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ALL ABOUT THE FOOD
Midsummer is a celebration about food, games, flowers, flower wreaths, children, maypoles, singing, dancing, drinking and enjoying good times with family and friends. There are certain components that need to be included in order for Midsummer to occur, such as the 30 minutes of heavy rain that just appears out of nowhere every single year. Some things are more important than others though and let's be honest what is a Scandinavian holiday without food? Food is at the very centre of Midsummer celebrations and we dare to say that without the Midsummer food there'd be no Midsummer. Here are 10 things in no particular order that make up a very traditional Midsummer table.
New potatoes have thin, wispy skin and a crisp, waxy texture. They are young potatoes and unlike their fully grown counterparts, they keep their shape once cooked and cut and they are also sweeter than regular potatoes. A midsummer without new potatoes would be practically as boring as a summer without sun and they go extremely well with almost everything else on the Midsummer table.
Herring has a long history in Sweden and is considered something of a national dish. Matjessill originally comes from Holland and means virgin herring. Despite the name it really is the King of Herring and an absolute must on the Midsummer table. Matjessill is a prepared form of herring that is stored in barrels before it is cleaned and packed in preserves with a special seasoning, consisting of sugar, cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Sandalwood is often also included in the seasoning.
What is a midsummer without strawberries and strawberry cake? Jordgubbstårtan (Strawberry Cake or quite simply Swedish Cake) is a a classic strawberry cake that never goes out of style and a summer classic that is suitable for all festive occasions and a perfect Midsummer dessert.
5. LOTS AND LOTS
The Priest cheese's saltiness balances nicely against the sweetness of the herring.
As genuinely Swedish as the Nobel Prize, Abba, Dala horses and IKEA.
Crisp bread is almost as important as the new potatoes on the Midsummer table.
We especially recommend crisp bread sandwiches with herring (of your choice) and Priest cheese topped with a bit of sour cream. Delicious!
7. GRÄDDFIL & GRÄSLÖK
SOUR CREAM & CHIVES
Sales of sour cream in Sweden increase by over 300 percent for Midsummer which says a lot...
8. ALL SORTS OF
So many herrings, so little time...
9. SALMON, SALMON
AND MORE SALMON
A classic since the 1600's and many people's favourite on the Midsummer table. Don't forget the sauce, gravlaxsås, a sauce made of mustard and dill that goes perfectly with gravlax. Other types of salmon such as smoked salmon, hot or cold is also popular and just as delicious.