Food in Sweden
Swedish cuisine is characteristic of the Nordic cuisine, with a focus on meat (particularly pig and game), fish, dairy products, potatoes, and bread, as well as berries and wild mushrooms. Fresh fruits and vegetables have just recently been added to the menu.
Husmanskost refers to traditional daily dishes (pronounced whos-mans-cost). Among them are:
- Pickled herring (sill) is served with bread or potatoes for a summer meal or as an appetizer on the smörgsbord during traditional holidays.
- Many types of salmon (lax), particularly cured salmon (gravlax).
- Meatballs (köttbullar), the most renowned Swedish dish throughout the world. With potatoes, brown sauce, and lingonberry jam.
- Hash (pytt i panna) made of chopped and fried meat, onions, and potatoes. Sliced beets and fried or boiled entire eggs are required accompaniments.
- Pea soup (ärtsoppa) – Thursdays are usually served with pea soup (ärtsoppa) with chopped pork, followed by thin pancakes.
- Blodpudding, is a black sausage prepared from pig’s blood and flour that is eaten with lingonberry jam.
- Falukorv, a big baloney from Falun.
- Bread (bröd) is widely available in Sweden. Many of them are whole-grain or mixed grain, including wheat, barley, and oats, and are dense and high in fiber. Tunnbröd (thin wrap bread), knäckebröd (hard bread – may have a dull flavor, but is almost always available), and various types of seasoned loaves are some noteworthy examples. Bread is often consumed in the form of simple sandwiches with thin slices of cheese or cold meats. Messmör (whey butter) and leverpastej (liver pâté) are two Swedish spreads.
- Reindeer, or ren, have historically been herded by the Sami people. Renskav is sautéed reindeer meat served with wild mushrooms, lingonberries, and potatoes.
- Tunnbrödrulle, is a fast food meal made out of a bread wrap filled with mashed potatoes, a hot dog, and veggies.
- Kroppkakor Similar to the German Klöße, a potato dumpling filled with chopped pork. Originally from Smland, there is also a northern variation from Pite known as pitepalt.
- Hard cheese (ost): In a typical grocery store, you may find 10 to 20 different kinds of cheese. The most well-known Swedish hard cheese is Västerbotten, which is named after a Swedish area.
- During meals, milk (mjölk) is frequently consumed. Filmjölk is a Nordic yoghurt that is often consumed with morning cereal.
- Rose hip soup (nyponsoppa) and bilberry soup (blbärssoppa) for heat and energy recovery during winter activities.
Other Swedish favorites:
- Raggmunk, wheat flour, milk, egg, and shredded potatoes fried thinly and served with fried pork (bacon) and lingonberries.
- Soft whey butter (messmör), a bread spread with a sweetish, difficult-to-describe flavor.
- Caviar, not the pricey Russian or Iranian kind, but a cheaper form prepared from cod roe that is sold in tubes and eaten on sandwiches. Kalles Kaviar is the most well-known brand.
- Julmust is a Christmas soft drink that tastes like a stout. Also available around Easter, when it was known as Påskmust.
- Crayfish (kräftor), which are very popular in August when Swedes feast on them at large crayfish feasts (kräftskivor). There will be silly paper hats and plenty of booze.
- Surströmming; is the stinkiest dish in the planet.
- Semla, a cream-filled pastry typically eaten on Tuesdays in February and March, will be available beginning on Fat Tuesday.
- Rabarberkräm/Rabarberpaj or rhubarb pie with vanilla sauce ( other cakes or pies on fresh blueberries, apples, or just strawberries with cream or ice cream are also very popular in the summer)
- Spettekaka Scania is a native cake in south Sweden consisting of eggs, sugar, and potato starch.
- Smörgåstårta A cold sandwich layer cake, often including salmon, eggs, and shrimps. (It’s also often served with tuna or roast beef.) Swedish people enjoy it on New Year’s Eve, as well as during birthdays and celebrations.
- Lösgodis sweets from boxes that you mix yourself, marketed by weight, is one of the most popular candies in this sugar-crazed country. There is usually a selection of chocolate, sours, sweet, and salt licorice.
- Swedish biscuits and pastries such as bondkakor, hallongrottor, bullar, and cakes such as prinsesstrta are quite popular. When invited over for coffee, it was customary to provide 7 different cookies. If you like sweet things, try chokladbollar, mazariner, biskvier, rulltrta, or lussebullar.
Sweden has numerous regional specialities due to its location between central Europe and the Arctic. Among the most unusual are:
- Surströmming, a foul-smelling tinned fish common along the Norrland coast.
- Spettekaka, a Scanian meringue-like cake.
