"There is nothing like Swedish gooseberries"
"Blott Sverige svenska krusbär har"
Carl Jonas Love Almqvist, 1838
Blott Sverige svenska krusbär har (there is nothing like Swedish gooseberries) is a popular saying in Sweden. It was written by Carl Jonas Love Almqvist in 1838 as part of an essay on Sweden and the Swedes, called On Poverty. In it he explained that being Swedish meant 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.
Gooseberries fell out of favour with greater affluence, but they are now making a bit of a comeback and are beginning to appear more frequently on supermarket shelves in Sweden and in the UK. This is good news as there is nothing else quite like gooseberries with their fragrant, musky jelly like interiors, even if picking them is a bit of pain, literally!
A double dose of gooseberries
There is a double dose of gooseberries with our recipe for gooseberry tart to give a wonderful taste whilst retaining the texture of gooseberries. 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. Read more...
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 >>>
Swedish cake of the month
With superb British cherries beginning to ripen now, try our recipe for körsbärschokladtårta (chocolate and cherry cake). It is a wonderful chocolaty cake given extra interest by juicy ripe cherries. Superb with some extra cherries on the side. Take me to the recipe >>>
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 red currant bushes.
Redcurrants can be used as a garnish for lots of dishes such as with pannkakstårta (pancake torte), or to make a delicious rödvinbärssaft (red currant 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!
Now is an ideal time to make some wonderful cherry ice cream. I happen to have some cherry orchards near me owned by www.EnglishCherry.co.uk, so I always buy my cherries from them because I know they are really good and cheaper than supermarket cherries. Wherever you live, please do try and support local producers, rather than buying cherries that have been flown half way round the world. Why not give our cherry ice cream recipe a try? It's really rather good!
Fresh cherries are at their peak now, so why not make some delicious cherry compote? It is so easy to make and is much fruitier than most shop bought compotes. I just love it on porridge or with yoghurt and so I find I can't make enough of it! Take me to the recipe >>>
French bean salad with horseradish
Fransk bönsallad med pepparrot
The French beans in my garden are thriving with the hot weather accompanied by heavy rain. During the hot weather, I prefer to use them to make a salad. Swedes tend to eat more raw vegetables in salads than we do in the UK, although for this salad I blanch the beans for two minutes in boiling water. The dressing is made with horseradish mustard which gives the salad a bit of kick without being overpowering. Read more...
Roast lamb with thyme and red wine sauce
Lammstek med timjan-rödvinsås
In the UK there is some superb new season lamb around now, perfect for making two of my favourite lamb dishes. Lammstek med timjan-rödvinsås (roasted lamb with thyme and red wine sauce) is based on a traditional recipe from Östergötland, a large province in southern Sweden. Small joints of lamb are flavoured with thyme, rosemary, lemon zest and garlic and then slowly roasted at a low temperature.
Garnish with thyme flowers
At this time of year I like to garnish the lamb with tiny thyme flowers which look pretty and bring out the flavour of the lamb, but small sprigs of thyme or rosemary can be used if you've not got any thyme in flower. Take me to the recipe >>>
Gooseberry and elderflower compote
Krusbärskompott smaksatt med fläder
Gooseberries make a refreshing change from other summer fruits. Fortunately, they are now enjoying something of a revival and beginning to make more frequent appearances on supermarket shelves. If you see any, buy some and make this delicious compote!
Elderflowers and gooseberries are a perfect match for each other. Unfortunately, the season for elderflowers is over now, but you can still make this compote using either elderflower cordial (syrup) or elderflower essence. 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) and as an ingredient in biff à la Lindström (beef burgers).
Bilberry Baby reviewed
Bilberry Baby is an animated eBook designed for children and available on the iBookstore for iPads.
As bilberries play such a prominent role in Swedish cuisine I thought that some of our readers, especially those with children or grandchildren, might be interested to find out more about it.
The book is written and illustrated by Amanda Rodham and has been animated by her daughter Chloe.
The book is for young girlie girls, but many parents and grandparents will enjoy reading the book to their daughters or granddaughters.
The 36 page book includes factual information for children about moorland berries, heathers and insects as well as some activities. To read the full review click here.
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 June
Strawberry recipes bag the top two places in our Top Ten for June with homemade snaps creeping in at number 10. To view the Top Ten Recipes for June 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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