Swedish Food I miss

A Swedish friend once asked me what typical Swedish food I missed. This post is about all the food that I miss from my years in Stockholm.

  1. Kanelbulle

My favourite Swedish food is kanelbulle (cinnamon buns). The smell of freshly baked cinnamon buns and the texture and taste of the bun is unique to Sweden and I have loved it since I first tried it out. I have tried making my own kanelbulle as I started enjoying baking in recent years, but have not been able to get it quite right yet. As you can see from the photo below, courtesy of Visit Sweden, a perfect kanelbulle is a wonderful treat for all ages.


Credits: Susanne Walström/imagebank.sweden.se

2. Vetebröd

Fika is a ritual in Sweden. I loved the fika breaks, chats over cups of Swedish coffee, like Gevalia, and a baked treat. One of my favourite fika treats, besides kanelbulle, is vetebröd. This is a lightly sweetened cardamom bread, that is perfect with coffee. I have tried making vetebröd at home several times using this recipe, which has turned out quite well.


Source: Tasteline

3. Semla

This is a Swedish seasonal treat that makes its appearance in Stockholm bakeries during winter months and particularly for Shrove Tuesday. Semla is basically cardamom buns with an almond paste and whipped cream filling. What I like most about this tasty treat, besides the delicious combination of flavours, is that the cream is just a touch sweet without being too much.


Credits: Susanne Walström/imagebank.sweden.se

4. Lusekatter

These saffron buns are made typically for St Lucia’s day on December 13. I was first introduced to it at work, during my teaching year at the International School of Stockholm. It is a lovely Scandinavian tradition, with children participating in a singing procession led by one girl dressed as St. Lucy, wearing a white dress and a red sash and a crown of candles on her head. The kids would share these saffron buns or cookies with others.


Source: Swedish food

5. Glögg och pepparkakor

Something served during the Christmas season, Glögg (mulled wine) and Pepparkakor (gingerbread cookies) are a delicious treat during the cold winter days. In Sweden, there was also a non-alcoholic version of glögg called julmust, which was what my mother used to serve at home to visitors in December. My favourite memory of this combination of glögg and pepparkakor was at the ice-hotel in Kiruna, when after hours of waiting on the frozen river to see the northern lights, the warm spiced wine and cookies tasted delicious and wonderful.


Credits: Helena Wahlman/imagebank.sweden.se

6. Pannkakor och sylt

I have always been a huge fan of pancakes since I was a kid and sundays at home generally mean a pancake breakfast. So, it automatically followed that during my year of teaching in Stockholm, my favourite school lunch was the same as that of the kids – Swedish pancakes and sylt (jam or preserve), mostly lingonberry.


Source: Swedish food

7. Pytt i Panna

After seeing many adverts on TV on this dish, we tried out the store bought pytt i panna (Swedish hash) and it soon started appearing on a regular basis at meal times at home. I like the vegetarian hash, with carrots, turnips, radish etc. more.


Source: Swedish Food

8. Räksmörgås 

The Swedish open prawn sandwich makes for a delicious lunch. If you are able to get hold of a Toast Skagen, you are in for a bigger treat. I missed this so much so that I went to a Scandinavian Christmas fair in London, for this sandwich and a kanelbulle.


Source: Swedish food

9. Salmon with new potatoes and dill sauce

This is a typical combination in a Swedish meal – new potatoes and dill sauce with poached salmon or gravlax (dill cured salmon). We didn’t make it at home but I often chose it, when eating out in Stockholm.


Source: Swedish Food

10. Ris à la Malta

I am a huge fan of Swedish rice pudding. One of my friends, Inna, and I used to play badminton at Frescatihallen at Stockholm University once or twice a week and we always treated ourselves to risifrutti (which is basically packaged store-bought ris a la malta) or mannafrutti, after our game.


Source: Swedish Food

Which is your favourite Swedish food? Or, which of the above would you love to try out during your visit to Sweden?

