Swedish meatballs was literally the only Swedish dish I had ever heard of before a few months ago. I grew up eating my Mom's every Christmas, and they are one of my favorite home cooked meals. I can just smell them cooking up in our kitchen now! You can find them on most every menu around Stockholm. But even more interesting than the well-known meatball, a lot of times they are served with Lingonberry, a Scandinavian staple! In the cranberry and blueberry family, this fruit makes a delicious jam to accompany Swedish pancakes, breads, and potatoes at breakfast, all varieties of meats and fish for dinner, and more! Be sure to give it a taste!
We made the mistake of trying the meatballs in an English pub because the interior coaxed us in.... Ummmmmmm, I'd recommend to try them at a more local restaurant ha! Maybe stick to fish and chips at an English pub!
pickled, but it's definitely popular here!. BLAH! The vinegary taste makes me shudder from deep in my core! But, the one think I researched before my trip that I decided I had to try was Pickled Herring. It's remarkably popular in Scandinavia and other Baltic countries. We ordered a pickled herring sampling platter that served us three different preparations! Might as well go all in right?! One was flavored with capers, one with lingonberry, and finally dill. When it comes to culinary herbs, it seems that dill is to Scandinavian food as basil and oregano are to Italian food. :)
Which brings me to seafood. Stockholm is on the Baltic Sea. If you're going to have seafood, you might as well be looking out at the water it came from! Pick a seafood item off a menu at some point, and it's sure to be fresh.
Our favorite meal in Stockholm was at Den Golden Freden, a famous restaurant that started in 1722!! Along with the herring sampling, we ordered the Flounder, served as a whole fish with brown butter and lemon, and the Steak Tartare, served with pickled pumpkin, smoked mayo, hazelnut and aged cheese. This was one of the most decadent meals I had ever tasted. Both were so rich and melted in your mouth like a chocolate bar in summertime. I couldn't recommend this restaurant enough! Just know it's not my typical budget option. My parents sent us there to celebrate my birthday! Thanks Mom and Dad! That being said, it's actually reasonably priced and worth every penny. Ok, now my mouth is watering.
If you read my post on Fika, you'll know that Sweden loves pastries. I particularly enjoyed them because they weren't overly sweet! Without a doubt you have to try a cinnamon bun. But you should try multiple things! You'll want to once you see a bakery case!
cardamom! Many of the breads are made with cardamom, which is used like cinnamon. It's probably going to change your life. I've been baking with it back here in the States and everyone is going crazy for it!
They also love using almond flavoring and almond paste. If you want to try something that has cardamom and almond, you can try Selma. It's a Fat Tuesday tradition, so its available around wintertime.
Princess Cake (prinsesstarta), and again, it's not too sweet. It tasted nice and light in flavor and texture. It's a sponge cake layered with jam, whipped cream, patisserie cream/custard, and topped with marzipan which is typically green. I had a pink one!
So don't be shy about calories! Try a few different pastries from multiple places! You can get some of the more basic pastries at any cafe or coffee shop as they typically have Fika there, or pop into a specialty bakery for something more adventurous! Out of all the treats we had, the ones from Fabrique in Sodermalm mesmerized us the most! We bought three different kinds, but it has no seating inside. We also loved Fika in the famous Kaffekoppen in Gamla Stan, where we saw locals and tourists alike enjoying this treasure!
Pastries not your thing? Then enjoy a light open-faced sandwich as a snack, perhaps topped with fresh shrimp salad in dill mayo. Yummmmmmmm.
And lastly, drink any and all the coffee your heart desires. If you're like my dad and don't like coffee, then well, fake it to fit in with the locals. 😉 It's part of the culture! Besides, it'll keep you warm during the winter.