September 16, 2010

Tip #16 - Fresh Produce on the Menu



Autumn is my favorite season in Sweden for many reasons. I love the crispness in the air and the changing colors of the leaves, but the main reason is the abundance of fresh produce that show up in the supermarkets and restaurant menus. As a visitor, this is the perfect opportunity for you you to sample tastes that are truly Swedish... and when they are most fresh! When perusing menus in restaurants this season, keep your eyes open for the following:

  • Berries- A lot of berries come into season in the forests of Sweden in late summer and early autumn. Besides the familiar raspberries and blueberries (hallon and blåbär in Swedish), give lingon, currants (vinbär) and cloud berries (hjortron) a try! Swedes eat lingon berries, similar to cranberries, with almost anything. Cloud berries have a distinct tart taste and are often added to desserts as a counterpoint to the sweetness.

  • Mushrooms- Two particular favorites from the Swedish forests are chanterelles (kantareller in Swedish) and porcini/cep (Karl Johan svamp). They show up on menus in many forms... sauces, fillings and even cooked in cream on toast. Yummy!

  • Bleak Roe- this Swedish orange-colored caviar (löjrom) can be found on menus year-round, but is at its freshest in the autumn. Though often used in sauces and as a topping/garnish, it is best eaten the traditional way... with toast, creme fraiche, chives and diced red onions.

  • Moose/Elk- it is the hunting season for the king of the forest(älg), while not a personal favorite of mine, it is still worth a taste! You will find them on the menu mainly in the form of stews, but some creative restaurants use the meat to make moose burgers.

The pictures were taken at the outdoor/indoor market at Hötorget, an experience in itself!

Click here for other practical tips!

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