[I had drafted this post a while back but had not got around to finishing it, when I saw that the #travellinkup theme for September was memorable meals so I decided to share this post on food that make me nostalgic about my years in Stockholm, with the monthly link up, hosted by Angie, Emma, Jessi and Tanja

I am also linking it up to :
Wanderful Wednesday, hosted by Snow in Tromso, Lauren on Location, The Sunny Side of This and What a Wonderful World]
Wanderful Wednesday

49 thoughts on “Swedish Food I miss

  1. Yummy. There is so much diversity in the food of the Nordics. It’s always hard to recreate foods from other countries. I think the water and ingredients have a lot to do with it but I can never figure out why a French baguette cannot be properly recreated outside France. Or why the pizza in Italy tastes so much better. One of life’s mysteries I guess! Lovely post Ahila.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Katy! I agree that it is difficult to recreate a specialty of a country elsewhere because of the ingredients etc. I have tried recreating or trying them out in cafe/ restaurants elsewhere but have never been able to match the croissants and pain au chocolat in Paris, scones in UK, pizza and pasta in Italy.


  2. I have to admit, I don’t really enjoy Swedish food. As much as I love the country, most of the things on your list are just sooo sweet! Same with Norwegian food 😀 But salmon with potatoes and dill sauce is so yummy!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sweden and other Scandinavian countries are not the first that come to mind, when it comes to a foodie tour but each place has their own special treats. I am sure you would love semla, if you like almond paste or filling in pastries.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow that food looked delicious! The Semla look and sound just like the German Krapfen (almost) that we have here during Fasching (Carnival) which are donut-like, filled with either a jelly or cream. But those Swedish ones look a bit fancier and more delicious! #WanderfulWednesday

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did have another baked treat in Stockholm that was filled with a custard cream or jelly, which might be closest to Krapfen. There are some similarities in Swedish and German food, especially when it comes to the meat based meals.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Haha… that’s funny 🙂 As I have a sweet tooth, I haven’t focused on the meat based dishes in this post, which I am sure you must have tried out during your visits.


  4. I suppose a trip to the Ikea restaurant just isn’t the same? Joking – this food looks gorgeous. Those Ikea meatballs are too nasty.
    The buns look lush: I love anything with cinnamon. My friend who is married to a Swede always brings me these chocolates with liquid liquorice inside, in a red and black packet – Salmiakki? It comes in bars or individual chocolates and it is HEAVEN. Not sure if Swedish or Finnish but she buys it in Gothenburg

    Liked by 1 person

    • You should try out the kanelbulle at Bagariet in Covent Garden, London. It comes quite close to those that I have tried out in Stockholm. Liquorice filled chocolates and candy are very popular across Scandinavia though my favourite in Sweden was Marabou’s plain milk chocolate bars.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I haven’t previously heard of any of the Swedish foods (well only the ones that are found in other places like mulled wine), but these look like my kinds of dishes. It seems like the Swedish really like their pastries from what you listed above, which can be realy dangerous for me! Those pancakes also look to die for. I noticed you said those were a lunch? Were they served with something else or was it really just pancakes for lunch?! Sounds good to me!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pancakes are usually served as a meal for lunch in Stockholm, instead of breakfast as in many other countries. And yes, they are served on their own. I think there were a few other stuff like salad and fruit that was also available in the school lunch but I was happy with just pancakes for lunch 🙂 The smorgasbord, with its meat cuts, pickled fish, are more typical I suppose of a special meal/ buffet but I have highlighted the baked treats here simply because I have a sweet tooth and I don’t eat red meat.


  6. Funny how so many of these typical Swedish dishes sound familiar to me from visiting the IKEA restaurants. Sweden, like all European countries, has a long history and hence you find many typical meals, sometimes restricted to a very small enclave (region) within one country.


  7. As I was reading this and saw that the first four foods were pastries I couldn’t help wondering how Swedish people get away with eating so many sweet treats! I always think of Germany as a country with lots of delicious pastries, but I had no idea Sweden was known for them as well. I’ll have to look out for some of these specialities in Toronto (as we have bake shops from all around the world).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a coincidence that we both wrote posts about Sweden this time. I loved Swedish food and tried some of the dishes you mentioned here. In fact, most of them I know from the time I used to live in Europe. I’m crazy about the Swedish pancakes with preserve and whipped cream. Yummy!

    Liked by 1 person

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