Classic Must-Try Swedish Dishes (Part 1)

Curious about which dishes count as Swedish classics? Although the Swedes have some strange food to offer, there are some dishes you just have to give a chance. We list 10 of them here! Some of the delicacies we recommend have geographical limitations, so if you really like food, you may have to visit different parts of Sweden to get a taste of these classic dishes. We promise that everyone (well, almost everyone) is outstanding. Enjoy!


Pickled Herring – A Must on Swedish Holidays

The pickled herring is an authentic Swedish classic dating back to when canning was a must to take advantage of the raw materials and increase the supply during the winter. Even though the Swede did not have to stock up for a wolf winter in a couple of hundred years, this is a tradition that has become a prominent part of the Swedish food tradition. The pickled herring is served not only at one but THREE different holidays: Christmas Eve, Easter, and – of course – Midsummer Eve. In defense of the Swedes, it must still be said that they have begun to vary a little more over the years and come up with new inlays, with both exciting and highly distasteful spices. Why not heat things up a bit with ginger and chili, or scare the traditionalists with apple, celery, and Fireball? Here you will find a classic recipe for onion herring. In addition to fish, the pickle contains vinegar, water, salt, sugar, and optional spices. Flavors such as onion herring, mustard herring, and food herring are almost mandatory during the holidays. Boiled potatoes, sour cream, and finely chopped chives are served with the pickled herring. Add a crispbread sandwich with cheese, a cold beer, and schnapps, and complete the herring lunch! 


Fried Herring – The Forgotten Cousin of The Pickled Herring

The fried herring has clearly ended up in the shade of the pickled herring, but it should be considered a delicacy in its own right! Unlike the pickled variety, the fried herring tastes smoother against the tongue. The flavors are enhanced by melted butter and served (of course) with mashed potatoes, green peas, and lingonberry jam. That’s a fresh and healthy dish that the fish lover will adore! Psst, if you want to eat this in Stockholm, you should ask for fried herring. The fish has different names depending on where you are in the country. On the east coast, from Kalmar and north, it is called herring. In the rest of the country, it is herring that counts.


Body Cakes – Potatoes and Pork That You Have Never Eaten Before

Body cakes are a Swedish variant of dumplings (albeit larger), and there are many varieties in the oblong country. Depending on where in the country you are served, it is called different things, in the south, it is called body cakes, but in the north, it is called “palt”. To make these good balls, mix potatoes and flour to a good consistency and then fill the dough with fried pork. You can use both boiled and raw potatoes; with boiled potatoes, it becomes white body cakes; it becomes gray body cakes with raw potatoes. The most common accessories for body cakes are melted butter, unwhipped cream, milk, lingonberry jam, and bechamel sauce—the risk of food coma: 100%. The body cake may be most associated with Öland, but this calorie-filled delicacy is at least as popular in the Småland city of Kalmar. In the 19th century, Öland students made body cakes at the dormitory and Kalmar Nation in Lund; body cake parties have been held since 1897. Today, the tradition is carried on with the annual party “Biggest body cake”!


Want to discover more Swedish delicacies? Stay tuned for the second part!




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