Read to discover the traditional dishes for husmanskost like meatballs, raggmunk and kalops. How about the modern food trend for weekends and what to drink with a Swedish dinner?
What is Swedish cuisine centered around?
Swedish cuisine is deeply rooted in tradition, and it has evolved over time as a reflection of the country's climate, geography, and agricultural practices. Swedish cuisine is characterized by simple, honest flavors that highlight the natural goodness of the ingredients. One of the most prominent examples of this style of cooking is husmanskost, which is a type of traditional Swedish home-style cooking.
Husmanskost has been a part of Swedish culinary culture for centuries. It is often associated with a sense of nostalgia and a connection to Swedish cultural heritage. Husmanskost typically includes dishes such as meatballs, fried herring, pea soup, boiled potatoes, root vegetables, berries, mushrooms, and dairy products.
There has been a shift in recent years, and many Swedes have turned to fast and convenient food. Hamburgers, pizza, tacos and multicultural foods are even more common nowadays, especially at weekends.
Nevertheless, many Swedes still take pride in their culinary traditions and are passionate about preserving the country's cultural heritage through food.
One way this is being done is through using modern techniques and ingredients to create new interpretations of traditional dishes. For example, some chefs are experimenting with sous-vide cooking to create perfectly cooked meatballs or using molecular gastronomy to create new variations of classic Swedish dishes. Additionally, there is a growing interest in foraging and using wild ingredients, which reflects a return to the country's roots and a desire to connect with nature.
Typical Swedish dinners
Below are some dinners that can be classified as husmanskost, and are very traditional. Many restaurants still serve these traditional dishes, especially raggmunk is on the menu at many places.
Of course, also, the table setting is part of the atmosphere to get that nordic feeling for your dinner. Nowadays, the style is more minimalist with calm colors. (key elements of Scandinavian style). Then there is also the more rustic farmhouse style with linens, lace, and old silverware at the table with some hand-picked meadow flowers.
Swedish meatballs are made by mixing ground meat with breadcrumbs, egg, milk, onion, and spices. The mixture is shaped into small balls, typically around 1-2 inches in diameter, and then baked or fried until golden brown. The secret spice of Swedish meatballs is allspice which gives them the authentic taste. One of the signature characteristics is also the creamy sauce and lingonberry jam they are served with. Mashed potatoes and pressed cucumbers are a must-have side with meatballs.
The most known meatballs are found at IKEA, a Swedish furniture store where many like to visit the lunch restaurant. They even serve a very authentically tasting plant-based version.
Swedish hash consists of diced potatoes, onions, and meat fried in a pan. The dish is typically made with leftover meat from a previous meal, such as beef, pork, or sausage, but it can also be made with fresh meat. Nowadays, it is mainly made with some type of sausage like falukorv or knackkorv, thin sausages.
The word "pyttipanna" literally means "small pieces in a pan," which describes the process of dicing the ingredients and cooking them together in a pan. The potatoes are usually cooked first, followed by the meat and onions, which are added to the pan and fried until everything is browned and crispy.
Swedish Pyttipanna is often served as a main course, accompanied by fried eggs and pickled beets. I like to eat this served with ketchup.
Pyttipanna is also a great way to use up leftovers and reduce food waste. It is a versatile dish that can be made with different types of meat and vegetables, depending on what is available. I like to use leftover boiled potatoes.
Also known as Jansson's Temptation in English, is a traditional Swedish casserole dish made with potatoes, onions, anchovies, and cream. It is a popular dish during the Christmas season in Sweden, but it can also be enjoyed year-round. Janssons frestelse can also be found at the Easter table.
To make Jansson's Frestelse, thinly sliced potatoes and onions are layered in a baking dish with anchovy fillets. The dish is then topped with a mixture of cream, milk and ancovy broth and topped with breadcrumbs before being baked in the oven until the potatoes are tender and the top is golden brown.
The dish's name translates to "Jansson's Temptation" and is said to have been named after a Swedish opera singer named Pelle Janzon, who was known for his love of rich and indulgent food.
