Food traditions

What do we eat, when do we eat it, how and why do we eat? Food is associated with human survival, but also with social life – experiences and traditions often revolve around food. This applies both to preparing dishes and the practices and traditions of serving and eating a meal.

  • Artisanal flour production

    9 February 2023

    Several small-scale rural mills producing artisanal flour still exist in Sweden. Many mills have medieval roots and produce flour from locally grown ...

  • Birch sap – tapping and preparation

    8 February 2023

    Birch sap has long been considered a healthy drink, and has been consumed in all countries where the birch tree is common. There is a growing interes...

  • Lars Lennart Lindgren, född 1934 i Munksund, Piteå landsförsamling, äter blöta på sin födelsedag. Foto: Louise Nilsson.

    Blöta (sop)

    8 February 2023

    Blöta is a dish of crisp flatbread soaked in a hot liquid, normally a meat broth or milk. The dish has its origins in northern Sweden and is still se...

  • Fika

    8 February 2023

    The Swedish ”fika” can have multiple meanings, but it is usually associated with taking a break (e.g. from work) with one or more others, to socialis...

  • Fäbod culture

    8 February 2023

    A Fäbod can be described as a form of small-scale farm where the animals are sent to a pasture for summer grazing, consisting of a number of building...

  • Gummekaka.

    Gummekaka (Christmas cake)

    8 February 2023

    In Torestorp and Älekulla in Västergötland, a round cake is baked on the day before Christmas Eve that is often shaped like a wreath – this is known ...

  • Hand net fishing tradition in the Torne Valley

    8 February 2023

    Fishing for whitefish and salmon with hand nets is a traditional fishing method that is still being practised in the various rapids of the Torne Vall...

  • Kroppkakor (dumplings)

    31 January 2023

    The tradition of making dumplings has a strong connection to the island of Öland but it also occurs on the island of Gotland, in Småland and in Bleki...

  • Henrik Renberg och hans son Jan-Olof vittjar nättingredskapen i Piteälven uppströms Arnemark den 3 oktober 2013. Rottingkassarna är av samma typ som tidigare använts i Umeälven. Foto: Kjell Sjöberg.

    Lamprey fishing

    2 February 2023

    Fishing for lamprey with special basket traps is a very old tradition. Smoked and salted lampreys were being supplied to the royal court as early as ...

  • Nävgröt with pork and lingonberries

    9 February 2023

    Nävgröt is a type of porridge made from skrädmjöl, a flour made from toasted oats. The porridge is normally served with roast pork and lingonberries....

  • Småländsk ostkaka serverad med grädde och sylt. Foto: Frugan (CC BY).

    Ostkaka (Swedish cheesecake)

    9 February 2023

    Ostkaka is a traditional Swedish oven-baked dessert based on milk, flour, and rennet. It was traditionally served during festivities and on special o...

  • Pea soup and pancakes on Thursdays

    9 February 2023

    The tradition of serving pea soup on Thursdays has a long history in Sweden. Common accompaniments include roast pork and pancakes, with punsch as a ...

  • Peppermint rock making

    8 February 2023

    Peppermint rock is a (most often) white mint-flavoured confectionery stick with a red spiral along the whole stick.

  • Pitepalt

    9 February 2023

    A pitepalt or palt is a meat-filled dumpling made from raw grated potatoes, barley flour, and/or wheat flour. It is boiled in salted water and served...

  • Pölsa

    9 February 2023

    Pölsa is a traditional dish made from finely ground meat. Historically, it was important to use the entire animal, and dishes such as sausages or pöl...

  • Rye crispbread

    9 February 2023

    Rye crispbread is a staple in Swedish households. It is closely associated with Swedish cuisine, and is served as part of everyday meals and celebrat...

  • Semlor

    8 February 2023

    Eating and baking semlor is a widespread tradition in conjunction with Shrove Tuesday. The tradition has existed since the Middle Ages, although the ...

  • Nyfångad nors från Arbogaån 2016. Foto: Ingvar Svanberg.

    Smelt fishing

    9 February 2023

    Fishing for smelt is a popular activity that continues to attract interest from practitioners and spectators. Men, women, and children have historica...

  • Smörgåsbord

    8 February 2023

    A Smörgåsbord is a collection of hot and cold dishes, which can be combined to form a full meal. The Smörgåsbord is eaten during annual celebrations ...

  • ”Halfvan går mina herrar”. Tuschteckning av J. J. Meijer (1833–1901) Privat ägo. Foto: Nordiska museet.

    Snapsvisor (drinking songs)

    9 February 2023

    A snapsvisa is a traditional Swedish drinking song. Drinking songs are among the oldest song genres, and are still an active tradition in Sweden.

  • Spettkaka

    9 February 2023

    Spettkaka is a cone-shaped cake mostly associated with the southernmost region of Sweden, Scania. The cake is made from a batter consisting of eggs, ...

  • Surströmming

    9 February 2023

    Surströmming is a fermented herring that used to be part of everyday Swedish cuisine. Today, it is considered a delicacy with a strong connection to ...

  • Äggost

    3 March 2023

    Äggost is a type of cheese based on milk and eggs that is eaten on festive occasions. It has an acidic component such as sour cream or vinegar. Äggos...