Swedish food culture is very simple, yet satisfying. The developed food culture emerged in the last few decades by immigrants from all over the world. The cuisine continues to be influenced by worldy passions. Today, food dishes are often healthy to meet the dietary needs of many individuals.

Swedish smorgasboards are common and have evolved into a full meal. The root word smorgas means open sandwich and root word board means table. However, a smorgasboard is not a table full of sandwiches. Instead, it is number of small dishes such as herring dishes (sweet-pickled herring, pickled herring with onions, mustard, dill, etc.), Swedish meatballs, salmon, pies, salads, a dish that includes sliced herring, potatoes, and onions baked in cream, eggs, bread, boiled and fried potatoes, and much more. In the 18th century the Swedish smorgasboard was served as an appetizer before the main meal. Today, the smorgasboard serves as the main meal.

Swedish hot dog stands serve as the primary fast food outlet for the country. Main foods include boiled and fried hot dogs, french fries, mash potatoes, and even baked potatoes.

People in Sweden may drink several cups of coffee in a day. They drink coffee for breakfast, after lunch, during coffee breaks, and even at social coffee parties. Coffee parties are very popular and feature home made buns and cakes. The Swedish housewives' have set a standard that seven kinds of buns and cakes should be available at coffee parties.

Social gatherings that involve food are very common. In August Swedes host crayfish parties. During these parties the crayfish are boiled with dill, sugar, and salt. The meat is in the claws and tail of the crayfish. Party goers eat them using their hands. In the midsummer, the Swedish smorgasboard is served. The midsummer smorgasboard includes herring, meatballs, and fresh potatoes. During the spring there are special days for waffles and cream buns served with almond paste. Holidays Christmas and Easter have their own unique dishes.


Back to top


© Copyright (2002) Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, 47907. All Rights Reserved.