Cheap pizza and kebab restaurants are common in Swedish cities, as they are in the rest of Europe, and may also be found in virtually every small town. It is important to note that Swedish pizza differs considerably from Italian or American pizzas; American pizzas are often marketed as “pan pizza.” Sushi and Thai cuisine are also popular. For stylish Scandinavian decor, clean toilets, no trans fats, and complimentary coffee with meals, the local hamburger business Max is rated ahead of McDonald’s and Burger King. In certain areas of Norrland, hamburgers are traditionally eaten with a fork and knife, which are provided at Max. Another Swedish company, Frasses, provides a delicious vegetarian option – a quornburger – in addition to all sorts of carnivorous burgers. The gatukök (“street kitchen”) is another kind of fast food restaurant that serves hamburgers, hot dogs, kebab, and tunnbrödrulle.
Highway eateries, vägkrogar, provide large portions but may be of low quality, oily, and expensive. A downtown eatery is better if you have time. Gas stations offer good salads and sandwiches in pre-packaged form.
If you search for signs that say “Dagens rätt” or simply “Dagens” (Today’s special or literally meal of the day), you may obtain a reasonably priced lunch. This usually costs between 50 and 120 SEK (-) and nearly always includes a bottle of water, soft drink, or light beer, bread and butter, salad bar, and coffee afterwards. Monday through Friday, Dagens rätt is served.
If you’re on a limited budget, self-catering is the most cost-effective option.
Vegetarian and vegan lifestyles are more prevalent in cities, but less so in rural areas, where fishing and hunting are popular pastimes. You should be able to locate a falafel in any medium-sized town; alternatively, you may negotiate a fee to just access the salad bar, which is available at any well-diversified restaurants.
Drinks in Sweden
The consumption of coffee (kaffe) in Sweden is among the highest in the world. The act of drinking coffee at home or at a café, known as fika, is a popular Swedish social ritual that is used for organizing events, courting, gossiping, or just wasting time and money. Swedish coffee is filtered and typically stronger than American coffee – yet it is still not as powerful as the espresso found in France or Italy. In bigger city cafés, Italian variants (espresso, cappuccino, caffe latte) are offered. One cup costs approximately 25 SEK, which typically includes a refill, påtår.
Every city and town has at least one konditori, which is a typical Swedish café. They provide hot drinks such as coffee, tea, and cocoa, as well as a variety of cookies, pastries, and perhaps smörgs, the Swedish open sandwich, and fralla, the Swedish closed sandwich. The sandwiches available differ greatly depending on where you are in Sweden.
Absolut Vodka, one of the world’s most renowned vodkas, is the most well-known Swedish alcoholic beverage. There are many brands of brännvin, which is distilled and typically seasoned liquor. Brännvin is distilled from potatoes or grain and does not have the same stringent distillation standards as Vodka. Akvavit is a liquor seasoned with dill and caraway. When brännvin is served in a shot glass with food, it is referred to as snaps (not to confuse with the German “Schnapps”). Snaps are traditionally consumed on special events such as Midsummer’s Eve, Crayfish parties, Christmas, and student parties. It is often done in conjunction with a snapsvisa to each drink (a typical snapsvisa is a short, energetic song; its lyrics typically speak of the delicacy and splendor of the drink, or of the singer’s desire for snaps, or about anything in a cheeky manner).
Glögg (similar to mulled wine or Glühwein) is a popular hot drink in Sweden during the months of December and January. At the julbord, it is often served with ginger bread and lussebullaror (Christmas buffet). Red wine, sugar, spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and bitter orange, and possibly stronger spirits such as vodka, akvavit, or brandy are the primary traditional components (of alcoholic glögg). Glögg is also available in non-alcoholic varieties.
Sweden produces some excellent beers and has witnessed an increase in the number of microbreweries in recent years. If you’re searching for excellent local beer, try Slottskällans, Nils Oscar, Närke kulturbryggeri, Jämtlands ngbryggeri, and Dugges Ale- & Porterbryggeri. You may have a hard time locating them unless you go to a pub that specializes in unusual beer or one of the well-stocked Systembolaget, but there are a few of them in every large city. Despite this, the most popular beer is the very uninteresting “international lager.” The beer sold in grocery stores is called folköl and has 2.8 or 3.5 percent alcohol. In grocery shops, you may buy a range of beers, including Swedish, English, and even Czech beer. Julöl, a seasonal beer in Sweden, is brewed during the Christmas season. It is sweeter than regular beer and typically seasoned with Christmas spices; it is mainly of the ale kind. Every Swedish brewery produces at least one variety of julöl. Wine is popular, although Swedish output is little.
If no notices indicate otherwise, drinking alcohol in parks and public places is usually permitted. Drinking is banned at public transportation terminals, with the exception of restaurants, trains, and boats, where alcohol must be purchased on the spot.