Jansson's Frestelse is typically served as a main course, often accompanied by pickled beets or other pickled vegetables.
Raggmunk are potato pancakes. The name "raggmunk" roughly translates to "hairy pancake," which is a reference to the shredded potato strands that stick out of the pancake as it cooks.
To make raggmunk, grated potatoes are mixed with flour, milk, and eggs to form a batter. The batter is then fried in a pan until golden brown and crispy on the outside, and soft and tender on the inside.
Raggmunk is often served with lingonberry jam and fried pork or bacon, which adds a salty and savory contrast to the sweet and tangy jam. The dish is a popular comfort food in Sweden, and is often served as a main course or a hearty breakfast.
Kroppkakor are actually potato dumplings. They are made from boiled potatoes, flour, and egg. The round potato cakes are filled with fried onion and bacon seasoned with salt and pepper. Allspice is a common flavor in these also.
The name "kroppkakor" translates to "body cakes," which refers to their shape and size. They are typically about the size of a small fist and are shaped into a round ball with the filling in the center.
Kroppkakor are often boiled in salted water until they are cooked through and tender. They are traditionally served with butter and lingonberry jam. Even a cream sauce is delicious. I like these best if they are fried after boiling so they get some color on top.
Kroppkakor originate from the island Öland. In history they were made with barley flour and wheat but in the 1800 potatoes became more popular in the dough.
Kroppkakor are often served as a main course. While kroppkakor are traditionally made with pork or beef, there are many regional variations that use other meats or vegetables. These can easily be made as vegetarian by using plant-based mince.
Korv Stroganoff is a Swedish version of the classic Russian dish Beef Stroganoff. Instead of beef, it features sliced sausage or smoked sausage. Falukorv is a quite regular sausage to use in this dish. It is typically served in a creamy sauce made from cream or sour cream, onions, and tomato puree. The dish is usually served over egg noodles, pasta, or rice.
Korv Stroganoff has become a popular dish in Sweden, and is often considered a classic Swedish dish. It is kids favorite.
Falukorv is a type of Swedish sausage that has been a staple of Swedish cuisine for centuries. It is named after the town of Falun, which is located in the central part of Sweden and has a long tradition of mining.
Falukorv is typically made from a mixture of pork and beef, and is flavored with a blend of spices that may include white pepper, ginger, and nutmeg. It has a distinctive shape, with a thick cylindrical body and a rounded end, and is usually sold precooked and ready to eat.
Falukorv is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes, such as stews, casseroles, and sandwiches. It is often sliced and fried, and served with mashed potatoes or boiled vegetables, or used as a topping for pizza. It is a popular food item in Sweden and can be found in most grocery stores.
Kalops is a traditional Swedish beef stew that has been a popular dish in the country for centuries. It is made with chunks of beef that are cooked slowly in a rich broth with onions and carrots. The broth is flavored with a blend of spices, including allspice, bay leaves, and black pepper, giving the dish a warm and fragrant aroma.
It is often served with boiled potatoes or mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam, which provides a tangy contrast to the savory flavors of the stew. Pickled beets are a regular condiment also. Some like to add other root vegetables like turnips or parsnips in the dish.
Pea soup is a traditional dish in Swedish cuisine that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is a thick and hearty soup made from dried yellow peas. Some sidfläsk (bacon) is often added in the soup to give flavor.
The soup is typically made by simmering the dried peas with water and some vegetables such as onions and carrots. It is seasoned with bay leaves and marjoram or thyme. The soup is often served with a side of crispbread or knäckebröd.
As dessert, pancakes are a must with strawberry jam.
Swedish fried herring, also known as "stekt strömming" in Swedish, is a traditional dish from Sweden that is typically served during the summer months.
The dish consists of fresh herring that has been cleaned, filleted, and lightly salted. The fillets are then coated in a mixture of flour and spices before being fried in a hot pan with butter until they are crispy and golden brown.
