August is crayfish party time in Sweden! Swedes of all ages just love crayfish parties as it's an excuse to wear silly hats, drink lots of snaps and sing silly songs!
At one time it was illegal to catch crayfish in Sweden before the first Wednesday in August but now most Swedes party on frozen imported crayfish, so there is no need to wait until August, although most do. I confess to already having held my first crayfish party in July!
There is something special about sucking crayfish sat outside, wrapped in blankets and hoping that the mosquitoes don't bite! If you are thinking of holding a crayfish party, and anyone interested in Swedish food should (!), checkout our guide to a successful kräftskiva (a crayfish party). 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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With wild mushrooms reaching a peak I recommend making some delicious svampsrisotto. Although the mushrooms of choice to use are probably red trumpet chanterelles, you can use any wild mushrooms that you can find or, as above, a combination. And if you can't find fresh wild mushrooms you can use dried. Without doubt it is my favourite risotto, absolutely delicious and well worth making. More…
Historically pickling has always played an important role in Swedish food, as a way of preserving food for the long hard winters. Although this is no longer necessary pickled gherkins and beetroots are still essential items in every Swedish pantry.
Beetroot and cucumbers are now reaching their peak and so now is a good time to get pickling. Ideally beetroot should be gold-ball sized, but even larger beetroot can be pickled and then cut into chunks or slices. Various spice combinations are used: white peppercorns and cloves, star anise and black peppercorns, and allspice and white peppercorns are three of the most popular. More…
In the UK it can be difficult to buy suitable cucumbers for pickling, so look out for small cucumbers (gherkins) or grow your own! The pickling liquid is normally spiced with dill seeds and white peppercorns. In Sweden dill crowns (flowers) are sometimes added along with freshly sliced horseradish and mace for a bit of 'kick'. More…
Swedish strawberry recipes
Swedes love strawberries and they think their strawberries are the best in the world! Of course they are very good, but then so are garden-fresh strawberries in most parts of the world!
There is nothing like a bowl of fresh strawberries simply served, but they are also delicious in cakes, stylish desserts, salads and drinks.
In cakes, Swedes tend to slice strawberries and squeeze them lightly with the flat side of a knife to make them a little bit jammy for the filling. The cake can is then normally garnished with fresh strawberries or smultron (wild strawberries).
Strawberries can be turned into jordgubbssaft (strawberry cordial/syrup) and then used to make some showy cocktails, ideal for a party. Strawberries are natural partners for rhubarb and so can be used to make a delicious rabarbermarmelad med jordgubbar (rhubarb and strawberry jam) or rabarbertrifli (rhubarb trifle). For more ideas on how to create some Swedelicious strawberry dishes click here.
Swedish ice creams
Swedes are Europe's biggest consumer of ice cream with the average Swede said to lick their way through a massive 13½ litres (28½ pints) of ice cream per year. All the normal range of flavours are popular, but the four flavours above seem to be particularly Swedish, from left to right:
I love them all, but my personal favourite is hjortronglass. For more about our ice cream recipes click here.
Horseradish ice cream
Cherry and chocolate cake
Get your cherries soon! Locally grown cherries are now at their peak with really good crops this year. They are only likely to be around for another week, so don't wait too long!
Where possibly try and support local growers. I am fortunate enough to have an English Cherry farm near me and try and buy from them whenever possible. Try our delicious körsbärschokladtårta (cherry and chocolate cake). It's a very rich, but you deserve a treat. More…
Gooseberry and elderflower compote
Krusbärskompott smaksatt med fläder
Gooseberries are now coming to a peak and can be turned into a Swedelicious krusbärskompott smaksatt med fläder (gooseberry and elderflower compote) which can be served:
• with scones, crumpets or muffins,
• with waffles or pancakes and lightly whipped cream,
• in a flaky pastry layer cake,
• warm with pork,
• warm over ice cream.
So versatile and yet so easy! More…
Lamb in a creamy sauce
In Sweden and in the UK lamb is in its prime in early summer and continues to improve and it continues to improve right the way through to the autumn, during which time the flavour develops as the animals get bigger and the joints increase in size. In other words, now is a very good time to consider cooking lamb!
My favourite lamb dish is dillkött (lamb with a creamy dill sauce). It has a wonderful fresh taste from the copious quantities of dill and the sweet and sour combination is quite unusual. It might seem like a winter dish, but it is best made during the summer or early autumn when garden-fresh dill is plentiful.
If you would prefer a roast, try our recipe for vitlöksspäckad lammstek (garlic studded roast lamb), which can even be cooked on a barbecue, if you have one of those fancy big things with a lid! More…
Gooseberry and almond tart
Krusbärspaj med mandel
In 1838 Carl Jonas Love Almqvist wrote a well known rhyme, "blott Sverige svenska krusbär har" (there is nothing like Swedish gooseberries). It was part of an essay on Sweden and the Swedes, called "On Poverty". In it he explained that being Swedish means being poor (Sweden was a poor, agrarian country at that time). Nevertheless he said Swedes should be proud of their country, its lakes, rivers and forests and learn to appreciate even the simplest things, like gooseberries, sour as they are - maybe the most commonly grown bush in all gardens, rich or poor, at that time.
There can be few better ways of appreciating gooseberries than in krusbärspaj med mandel (gooseberry tart with almonds). There is a double dose of gooseberries to give the tart a wonderful taste, whilst retaining their sweet and sour jelly-like texture. Essentially a rustic style pastry case is filled with a gooseberry compote made with green cooking berries, topped with some gorgeous sweet red gooseberries and then finished off with a sprinkling of almond flakes. 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…
We have 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!
Top Clicks in 2014
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.
There are no röda dagar (red days/public holidays) in the rest of August. However, if you would like to see an abbreviated 2015 calendar, detailing all the röda dagar in Sweden click here. Warning: it might make you jealous.
Plants for Swedish food lovers
If you like gardening it is worth trying to find some room for a few plants that have a special place in Swedish food, but are hard to find in your local supermarket. Check out our ideas here.
Incidentally, I am are gradually producing a Swedishfoodpedia and have already assembled lots of articles on Swedish food including entries about:
Please take a look!
For Sweden's news in English visit TheLocal.se. The site is updated 24/7 and has more than 4 million readers worldwide. If you hit the 'Register' button on their website they will send you a weekly newsletter summarising the week's Swedish news as well as links to various features. Take me to TheLocal.se.
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