A traditional Swedish Christmas dinner with lots of snow

I was going to Sweden for a couple of meetings and a Swedish company Christmas dinner. Already on the way I was thinking about Swedish foods and one of my absolute favourites is bleak roe.

The bleak roe is eaten with sour cream, finely chopped red onion, finely chopped chive and toasted biroche or blinis. This flavour combination is salty from the roe, the taste of the onion with creaminess from the sour cream, delicious. When the opportunity was given for a casual, slightly late dinner I was delighted to see the bleak roe on the menu I knew I had to order it!

07DecBleakRoe

07DecBleak_Roe

07DecRoeOnBread

Continuing on the roe theme, there is another kind of roe that has it’s very special place in the heart of the Swedish nation, Kalles kaviar. I believe it is cod roe, smoked and from a more than 100 year old recipe it is not loosing ground at all, it works very well on toast and it is perfect with boiled eggs as it is salty.

Kalles kaviar on toast

Kalles kaviar on toast

I was delighted to see that the love for Kalles resulted in innovation and I found this at the hotel breakfast. A gentle squeeze and the perfect amount came out, not to mention that you would get everything out of the tube!

07DecKallesKaviar

When I came out from the breakfast, heading to the office it was cold! All flights had been cancelled the previous day due to very  heavy snow fall in Sweden, if I remember correctly 80% of the snow that fell all of last year came down in 24 hours. No flights had been cancelled in England but there were some transport problems due to snow, sometimes I can’t help but smile despite spending 40 minutes extra on an ice cod train looking at the “snow”! However the next day there were no problems, in London or in Stockholm.

London snow, enough to cause delays

London snow, enough to cause delays

Stockholm was slightly more dressed in snow and much colder! I took this whilst on my way to work.

A cold Stockholm morning

A cold Stockholm morning

Sweden has it’s own mulled wine called glögg. Glögg is had with almonds and raisins in it and gingerbread cookies. One of my colleagues had made a very large batch and generously brought a jar. It was delicious, a secret family recipe, very nice!

Per's gingerbreads

Per’s gingerbreads

Warmed inside from the glögg and gingerbreads we headed to Storkällaren in Gamla Stan in Stockholm. Our reservationwas for 3 PM and already then it was getting dark! For every year I don’t live in Sweden I seem to forget how early it gets dark!

07DecStorkallaren

Storkällaren is located in a small square with a Christmas market and the most quaint houses.

07DecStockholmXmasMarket

The doors opened at exactly 3 PM for a traditional Swedish Christmas dinner. It is actually less of a dinner and more of a smorgas bord (buffet). It was funny listening to my colleagues all talking about their strategy to tackle the vast amount of food!

First out for those who likes it is herring, pickled in different sauces, garlic is my favoutite closely followed by mustard, best eaten with boiled egg or boiled potato.

Different pickle herring

Different pickle herring

Eggs with mayo and prawns are mandatory

07DecEgg&shrimp

There was salmon, gravlax, cold smoked, hot smoked and poached.

07DecGravlax

There was an array of cold cut meats sausages and pates, my favourite was smoked leg of venison.

07DecColdCuts

My absolute favourite is something called Jansons temptation, potatoes cut julienne (match stick size is the best), anchovy and cream, it is not very photogenic but lovely!

Jansons temptation

Jansons temptation

There was a lot of food I didn’t take a pic of, I also love something called kalvsylta, jellied veal, with beetroot salad. Meatballs, these made from venison, ribs, sausages and all the desserts. The only thing I would say is that the ham usually is the centrepiece and all I could find was some already sliced and plated, quite unusual but it tasted good.

Well am sure you get it. No matter what your strategy is it is pretty much guaranteed that you leave feeling well and truly stuffed!

A ginger bread house for decoration

07DecGingerbreadHouse

There was also a schnapps menu and everyone had their own opinion about what schnapps was the best, Aquavit was the most popular, and my favourite is Hallands fläder, flavoured with elderberry. A few of those, a lot of food, a little wine and we were all off to another bar where the spirit discussion continued but over gin! Quite a few g&t’s later I decided to be wise and head to the hotel at about midnight, making sure I would not miss my flight back to London. It was good to get a Swedish dose of Christmas and some traditional Swedish foods! I do miss it sometimes.

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Comments
2 Responses to “A traditional Swedish Christmas dinner with lots of snow”
  1. K Donkey says:

    all looks really beautiful – and it appears you had my kind of break (although it wasn’t all a “jolly) great scenery and superb food.

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