Swedish fried herring is often served with boiled potatoes, lingonberry jam, and a side of pickled cucumbers. It is a popular dish at outdoor markets and festivals throughout Sweden, where it is often cooked and served on site.
Most popular dinners
These are most common everyday foods that Swedes eat nowadays:
|Spaghetti and minced meat sauce
|Chicken with coniments
|Sausage with condiments
Pasta med köttfärssås is the most popular dish to eat as an everyday food. Making big batch is very handy since leftovers can be used, for example, in a lasagna. The minced meat sauce is a bit ragu style but made in just 15-20 minutes. It consists of ground beef, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and sometimes carrots and celery. The dish is served with boiled pasta and a side salad. Leftovers of the sauce are easy to transform also to a chili con carne with added canned white beans and served with rice.
What time do Swedes eat dinner
In Sweden, dinner is typically eaten between 5:00 PM and 8:00 PM. However, this is not a hard and fast rule, and there can be variation depending on individual schedules and cultural traditions.
One factor that can influence when Swedes eat dinner is their work schedules. Many Swedes work standard hours from around 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, so it makes sense that dinner would be eaten after work in the early evening before going to hobbies. In some families dinner is though eaten after hobbies if the schedule is tight.
How many meals do Swedes eat a day?
Swedes typically eat three main meals per day: breakfast (frukost), lunch (lunch), and dinner (middag). Breakfast is usually eaten in the morning, lunch is typically eaten in the middle of the day, and dinner is generally eaten in the early evening.
In addition to these main meals, Swedes may also have a snack or two throughout the day, such as a fika break in the late morning or afternoon. Fika is a Swedish tradition that involves taking a break to enjoy coffee or tea and a sweet treat, such as a pastry or a cinnamon bun. An evening meal is not uncommon either, but often it is just some sandwiches, popcorn with film, some fruit or yogurt.
Popular drinks with dinner
- Water - Many Swedes prefer to have water with their dinner, as it is refreshing and helps to hydrate the body.
- Milk - Milk is a common beverage to have with dinner, especially for children. In fact, it is not uncommon for Swedes to have a glass of milk with every meal.
- Beer - Beer is a popular alcoholic beverage to have with dinner in Sweden. There are many different types of beer available in Sweden, including lagers, ales, and stouts. Some like to drink nonalcoholic beer with dinner or lunch.
- Wine - Wine is another common alcoholic beverage to have with dinner in Sweden. Dry wines are more preferred, such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir.
- Aquavit - Aquavit is a traditional Scandinavian spirit that is often enjoyed with dinner. It is a flavored vodka that is typically made with caraway, dill, or fennel, and is served chilled in a small shot glass. These snaps are not drank on average weekdays, only at festivities.
- Juice - Many Swedes prefer to have juice made from lingonberries, which is a popular berry in Sweden.
- Soft drinks-have become increasingly popular, especially to drink light cola with dinner.
- Must- Påskmust and julmust are drunk on holiday dinners.
Popular weekend dinners
|Fillet of pork
The Friday tacos have become a known Swedish phenomenon. Tacofredag. Swedish tacos are a fill your own taco tradition.
The ingredients typically include ground beef or chicken seasoned with a ready taco seasoning bag by the brand Old El Paso. Shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, cucumber, and chopped red onion are served on the table in their own small bowls. Hard and soft shells are served, and every family member can fill their own taco as they like.
Food trends 2023
- Trendy food: Poke bowls are the new rising trend to make at home and eat as a takeaway. Sushi keeps also its place in the trendy foods.
- The planetary diet is increasing. Meat consumption is getting lower and vegetarian alternatives are trendy. Flexitarianism is increasing.
- Online shopping for groceries has increased. People have noticed how easy it is to order their groceries online, 14 % of families with children shop online every other week or more often. Online shopping is though not an option in the countryside, so 64% of the people have never tried it.
- Increased prices in groceries. This results in smaller portion sizes like in coffee or restaurant meals. People are also buying more cheap foods.