From the early 18th century until today, the Swedish Smorgasbord has been very popular.
This is perhaps the best known of all of Sweden’s culinary traditions. The Smorgasbord is a beautiful collection of delicacies meant to be eaten in a special order on several clean plates. “You can pick out a non-Swede by the way the person loads everything onto a single plate”.
It is an art to eat a Swedish Smorgasbord the right way and what a delicious art!!
The meaning Smorgasbord might not be familiar to everyone. Many years ago when the Swedes used to invite far away guests to their homes, they first of all thought of how to feed them all. So not to make the people wait, the Swedes treated their guests with salted fish, salads of boiled potatoes, eggs and boiled vegetables which were able to keep fresh for several days, and sandwiches. Today, every Swede (and visitors alike) loves a genuine Smorgasbord which is quite different from what it used to be.
How to Eat it:
Begin with the various herring dishes, egg dished with anchovies and shrimps plus salmon dishes (smoked salmon or grav lax which is a raw, marinated salmon). Those dishes are served with boiled potatoes and dill. The matjesill herring is also served together with sour cream and chives.
Together with this first course you also take some Swedish crisp bread and cheese. You might also like to try Jason’s Temptations, a potato casserole with onions, anchovies and cream. Or try some smoked eel.
To this you drink Swedish Aquavit and beer. Aquavit comes in different flavors like cumin, fennel and aniseed. And for Swedish beer, try Pripps!
Next plate will be filled with cold cuts such as various sausages, ham and different pates.
Now is the time for the warm dishes such as meat balls with lingon berries, roast beef and spare ribs. At Christmas time of course the HAM is the main course. Perhaps you would like to try some smokes reindeer if you don’t care you eat Santa’s horse…..
No Smorgasbord can be too big or too varied but they should always contain some of the typical Swedish dishes such mentioned above.
In addition to all this, you will also find various salads, and vegetable dishes to choose from.
And finally at last, dessert - different cakes, fruits and chocolates. And together with this, a cup of real good, strong coffee and perhaps a glass of Swedish Flagg Punch.
From start to finish – the Smorgasbord is a work of art, lovingly created and consumed.
And don’t forget: Change plate for every new dish. You don’t want to mix up all the different flavors on one plate.
For a genuine Smorgasbord try the one at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm.