Sweden's nutty twins
Have you heard about the mystery of Sweden's two nutty tarts? They are called Poly and Helena and they look so alike, but nobody knows where they came from!
Poly, well officially Polyné, is a nutty tartlet made with sweet short crust pastry and with a cross on the top. Helena, or to use her full name Helenabakelse, is a nutty tartlet made with short crust pastry and with a cross on top. But why do they look almost the same? Why do they both have crosses? And where did they get their names from?
Photo from wikipedia
We contacted Professor Dick Harrison, Sweden's leading authority on the history of baking in Sweden, to see if he could shed any light on the origin of the nutty twin's names, but sadly he was unable to unravel the mystery for us. If you can help please get in touch; we would love to know!
Too bad that we can't solve the mystery for you, but we can help you bake your own nutty twins! They are easy to bake, rather pleasant and very moreish. 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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Our favourite bread!
This is our favourite bread: a really special sweetish black bread! It loves to be the star of the show as it is packed with flavour, so it is at its best enjoyed with nothing more than some good quality butter. We often choose it when we are having a leisurely breakfast, with cheese or even as an apertiser.
Photo courtesy Jessica Haydahl Photography
We first tasted this bread back in 2013 and thought it was so special that we tracked down the baker: Paul Moran, a young Canadian chef. Fortunately Paul kindly agreed to share his recipe with us.
This year we heard that Paul has just been crowned Canada's Young Chef of the Year! In June Paul hopes to go on to gain the world title, when he competes in Milan in the S.Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year Competition. We are so proud that we spotted such a talented young chef and wish Paul every success in Milan.
The bread is made with a mixture of wheat and rye flours and is flavoured with caramel, cocoa, fennel and caraway. We hope you will try it and that you will let us know what you think. We feel sure that you will enjoy it as much as we do. More…
It's Skrei time!
Skrei (pronounced Skray) is a migratory cod from Norway. Supplies tend to end up in posh restaurants, especially in the UK where Michel Rous Jr is promoting it, but the fish is so good it is worth finding a supplier if you can. For instance, in London it is sold in Harrods and on Borough Market it is stocked by Furness Fish and Game.
Skrei is only available for a limited season from January to April when the fish swim from the Barents Sea, inside the Arctic Circle, to their spawning grounds just off the Lofoten Islands.
Skrei are powerful fish making their flesh exceptionally firm, white and supple. The fishing is very strictly controlled by the Norwegians to preserve fish stocks so that only 10% of fish are caught, all fish are line-caught from day boats and the fish must be fully grown (about five years old) and in pristine condition with no scratches or bruising.
Skrei is superb simply pan fried or as shown at the top of the page, from left to right:
• Torsk med pepparrot och brynt smör (cod with fresh horseradish and brown butter),
• Torsk med bönor och bacon (cod with beans and bacon),
• Torsk med spenat och pinjenötter (cod with spinach and pinenuts).
All can be made with fillets or steaks.
Let's get children baking!
Let's get children baking! Baking gives children a lifelong skill, increases their self-confidence and inspires their creativity. It is also a great way of helping children learn about foods and, of course, if you teach them to bake some Swedish food you can introduce them to another language and culture! So many benefits and such great fun!
For young children, try baking some mandelbiskvier (almond macaroons). They are quick and easy to make, so that they can be eaten within 30 minutes of starting!
"Gamlemormor, jag är lite hungrig"
Three year old Christoffer loves baking with great grand mother, Karin Fürst. He whispers to her, Gamlemormor, jag är lite hungrig. It is the cue to bake some kanelbullar, his favourite bun (see our recipe below).
If you have children, grand children or even great grand children get them baking as soon as possible. It's a great way of bonding.
If, like young Christoffer, you are partial to some kanelbullar (cinnamon buns), try our recipe. Baking with yeast is great fun for kids as they watch it come alive and grow. (You might want to reduce the amount of cinnamon, but it is good to introduce them to exciting flavours.) More…
My favourite fry-up!
My wife normally disapproves of a fry-up so pyttipanna (literally, tiny pieces in a pan) is not a dish that I am often allowed to cook, but last night I was allowed a rare treat: pyttipanna for two!
And what a treat it turned out to be. Even my wife had to concede that it tasted really good. For us the thing that elevates the dish to a higher level is the inclusion of inlagda rödbetor (pickled beetroot), especially if homemade but any good quality pickled beetroot would suffice.
Traditionally the dish is a way of using up leftovers although I must admit to buying some reindeer salami from Stockholm Deli and some delicious smoked chicken from my local butcher (The Best Butchers) for our pyttipanna. Definitely worth it!
And actually I really don't think pyttipanna is a heart attack on a plate! When made with quality ingredients it is a real treat and healthy with it. Do try it soon! More…
Get ready for summer!
Now is the perfect time to make some snaps ready for a Midsummer celebrations or a crayfish party. It is really easy to make and tastes every bit as good as many of the commercial versions. And it is a lot cheaper! It keeps well and actually improves with age, so snaps made now will be perfect by the summer! 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. It is easy to make and tastes really Swedelicious! 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…
During 2014, our first full year of operation, we had hundreds of thousands of visitors spread across 182 countries, which is amazing as there are only 196 countries in total! Inevitably, köttbullar (meatballs) bagged the number spot with the most clicks! To see the full list click here.
Top 50 Classic Recipes
We have also compiled a list of what we consider to be our Top 50 Classic Recipes. No two people are likely to agree completely on what should be included, but we hope you will approve of most of our choices!
Sunday 15th March: Mother's Day in the UK. (Mors dag in Sweden is on Sunday 31st May.)
Wednesday 25th March: Våffeldagen (Waffle day) More…
For an abbreviated 2015 calendar, detailing all the röda dagar (red days/bank holidays) in Sweden click here. Warning: it might make you jealous.
"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…
Chocolate kringles with nuts
Choklad kringlor med nötter
Once upon a time, every bakery in Sweden had a kringle-shaped sign hanging outside. These pretty, pretzel shaped delicious little cakes are flavoured with chocolate and nuts. The recipe has been adapted from Margareta Schildt Landgren's lovely new book Simply Swedish, flavours for all seasons. More…
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Dining out for the health-conscious
It is good to see that our 2014 Restaurant of the Year, The Salt Bar in Macclesfield, is recommended by Waitrose Weekend as one the countries top eateries for delicious and wholesome food. They recommend the The Salt Bar for "its oily pickled fish, fresh rye bread and nutrient-packed winter berries and vegetables". Congratulations again to The Salt Bar. (To read our reviews of Swedish restaurants in the UK click 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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