Making a meal of Stockholm
Stockholm “the city that floats on water,” has in recent years become one of Europe’s liveliest and most varied cities for eating and drinking.
Swedish cuisine is largely based on meat, fish and potatoes, and meals are well-presented, hearty and often delicious. Salmon or lax in various forms and sill (marinated herring) feature widely , and both are mainstays of any Swedish smörgåsbord. Sill is typically eaten with boiled potatoes (preferably new potatoes generously decorated with fragrant sprigs of dill and sour cream), and kn ä ckebröd (buttered hard bread) laden with thin slices of mature hard cheese.
While exploring the streets of Stockholm, keep an eye out for restaurants serving husmanskost (home cooking), with dishes on the menu like Swedish meatballs (with cream sauce, mashed potatoes, pickled gherhin and lingonberry jam), pytt i panna (Swedish hash) and unusual specialties such as reindeer, elk and wild berries.
For filling snacks on the go, there is Stockholm’s answer to street food – the korv kiosk or (sausage stall) dotted all over the city. Some are substantial stand-alone affairs with fluorescent lighting reminiscent of American diners, while others are often little more than a hole-in-the-wall – only conspicuous by the queue of waiting customers.
When it comes to drinks, coffee is something the Swedes excel at, and you won’t have to look far to find a freshly brewed cup of java. Another important part of Swedish drinking culture and well worth trying at least once, is the local spirit aquavit or schnapps available in a variety of flavours, from anise and fennel to lemon and orange peel.
Aquavit is usually enjoyed with a meal of fish, either at lunch or with a starter at festive events like Midsummer or at a crayfish party in August. If you are visiting the Swedish capital at Christmas, then be sure to sample glögg, a delicious mulled red wine with cloves, cinnamon and sugar.