Preserved Ingredients, Cosmopolitan Fare
Swedish cuisine is heavily influenced by the region’s four-season climate. Early on, people learned to preserve fresh food for use during the winter months, and pickled, salted, smoked, and fermented ingredients are still regularly used in Swedish recipes today. Bread, seafood, meat, and dairy products are also staples of Swedish cuisine, while potatoes and root vegetables form the basis of many Swedish comfort foods.
Swedish food tends to be very cosmopolitan, incorporating elements of foreign cuisines; French, Turkish, and Italian culinary traditions are notable influences. Due to Sweden’s strong history of trade, many spices show up in Swedish recipes, including cardamom, anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Sustainability and an avoidance of waste characterize Swedish attitudes towards food and shape Swedish recipes. Therefore, local ingredients are used whenever possible, including berries, mushrooms, seafood, and edible plants. And of course, there is plenty of pickled herring (sill), which forms the basis of the famous Swedish smörgåsbord. Want to make your own Swedish feast at home but not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve rounded up a list of the five best Swedish recipes for you to make! Are you ready to travel to Sweden via your kitchen? Let’s get started!
Kanelbullar, or Swedish cinnamon buns, are a classic Swedish recipe. The dough is soft, chewy, and lightly sprinkled with crunchy pearl sugar. The filling is a buttery, sweet, and bursting with cinnamon-sugar flavor. The dough is lightly spiced with cardamom and perfectly soft and chewy. Even the style of these buns, which are twisted into little knots, is delightful! We dare you not to eat one warm right out of the oven! So, are you ready for a taste of these Swedish pastries yet?
It wouldn’t be a list of the best Swedish recipes without smörgåstårta. This beautiful Swedish sandwich cake features layers of flavors and textures that please the eye – and the palate. If you’ve never had a savory cake before, you are missing out! There are many ways to make this dish, but we think the best Swedish recipe for smörgåstårta simply has to include smoked salmon, dill, radishes, egg salad, and chives. The different ingredients are prepared and then spread between layers of bread. There’s also plenty of yogurt and cream cheese for “frosting.” The result is a savory, tangy, creamy, and delicious combination of flavors that you absolutely have to try at least once. Plus, decorating the top is a great way to show off your creative side! Ready to make this unique Swedish recipe for yourself?
#3 Swedish Meatballs
Ever gone to Ikea and wished you could have their Swedish meatballs all the time? Well, now you can! Making Swedish meatballs at home is cost-effective and fun. This classic Swedish recipe relies on nutmeg and allspice to set it apart from other meatballs. The sauce includes Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard for a unique, savory kick. Best of all, this recipe comes together in just 30 minutes, so you can absolutely make it on a weeknight! Want to try your hand at making some Swedish meatballs?
If you’re a fan of fish, then this is probably the best Swedish recipe for you! Gravlax is fresh salmon that’s been cured with salt and sugar. It’s usually seasoned with fresh dill and served with a delicious mustard cream sauce on rye bread or crackers. Prep time is only 10 minutes, but you will need to cure your salmon for at least 24 hours. For a perfect cure that’s between medium and hard, 36 hours is recommended. However, if you prefer, you can go up to 48 hours or more. Since most of the prep time is inactive, gravlax is one of the easiest luxury dishes in the world. If you’re a fan of seafood, we highly recommend that you give it a try!
We couldn’t end this list of the best Swedish recipes to make at home without including this classic! If you’re unfamiliar, a smörgåsbord (or smorgasbord) is a type of meal that originated in Sweden and is now popular throughout Scandinavia. It’s served buffet-style and typically includes multiple hot and cold dishes. Bread, butter, and cheese are always included. Pickled herring, or sill, is also considered essential, but you can use gravlax or another cold fish dish if you prefer. Pickled vegetables like cucumber and radish are often served as well, and potatoes, crackers, meats, and egg dishes are also sometimes included. Feel free to be creative when creating yours! It’s also a fun and easy way to feed a large amount of people, so the next time you have friends over, why not try serving a Swedish smörgåsbord?