When one thinks of Swedish food, they probably think of Swedish meatballs, made popular far and wide by Ikea. I’m going to be honest here and admit that I was one of those people – I didn’t know much about Swedish food, but I was ready to explore. Thankfully, we had an expert to help us navigate Swedish cuisine. Xavier’s brother’s girlfriend, N was born and raised in Sweden, so she was our guide!
Our first meal in Stockholm was a home-cooked dinner by N. We had Västerbottensostpaj, or Västerbotten’s cheese pie, a popular dish that is served during Sweden’s festivals. Made with cheese from Västerbotten, located in northern Sweden, it’s a delicious quiche-like pie that pairs super well with skagenröra, or crayfish/shrimp skagen.
Shrimp or crayfish skagen (qvery typically served during kräftskivor, or crayfish parties in Sweden in August), is a delicious salad that features prawns or crayfish in a sauce made with mayonnaise, dill, lemon juice, and sour cream or crème fraîche. Some recipes use red caviar or roe as well.
Later on in the week, X and I headed over to Östermalms Saluhall, a food hall that recently just re-opened after renovations. We actually had perfect timing, because it re-opened the day before we visited. X tried Wallenbergare, a traditional Swedish dish featuring a patty made of ground veal, cream, and egg yolks, which is then coated in breadcrumbs. It is typically served with boiled or mashed potatoes, lingonberry jam and green peas.
I opted for the Gravlax, or raw cured salmon, is also a very popular dish in Sweden. Gravlax is typically served thinly sliced and with gravlaxsås, which is a a dill and mustard sauce, as well as some kind of toast. Peep the shrimp skagen on the side that I couldn’t resist ordering!
For Sweden’s signature dish, we went to Slingerbulten, located in Gamla Stan, or Stockholm’s Old Town. Köttbullar med gräddsås, or meatballs with cream sauce, is probably most commonly known as Swedish meatballs. In Sweden, it is traditionally served with with boiled potatoes, sweetened lingonberries and pickled cucumber.
If you’re on Djurgården, head on over to Djurgårdsbrunn or a brunch buffet featuring traditional Swedish dishes. Peep the Skärgårdssill, a salad with pickled herring, mayonnaise, dill, lemon, and roe, served on rye or toast.
They also have a little waffle maker, to make thin, Swedish waffles!