Susanne Walström/imagebank.sweden.se

Fresh new potatoes eaten all summer long are something of a Swedish institution and many dishes owe their success to the humble potato.

The first potatoes of the year are harvested in Skåne at Kullen and the Bjäre pennisula. This year was a very early year for potatoes due to the mild winter.

While it may not be on any of the superfood lists, it has become a cornerstone of the Swedish diet and is actually surprisingly good for you – packed full of B and C vitamins, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc.

On Midsummer, it is tradition to have fresh potatoes, lightly buttered and salted with herring and nubbe (Swedish schnapps).

If you weren’t lucky enough to be in Sweden to celebrate Midsummer, you can still create your own potato based dishes at home including Pytt i Panna (Swedish Hash).

Recipe

Pytt i Panna is very common on Swedish tables and is often called ‘leftover food’

Make your own Pytt i Panna

Read more about food and drink in Skåne

Find out more about Swedish potatoes here

Cinnamon bun photo by Lola Akinmadeimagebank.sweden.s

Swedish restaurant guide White Guide has just announced that the Stockholm café Johan & Nyström is the best café in Sweden. Swedes love a ‘Fika’, which can be translated as having a coffee and a piece of cake or bun, while taking a break. It’s not surprising that there are lots of amazing cafes all over Sweden!

Best coffee bar is Drop Coffee, just around the corner from Johan & Nyström on Söder in Stockholm.

Best bakery is PM Bröd & Sovel in Växjö, Småland.

Most sustainable café is Gunnebo coffee house in Mölndal outside Göteborg. While best newcomer is Söderberg & Sara Bakery in Ystad, Skåne. Fika place of the year (yup, there’s even a category for the best Fika!) is Pâtisserie David in Malmö.

The lovely Flickorna Lundgren at Skäret in North Western Skåne was voted best café worth a journey.

Flickorna Lundgren. Photo by Anna Hjerdin

http://www.whiteguide.se/

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We headed to Malmö on 17 May for the first ever Restaurant Day in the city and what a rip-roaring success it was!

Restaurant Day is not quite how you would envisage; it doesn’t include any actual restaurants, just lots of great people who have always wanted to have their own. It is described as ‘a food carnival where anyone can open a restaurant for the day.’ From cupcakes and sweet treats to tacos and ice cream there was something to suit every taste.

If you have ever wondered if Swedish people’s homes are a beautifully designed as you had imagined, then you would be right. Every home we entered on Restaurant Day was bright and airy and buzzing with excitement. 

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The best way to get about during Restaurant Day is by bike, which means you can balance out all the culinary stops with some activity in between – a win-win situation!

The next Restaurant Day is happening worldwide on 17 August 2014. http://www.restaurantday.org/en.

Find out more about Malmö at http://www.malmotown.com

Photos by Rachel Mills / Rough Guides 

You can also read Foodtripper’s article from the Restaurant Day in Malmö here:  

 

Photo from the West Sweden archipelago by Henrik Trygg/imagebank.sweden.se

Katie Bentley-Chan from Four bgb reviews her trip to Vrångö this Easter…

Where the Scottish Isles meets the Mediterranean is possibly the best way for me to describe Gothenburg’s southern archipelago.

Scotland because we were so far north, and Sweden’s wild, rocky islands were reminiscent of the atmospheric, beautiful islets of Skye and Mull (which, ironically, I have never visited but only seen pictures of), and the Med, because, well, it was April and the weather was wonderful: bright blue skies, a light breeze, happy families and couples soaking up the sunshine. 

Last Easter was the first time I visited Gothenburg’s archipelago, and I hope it won’t be the last. My boyfriend and I visited the southernmost island of Vrångö on the archipelago, known for its spectacular walks along the coast and sandy beaches.

Here are my tips for travelling to Gothenburg’s southern archipelago:

Go slow:

We were advised to take the swift non stop 20 minute ferry service to Vrångö. But as it was such a beautiful day, we opted for the one hour stopping service instead, bought some good Swedish coffee on board, and grabbed seats on the outside deck for a journey which felt more like a sightseeing cruise!

Do as the locals do…

… and stay overnight in a summer cabin. Island hopping is great for day trippers but it’s definitely worth a longer stay too! A new guesthouse, Kajkanten, is opening right by the jetty on Vrångö, which will offer boathouse style cabins for really good value prices. Book your stay here: kajkantenvrango.se/en/

Stock up on local fish and seafood:

Along with a shop selling all your essential provisions (plus goodies like Swedish peppakakor biscuits, cakes, and local beers too!), Vrångö has a fantastic fish kiosk, which is well worth a visit for buying in ‘just shucked from the sea’ fresh crayfish, lobsters and fish.

Buy a Gothenburg City Card:

And you can hop to the other islands in the archipelago as much as you like for free!