Beer and lager up to 3.5 percent ABV are easily accessible in supermarkets for 10-15 SEK a piece, but strong alcoholic drinks are only sold over the counter from the state-owned retailer, Systembolaget, like in Norway, Finland, and Iceland (also sometimes referred to as Systemet or Bolaget). They are typically open from 10:00-18:00 on Mondays through Wednesdays, 10:00-1900 on Thursdays through Fridays, and 10:00-15:00 on Saturdays, with large lines on Fridays and Saturdays, shutting at the minute no matter how long the line outside the shop is, something the Swedes themselves laugh about. On Sundays, they are always closed. The majority of stores are of the supermarket kind. The selection is excellent, and the personnel is generally very knowledgeable. Systembolaget does not service clients under the age of 20, and younger-looking individuals will most likely be asked for identification. This also applies to any companions, regardless of who makes the purchase.
Beverages are heavily taxed based on alcohol content, and some liquor is very expensive (vodka is around 300 SEK a litre at Systembolaget), but the monopoly has brought some benefits – Systembolaget is one of the world’s largest bulk-buyers of wine, and as such, receives some fantastic deals that it passes on to consumers. Mid-to-high-quality wines are often less expensive in Sweden than in their place of origin; in some cases, they are even less expensive than if purchased straight from the vineyard. Due to the volume-based tax on alcohol, this does not apply to low-quality wines or hard liquor.
There is no large-pack discount and all brands are handled similarly. As a result, microbrews are about the same price as big brands and may be a more appealing option. Beverages are not kept cold. With a few exceptions, such as retail malls, playgrounds, and public transportation zones, drinking alcohol in public is generally permitted.
Bars and nightclubs
The minimum age to enter bars and purchase ordinary (3.5 percent ABV or less) beer in stores is 18 (some shops have chosen to impose a minimum age of 20 for 3.5 percent beer as well, to avoid adolescent intoxication), and 20 in Systembolaget. Many bars have an age restriction of 20, although others (particularly downtown on weekends) have age limitations as high as 23 or 25, however this regulation is arbitrary. Bring your passport or identification.
Some high-end nightclubs have a dress code, vrdad klädsel is informal attire, which is also arbitrarily enforced. Proper shoes (not sneakers or sandals), long-legged trousers (not blue jeans), and a dress shirt are nearly always appropriate for male visitors.
The age and clothing standards are not stringent, and doormen have the authority to refuse any client for any reason other than gender, sexual orientation, creed, handicap, or race, which is unlawful discrimination. Nonetheless, certain nightclubs are notorious for refusing “immigrants,” particularly males of African or Middle Eastern descent, under guises such as “members only,” “too intoxicated,” or “dress code.” Patrons who dress good, act well, and come early have an easier time getting into a club.
Sweden has made smoking prohibited in all bars, taverns, and restaurants, with the exception of outside spaces such as terraces and dedicated smoking rooms (where drinks are not allowed).
In comparison to other nations, club and bar pricing are often exorbitant: a (0.4 L) glass of draft beer, stor stark, typically costs 45-60 SEK, although some dive bars offer it for as low as 25 SEK early nights. A lengthy drink costs between 60 and 130 SEK. As a result, many Swedes will hold a little pre-party (“förfest”) before going out to get drunk before hitting the town and going to nightclubs.
Large clubs may have a cover fee, typically in the range of 100 SEK, or more for exceptional performances. They typically give you a rubber stamp on your hand so you may re-enter as many times as you like without having to pay again.
You should be informed that you may have to wait in line to enter a pub or a club. Many establishments purposefully make their clients wait in line for an extended period of time, since a lengthy line signals a popular club. The line is frequently replaced by a chaotic throng at the most upscale restaurants in large cities, and the doorman merely gestures to indicate who gets in and who does not (to be sure to get in, be famous, extremely good-looking, or a friend of the doorman). Or just a regular).
Most bars that shut at 01:00 a.m. or sooner have a no-entry policy. Most pubs and clubs that stay up until 3 a.m. will charge an admission price. Some clubs in major cities stay open till 5:00 a.m. Their admission charge is often about 200 SEK, and their admittance policy normally favors the non-rich, non-well-moisturized, non-Swedes, non-friends, and non-regulars.
The wardrobe (or coat-checking) charge at the club is often required, typically about 20 SEK.
Ordningsvakt badges are worn by authorized security personnel. Entrévärd is a symbol worn by the club’s own doormen. These need to be treated seriously.
Moonshine (hembränt) is popular in the countryside, despite the fact that it is prohibited. Though some shipments are as excellent as legal vodka, the most are awful, so stick to the genuine stuff.