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Swedish Cuisine

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Swedish - Cooking and Foods Edit

GripsholmCastleInSweden

Gripsholm Castle In Sweden

Overview of Swedish Cuisine History Edit

Traditional Swedish cooking cannnot be compared with the sophistication of French or Italian cuisine. Swedish food is usually simple and considered as healthy. One can eat lots of kinds of food in Sweden. Husmanskost is the name of the most regular dishes. On the east coast, the most important food is strömming (Baltic Herring). A small silvery fish. Salmon, Trout and Whitefish are other important fishes.

Norrland, offers a large variety of food. In Lappland, the dark gamy reindeer meet and åkerbär, the rare berry that grows wild along roadsides and ditches are well known dishes. The hjortron or cloudberry is another fine Norrland fruit. Other Norrland specialties are tunnbröd, the thin white crispbread, and långmjölk (sour milk). The Swedish smörgåsbord is famous world over for its taste. Crayfish and surströmming is served with potatoes, sourcream, Onion and white crispbread. Kalops (Swedish Beef Stew) is serve with boiled potatoes, pickled beets and tossed salad.

Swedes are well known for coffee drinking. Swedes rank second in the world (per capita, of course). People usually drink coffee for breakfast, after lunch or during the highly esteemed coffee breaks. Special coffee parties(kafferep) are too arranged. Pytt i panna, prepared with a hash of fried diced meat with onions is served with fried eggs and slices of pickled red beets. kåldolmar, or stuffed cabbage rolls, a dish brought home by King Charles XII (Karl XII) after an involuntary residence in Turkey, nearly three hundred years ago is a great dish to taste.

Cuisines of Sweden Edit

Map of Sweden

Map of Sweden - Click to enlarge


By Geographic Area and Style:
Sweden, together with the majority of northern countries, shares a very similar cuisine, and the differences between the Swedish cuisine and the Norwegian or Denmark’s cuisines are quite insignificant. There are no distinct Swedish cuisines that were determined by geographical or social contexts, as we will find in other countries. Sweden’s cuisine is based on a simple cooking style, often very mild and not very spicy. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are the main meals of the day all over Sweden’s territory. Although most European countries consider lunch the main meal of the day, in Sweden dinner is a more consistent meal. Workers often only have a quick snack for lunch, instead of a sumptuous meal.

The cuisine of Sweden is characterized by a sense of practicality and economy. It is considered rude not to finish the food you have on the plate, mainly because, in many cases, you serve yourself and you are responsible for the amount of food you place on your plate. The meals are not very elaborate and many will find them scarce in vegetables. Traditional recipes were influenced by the lack of plants due to the long Swedish winters and many modern dishes still include only small amounts of vegetables. rutabaga is a native turnip that was among the most popular plant types in Swedish cooking until it got replaced by the Potato. In both major inhabited regions of Sweden – Gothenburg on the west coast and Stockholm on the east – the abundance of fish, mainly Herring, had its influence on traditional cooking. Although the salted Herring, which was used as trading goods hundreds of years ago, is not part of modern Swedish dishes, we will still find it in several cookbooks as one of the national food elements.

Preparation Methods for Swedish Cooking Edit

Swedish cuisine uses elements from various cooking traditions borrowed from their neighbors and developed from their own traditional dishes. The simplicity of the Swedish cuisine does not imply a lack of taste, but it does make life easier for the cook. Whether you are cooking Swedish meatballs or Ärtsoppa, a traditional pea soup, you will notice that all the dishes are easy to prepare and usually take a short time to cook. While there are no specific or unique preparation methods for Swedish cooking, we should point out that attention to detail is important in the Swedish cuisine. Using the right amount of spices for example is essential – either for spicing up the taste or for coloring the dish. The visual attractiveness of the dish is important, and a balance between colors and proportion is always an element of concern for Swedish chefs. Each traditional dish has a special cooking method, which is more or less general in all of the country’s regions. Meat is one of the main elements of most Swedish dishes and Herring is extremely popular, together with other fish types.

Special Equipment for Swedish Cooking Edit

Although you can successfully prepare quite a few Swedish dishes by using just basic kitchen instruments, it is recommended that you stock your kitchen with a well balanced set of utensils that will help you reduce cooking time and will enable you to present your Swedish dishes in a more attractive way. Essential utensils like serving spoons, spatulas, forks, turners, scrapers and tongs should be part of your cooking "arsenal", together with other cooking instruments that make work in the kitchen more efficient. Ranging from cake pans, can openers, colanders, egg rings, poachers and holders, food dishers & portioners, food pans & food containers to other kitchen utensils, such as food scales, food scoops and fryer baskets & accessories, the Swedish cuisine needs a diverse cooking equipment set in order to produce the most sophisticated Swedish dishes. You should consider insulated food carriers if you are transporting the food and a full set of kitchen linens and uniforms if you wish to look like a pro. Here are a few other items that will come handy while cooking Swedish food: juicers, kitchen knives, kitchen slicers, kitchen thermometers, measuring cups & measuring spoons, miscellaneous utensils, mixing bowls and skimmers & strainers.

Swedish Food Traditions and Festivals Edit

Each particular Swedish holiday is also closely related to some traditional dishes. The New Year’s Eve festivity is celebrated to the maximum, and food is found in abundance. The twenty-day of Knut celebration is also very interesting - Christmas is danced out from the house, the candy is all eaten and the decorations will be packed into their boxes. Shrove Sunday is another traditional Swedish holiday, which heralds the fast. The Tuesday after the Shrove Sunday is the Shrove Tuesday, the last day before the fast. On this day the Swedes eat "Semla", which is a cream bun with almond paste in it. If you serve them in hot milk it is called "hot wall". Easter is celebrated in a common way to most other countries, with the family gathering for an Easter meal and with colored eggs dominating the festivity. Whitsun Saturday is the celebration day for the first harvest, so naturally that Swedish dishes are particularly important. Food is very important on Christmas and on the smorgasbord or dinner table you can expect to find dishes such as: rice pudding, Christmas Ham, stockfish, Herring, cheese and bread, Swedish meatballs, small frying sausages, red cabbage, liver pâté, Veal brawn, spare ribs and the list goes on.

People in Swedish Food Edit

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As with any national cuisine, you will find out that Swedish chefs are thrilled with their traditional dishes and recipes. There are many chefs who creatively use the basic ingredients and cooking method for traditional Swedish dishes and create original and delicious food variations. Swedish chefs are passionate about their traditional dishes and they enjoy presenting them to foreigners who have never tasted them before. Although many perceive northern nations to be more introverted, visitors who have traveled to Sweden will agree that hospitality is at its peak in any Swedish family. And what better way to show your hospitality towards a visitor than by cooking a delicious traditional Swedish meal. Stockholm is by far the epicenter of Swedish professional cooking, mainly because of its well-developed restaurant industry, where the demand for great cooks is high.

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