Photo: Tina Stafren / VisitSweden

Swede Tommy Myllymäki tops the European delegates in world chef competition Bocuse d’Or, whilst the UK’s Adam Bennett comes sixth

9 May 2014 – Swedish chef Tommy Myllymäki was last night crowned the best chef in Europe, as he won gold at the Bocuse d’Or Europe 2014. The win, which comes at a time when Swedish food is dominating the world food scene, puts the Swede in a leading position going into the world final of the competition, dubbed ‘the Culinary Olympics’, to be held in Lyon in 2015.

Producing two dishes made from the finest Swedish ingredients – a young pig from Gotland served with truffles and mushrooms, and saithe fish with mussels and oysters – Tommy Myllymäki delighted the 14 judges with his innovative flavours. Denmark’s Kenneth Hanse and Norway’s Örjan Johannesson were awarded second and third place, making it an all-Scandinavian medal line-up.

Meanwhile, British representative Adam Bennett (head chef at the Cross in Kenilworth) was awarded sixth place and secured his position as one of the 12 European chefs who will go on to the world finals next year.

Held in Stockholm for the first time this year, all of the ingredients were chosen by the Bocuse d’Or organisers and were sourced locally from Sweden.

Winning on home soil made the achievement all the more special for Tommy Myllymäki, head chef of Restaurant Sjön in Jönköping, who commented, “The young pig was a challenge, despite it being a fantastic ingredient, but today everything fell into place. It’s great to win after weeks of training around the clock and also to win gold here at home in Sweden.”

“Tommy’s victory and his amazing food is proof that Swedish gastronomy is at an extremely high level right now”, said Mathias Dahlgren, honorary president of the Bocuse d’Or Europe.

For more information on Sweden and its food scene, visit www.visitsweden.com and for details on the Bocuse d’Or, visit www.bocusedor.com

For further press information on Swedish food, please contact:

Kylie Jenkins, Katie Bentley-Chan, or Sara Whines at Four bgb

visitsweden@fourbgb.com / 0203 697 4200

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Werner Nystrand/Folio/imagebank.sweden.se

Assault your senses at one of these summer events in Skåne, southern Sweden. Whether you’re a music lover, a garden enthusiast or a culture vulture there is something to suit all tastes.

For the music lover:

Following the success of 2013, the Öresund Music festival is back again for another year. The joint Swedish-Danish festival will again celebrate music from both Sweden and Denmark with indie artists representing both countries. Relax to the sounds of Stereo Explosion from Sweden or dance along to Sleep Party People from Denmark. The festival takes place over two days on 30 and 31 May and costs from £150 for tickets. To book visit http://oresundsfestival.com/

For garden enthusiasts:

The Malmö Garden Show is held each year in Slottsträdgården, the beautiful castle gardens in central Malmö. Green-fingered visitors will be enthralled by the stunning Scandinavian inspired plant displays and the garden market where you can stock up for your own gardens. There will also be live music and activities for children, making it an ideal day out.

Whilst visiting, why not tickle your taste buds at local celebrity chef Tareq Taylor’s popular café which is based in the castle grounds?

The two day show runs from 31 May – 1 June and admission is free.

For culture vultures:

This year will mark the 100th anniversary of the Baltic exhibition and from 15 May there will be a number of exhibitions popping up across Malmö to celebrate.

The Baltic exhibition was originally held in Malmö in 1914 to showcase the art and culture of Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Russia, but was halted by the start of World War 1.

There will be special exhibitions held at the Malmö Art Museum, design exhibits at the Design Centre and a light display shown every evening. For more information, visit www.malmotown.com/baltiska2014/?page_id=35

Photo by Fredrik Broman/imagebank.sweden.se

Koka (opens Feb 2014)

New restaurant Koka (“boil” in English) will open in the end of February 2014. Owner and chef Björn Persson is closing down and renovating former restaurant Kock & Vin awarded with one Michelin star. New Koka will be less formal and less expensive but still focus on high quality ingredients from West Sweden and a gourmet experience. Björn Persson also opened up the already very popular restaurant Spisa with a Mediterranean concept during the end of 2013. Website: www.restaurangkoka.se/

Deliverket (opened Dec 2013)

This is a small neighbourhood restaurant located in the residential area of Eriksberg which opened in December 2013. Drop by for a a glass of wine and something to eat. Seafood is an important part of the menu and delicacies like oysters, shrimps are mixed with charcuteries and lighter dishes. Season and quality are core values. The beef in the special deli burger is from a local farm in Björlanda and a lot of the beer is brewed at Beerbliotek, just across the river. Website:  www.deliverket.se

The Barn (opened Oct 2013)

This restaurant specializes in gourmet burgers of the best quality in a very special environment. The décor comes from a real barn from the countryside outside Gothenburg  witch the owners have rebuilt inside the restaurant. The food is a mix between American and Swedish food culture and many of the ingredients are sourced locally. Website: www.thebarn.se/

Levantine (opened Oct 2013)

The French bistro Levantine opened in the neighbourhood Vasastan during autumn 2013. The menu combines classic French dishes with Swedish ingredients. Enjoy chèvre chaud, moules marinères or other classic dishes, before you wrap it up with a sweet dessert. You can also pop by for coffee and croissant or a glass of wine. It’s good to know that the restaurant is cash free and drop-in only. Website:  www.levantine.se/

