Dining in Sweden: An intro to the Swedish food culture and what to expect

Swedish cuisine

Swedish cuisine has so much more to offer than just the popular meatballs, and in case you’re not that familiar with the food culture of Sweden or don’t get what the fuss is about with these Swedes and their food, we have found a couple of nice suggestions that’ll make you want to try them all once you get to Sweden!

1. Lingonberries

The lingonberry jam is used within a variety of dishes in Sweden, from meatballs and pancakes to porridge and black pudding. However, despite this jam being so sweet, it is not or rarely used on bread, but that’s how the Swedes like it so try it once you get there!

2. Pickled herring

Your smorgasbord (buffet-style table with multiple hot and cold dishes of various foods on a table) is not complete if there isn’t any pickled herring, so don’t forget to order that once you explore Swedish cuisine. Basically, this fishy dish remains the basis of every typical Swedish buffet. Pickled herring also comes in a variety of flavors – mustard, onion, garlic, and dill, to name a few – and is often eaten with boiled potatoes, sour cream, chopped chives, sharp hard cheese, and sometimes boiled eggs. Yum!

3. Crispbread (knäckebröd)

When you eat the main meal in Sweden, a crispbread is usually served next to it. This piece of bread has been baked in Sweden for over 500 years, so it remains as one of the most traditional parts of Swedish cuisine. It comes in various shapes, flavours and thickness with entire store shelves devoted to solely crispbread!

4. Räksmörgås – yes that’s the correct spelling

When you arrive at a café after a long day full of events, meetings etc. an order that consists of a Räksmörgås sandwich would be convenient in order for you to get a taste of a classic Swedish sandwich. Shrimp sandwiches are actually such an integral part of Swedish culture, that they have a saying based on it, namely to “glide in on a shrimp sandwich”. That’s the Swedish way of talking apparently!

5. Pea soup and pancakes (ärtsoppa och pannkakor) – it does work!

This interesting dish can be eaten both as a breakfast before starting your day with activities or during lunch after having explored the Scandinavian city life. It is unique because it has been upheld by the Swedish Armed Forces since World War II. So if you want to really explore the different dishes the Swedes love so much, this combination of soup and pancakes is for you!

6. Crayfish crazy parties! (kräftskiva)

If you end up visiting Sweden, especially during summertime, a crayfish feast would be convenient to try out if you want to get a taste of (pun intended) how the Swedes wine and dine with these red bite-sized shellfish all over Sweden. Back in the day, it was only the upper-class citizens that ate it in the 1500s, however, today crayfish have become a national delicacy enjoyed by everyone in Sweden. This is a must try, in order for you to really experience Swedish food culture and hangouts!

Let’s visit Sweden

Besides the exquisite Swedish cuisine, Sweden is a pond of exciting experiences, such as the capital of Sweden, Stockholm, a dazzling mix of intact medieval architecture and fine modern design. Sweden is also perfect for meetings, due to the highly advanced infrastructure with excellent transport facilities and modern congress and exhibition centers.
With its clean environment, clean water, clean air, and low levels of noise pollution, Sweden is the perfect place for extracurricular activities, including kayaking, fishing, biking, skiing, running, swimming, and walking.