Cinammon buns. Check.
If you’ve come this far then you’ve certaintly sampled the obvious highlights of Swedish food.
But this cuisine gets so much better, and more creative, the more you delve.
On my last trip to Sweden I veered north and stumbled across some particularly unique delicacies which were most entertaining.
Surströmming – fermented herring
My adopted Swedish mother Ing-mari made me feel like her third child the moment I stepped through her door and had a suite of Northern Swedish delicacies lined up for me to try, starting with the extremely polarising surströmming. Now some say this fermented Baltic Sea herring is the smelliest food in the world but I know that isn’t true because that honour goes to Icelandic fermented shark which I can guarantee you will have you retching from 50m away.
The Baltic herring used in surströmming is fermented for six months then stuffed in a tin to give the salty fish a sharp sour flavour. The smell is so pungent that there’s an unwritten law that a can must only be opened outdoors and far away from neighbours. When I arrived in Hemmanet outside of Sundsvall the said can was already ‘resting’ on the grass in preparation for our meal.
Ing-Mari served the surströmming on crisp rye bread with butter, slices of boiled potatoes, sliced red onion, caviar and sour cream. I found it delicious! And not just because it caved under the weight of the accoutrements – I tried some solo and really relished the tangy taste washed down with aquavit.
Smörgåstårta – sandwich cake
When I see something edible for the first time my eyes go wide, I get really excited and MUST TRY IT IMMEDIATELY. No one knows this better than my dear Swedish friend Joakim who has patiently indulged my foodie obsessions over many Swedish road trips.
It was on the latest that I spotted a strange construction in a supermarket. It was embellished like a cake but appeared to be made of savoury ingredients.
‘Oh yes’ said Joakim casually. ‘That’s a sandwich cake. They were very big in the 80s, my mum used to buy them’. Read More