Upper House Dining (opened Sept 2013)

Upper House Dining is located in the new luxury hotel Upper House and opened up late September 2013. Located on the 25th floor, Upper House Dining has large windows providing spectacular views over Gothenburg. The menu is put together by Krister Dahl, former captain of the Swedish Culinary Team, and consists of six dishes composed using the very best ingredients from the surrounding area each day. As head chef, Krister Dahl has recruited Måns Backlund. Together they work to attract the attention of the Michelin Guide. Website: www.upperhouse.se/restaurang/

Barabicu (opened July 2013)

The food and drinks at Barabicu are influenced by southern and northern America, and together with the view over the harbor and canal this restaurant provides a unique setting with an international vibe. Here you will feel the fondness for barbecue and the restaurant grills exclusively with charcoal. The grilled meat is accompanied by Swedish produce like fish and seafood. You are offered a dynamic list of wines and several quality beers both on tap and bottle. During the weekend Barabicu invites local and international DJ:s which contributes to a club-feeling. Website:  www.barabicu.se/

Henrik Trygg/imagebank.sweden.se

If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life this summer, head to Gothenburg’s southern archipelago – voted the city’s best attraction on Tripadvisor - where the islands are idyllic and car-free.  

You can spend the day exploring the islands on foot or by bicycle and soak up the sunshine and fresh air, which will leave you feeling completely relaxed. What’s more, you don’t need to travel far from Gothenburg’s city centre to find charming villages, beautiful beaches and long walks.

Where to go?

The idyllic island of Asperö in the southern archipelago has only 460 permanent residents but is the perfect place for wild swimming and kayaking. For those who prefer activities on dry land the island offers some incredible walking and jogging routes.

The tiny island of Köpstadsö is the smallest in the southern archipelago with only 100 permanent residents. Like all of the islands in the south it is completely car free, but the most popular form of transport is the wheelbarrow! 

Fish lovers will enjoy dining in the archipelago where the ethos is ‘eat by the ocean and enjoy treasures from the ocean.’ You won’t find seafood and fish fresher anywhere else. There are so many restaurant options to choose from you will be spoilt for choice.

For more information about visiting and staying on the archipelago check out this link http://www.goteborg.com/archipelago

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Photo by Emelie Asplund/imagebank.sweden.se

The interesting world of the Vikings has come to British shores this year with a new exhibition at the British Museum – the first major Viking exhibition at the museum for 30 years.

You’ll be transported back in time to the Viking era, see new archaeological discoveries and really be able to understand what it meant to be a Viking.

Once your appetite for all things Viking has been truly whetted then why not visit the beautiful Skåne in southern Sweden and uncover its Viking history?

Skåne is steeped in history with over 200 castles dating back from the 12th - 19th centuries and the area is dotted with Viking monuments. Take a visit to Ales Stenar (Ale’s Stones), which is Sweden’s answer to Stonehenge. The 59 huge stones were placed to form the shape of a Viking long boat around 1,400 years ago. Nobody really knows the significance of the stone placement but it is speculated that it would have been a meeting place or somewhere to celebrate the changing of the seasons.

No Viking themed trip to Skåne would be complete without a visit to Foteviken, the Viking ‘reserve’. The living history museum is unlike any other museum: here real people are working and living as their Viking ancestors would have. An entire Viking Age town has been reconstructed using techniques and materials of the time and is as historically correct as it can be.

The museum is open from May to September and costs 90 SEK for adults (£8) and 30 SEK for children aged 6 – 15 (£3)

Travel back to the age of the Vikings in Skåne - find out more here

Photo by Erik Leonsson/imagebank.sweden.se

We love food in Sweden! Each Swedish child is raised with a sense of the fundamental connection between food and landscape, giving us a very different attitude to eating.

One of the main reasons for this is Sweden’s unique range of fantastic ingredients – from oysters through to reindeer and lingonberries to chanterelle mushrooms - whilst hunting, fishing and foraging is a natural part of the Swedish lifestyle.

Whereas diet and healthy eating has become an ongoing preoccupation for us in the UK, the Swedish eat healthily without even realising it. The diet is full of whole grain products, rapeseed oil, fish, lean meat, low-fat dairy, berries, root vegetables and legumes. According to research from the Nordic Centre of Excellence, this diet lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and strokes, whilst also improving mineral and vitamin uptake and assisting metabolism.

That’s not to say that all Swedish food is super healthy (the classic cinnamon bun puts paid to that idea!) – more that Swedes understand the value of ‘everything in moderation’. Rather than a cause of anxiety, food in Sweden is always an experience, whether it be foraging for mushrooms in vast forests, cosying up by a log fire with a cup of coffee and a piece of apple pie, or laughing with friends whilst tucking in at a summer crayfish party. What’s not to like?

If you want to start eating like a Swede, why not try one of these delicious, easy recipes?

http://sweden.se/collection/classic-swedish-food/