10 unmissable staples of Scandinavian cuisine

10 unmissable staples of Scandinavian cuisine

Let the Northern spirit inspire your taste buds with these ten culinary specialties typical of Scandinavian cuisine.

Salmon, sandwiches, meatballs—Nordic cuisine goes far beyond what’s found by the Ikea cash registers. Pure, graphic, simple, and efficient, Nordic cuisine is increasingly renowned on the world gastronomy scene. If Copenhagen remains an an undisputed gastronomic capital,its neighbors shouldn’t be overlooked. After taking a look at French, Spanish, and Portuguese cuisines, we now head north–here’s a look at culinary specialties typical of Nordic cuisine.

1. Kanelbüllar

In Sweden, this delicious cinnamon- and cardamom-flavored rolled bun is a must at the mid-morning fika time and the traditional afternoon Swedish coffee break. The kanelbülle (singular) is so popular, it’s celebrated every October 4 on Kanelbullens dag .

2. Gravlax salmon

Scandinavian-style gravlax salmon is a delicate, tasty, and elegant starter. Raw salmon fillets are seasoned for several days in a marinade of mostly salt, sugar, pepper, dill, and red berries, then sliced into thin slivers and served up with a delicious mustard sauce called hovmästersås.

3. The knäckelbröd

This crispy Swedish bread is the essential start for smörgås, the colorful savory toast. Incredibly rich, knäckelbröd is ideal for braving the Scandinavian winter frost.

4. Hasselback Potatoes

Hasselbackspotatis are oven-roasted potatoes cut, fanned out and served as an accompaniment to meat or fish. Impossible to resist, these potatoes are crispy and golden on the outside but tender on the inside.

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Hasselbackpotatis, a Swedish potato classic, served with maple glazed roasted veg & pomegranate arils. What you need for the potatoes: For 800 g of potatoes, I use around 1-2 tbsp olive oil combined with around 25 g dairy-free buttery spread (melted), around a tsp of coarse sea salt flakes plus an optional tbsp of fine bread crumbs (can be gf, if preferred). Herbs, garlic salt, cheese and more can all be added if desired, but I like to keep these plain when using as an accompaniment to more traditional dishes. Directions Wash and dry the potatoes. Slice slits into each potato, about 3/4 of the way through so that the bottom remains in tact. Space the slits around 2 mm apart. Pop the potatoes into a greased ovenproof tray or dish. Brush the potatoes with half the melted butter and oil mix. Season generously with salt and pepper. In an oven preheated to 200°C (fan) roast the potatoes for 30 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and brush over the remaining butter and oil so that it enters the gaps between the slices. Bake for a further 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are golden, crispy on the edges and cooked through. Serve directly. (please do not repost without permission) . Thank you @tastingtable, @veganfoodspace and @bestofvegan for the recent shares and kind credit. 🙏 And much love to you reading this. Marisa in the north x . . . #vegancomfortfood#roastpotatoes#hasselbackpotatoes#glutenfreevegan#beautifulcuisines#tastingtable

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5. Kalops Stew

What could be better than a piping hot stew to warm up those long northern winter evenings? Seasoned with dill and steeped in a thick sauce, Kalops is a beef stew that will melt in your mouth.

6. Semla

How about the sweet side? Semlor are cardamom-flavored brioches filled with marzipan and whipped cream and topped with sprinkled icing sugar. Typical Mardi Gras pastry, you can also find them in Nordic countries throughout the Christmas to Easter periods.

7. Drømmekage

Of Danish origin, Drømmekage is a soft, vanilla-flavored cake smothered with a layer of caramelized coconut. Its name literally means “dream cake.” Tempting, no?

8. The köttbullar

There’s no point in writing about Scandinavian specialties without the inevitable: meatballs. Emblematic of Swedish cuisine but just as popular in Norway and Denmark, köttbullar are prepared from a mixture of different meats and traditionally served with mashed potatoes, cucumbers, and cranberry jam.

9. Herring

Whether marinated, smoked, grilled, boiled, fried, or part of a soup, salad, or simply fermented, herring is a staple of Scandinavian cuisine. In fact, the fish is used in almost every sauce. Served on buttered polar bread or knäckelbröd along with potatoes and fresh onions, it can be enjoyed in a thousand different ways.

10. The brunost

With its soft caramel-like appearance, brunost is a Norwegian brown goat’s cheese usually spread on a slice of rye bread or a waffle. It pairs perfectly with chicouté jam, a typical Nordic berry sauce.

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