The old, traditional style of cooking, husmanskost, is still alive and well with many of the old Swedish recipes being revived and brought up to date.
Having Finland and Norway as neighbors, and Denmark very near, there are certain similarities in the basic dishes of all countries, but
only Sweden has surstremming, fermented Baltic herring, which comes from the northern part of the country. It is usually eaten with potatoes, onions, sour cream and crispy white bread, tunnbrod.
Another popular dish is Janssons Temptation, a baked dish featuring potatoes, anchovies and cream, and glasmastarshill – spicy marinated herring.
Apart from herring there are salmon, trout, whitefish, mackerel, cod and crayfish. Live crayfish are dropped into boiling salted water together with plenty of dill, a spicy aromatic herb widely used in Russia and Scandinavia. The cooking turns the little creatures from black to red, and they go very well with the national drink, aquavit.
Other dishes are toast Skagen, which is prawns in mayonnaise and dill on toast, reindeer meat, and palt, which are dumplings made from potatoes, both cooked and raw, salt, flour, and eaten with lingonberries and butter. For fruit there are kerbir, a wild, raspberry- like fruit and cloudberries.
But the most famous of all Swedish repasts is the smorgasbord. This consists of a variety of dishes including ham, herring prepared in various ways, fresh salmon, eggs, potatoes, green salad, and many more items. How do you eat smorgasborg? Well, the usual practice is not to mix the different types of food but to eat each one on its own. It’s not easy to find the large, traditional smorgasbord these days, perhaps only in the Swedish countryside, in a few restaurants or at branches of the well-known furniture retailer IKEA.
Simple Swedish Recipe - Rotmos Root Mash
Want to try your hand at making some simple Swedish food? An easy and quick Swedish recipe is rotmos.
Rotmos literally means "root mash" and it's a pleasant twist to mashed potatoes - similar to hutspot dishes in the Netherlands.
- 2 rutabaga
- 2 potatoes
- 1 large carrot
- butter and milk to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- Slice rutabaga, potatoes and carrot into 1/2 slices
- Boil sliced vegetables until tender and drain
- Mash vegetables together along with butter and cream or milk to taste (use about the same percentage as you would for mashed potatoes)
- Add salt and pepper to taste
Rotmos is often served with salted herring, raspball, pinnekjott, ham hock, or smalahove. May be served with mustard, or for a non-Swedish palette, may also be served with butter or gravy.