Everybody that is here in Stockholm, for years or just recently, is already aware of the cold and dark season that is ahead of us. However, as the days just keep on getting shorter (even though I thought it was impossible!) you can start feeling the Christmas spirit all around the city. You can see plenty of darkness and Christmas decoration photos following the hashtag #kiglobal on Instagram! Only, today’s blog is a bit different.
I normally complain about how difficult it is to find nice and inexpensive places to eat out around Stockholm. And not even to mention finding Swedish places to eat local food at a student price – I think Ikea is our only hope. However, the Christmas season has proved me wrong. Sweden is a country full of traditions, special and unique concepts, and plenty of curious food. During these last days I have experienced a real Swedish Christmas adventure, from home baking thanks to one of your Swedish classmates and friends, Mandy, to dinner buffets, thanks to the organization Global Friends and their wonderful sponsored events. Thank you, Sweden for this tasty month of December!
So that you can get the feeling of a Swedish Christmas menu, these are some examples that can be found during Christmas in Sweden (please, if you find something appetizing that is missing, let us know!):
Julbord: It means something like “Christmas table”. A popular tradition here is to enjoy what is called Smörgåsbord. It is a buffet meal typical in Scandinavian countries where different hot and cold dishes can be enjoyed. Following, there are some examples that some fortunate students were able to enjoy during the Julbord event, sponsored by Global Friends.
- Rödbetor – sliced beet root.
- Prinskorv – small hot dogs; which means prince-sausage!
- Julskinka – Christmas ham.
- Köttbullar – Swedish meatballs
- Revbensspjäll – spare ribs.
- Inladg sill – pickled herring.
- Janssons frestelse – means Jansson’s temptation; warm scalloped potato casserole with anchovies.
- Vörtlimpa – rye bread with grated orange peel.
Christmas drinks: Swedes like to have specific drinks for their holidays. This includes Julmust, a soft drink that is like coke; and glögg, mulled wine that is quite sweet and can be served with raisins and almonds in it. Glögg is typically served hot and it can be found in many Christmas markets around here.
Desserts: The desserts I have discovered are Knäck, Christmas toffee; Pepparkakor and Lussekatter. Pepparkakor are gingerbread cookies flavored with different spices, for example cinnamon. You can buy the dough already prepared and just cut out Christmas shapes or make the dough from scratch. Also, another tradition is to make Christmas houses and decorate them. You can see an exhibition of this inside the Moderna museet from the 3rd of December until the 7th of January (http://www.arkdes.se/articles/pepparkakshus-2014). A different dessert option is Lussekatter, saffron buns with an S-like shape and raisins. They are typical during Saint Lucy’s day (St. Lucia) celebrated on the 13th of December.
To finish up, just wish these delicious meals have not opened your appetite too much and that you consider coming to Sweden during this cold month and enjoy the fantastic spirit and food you can find here. Enjoy!