlin, one of Sweden's most talented chefs who produces stunning innovative dishes in his restaurant in Skåne in southern Sweden. Read more >>>
Top Ten Recipes in July
Saft (cordial/syrup) recipes bag two of the top three places in our Top Ten for July, but semlor (Lenten buns) are hanging in there, long after the end of Lent! To view the Top Ten Recipes for July click here.
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Bygga Bo in London's East End
Bygga bo means building a home. Bygga Bo is also the name of a new Swedish café which is popular with Yummy Mummies in Walthamstow in the East End of London. If that seems full of contradictions, it is good to see that the café is a success and that it is becoming increasingly popular. Read our review >>>
Tribute to SwedishFood.com
Allt om Mat (All about Food), Sweden's top selling food magazine, has run a feature on SwedishFood.com called Hyllning till svensk mat (Tribute to Swedish food). It is good to see that Swedes are tacitly approving of our work as we try to make Swedish recipes more accessible to English speakers worldwide!
Try our version of 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! Read more >>>
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