Stockholm, the cosmopolitan capital of Sweden, is renowned for its great fashion, beautiful blondes, and refined interior design. But the city's denizens also apply their aesthetic rigor and regard for natural beauty to an increasingly relevant culinary scene. Pristine raw materials make all the difference because while the growing season here isn't long, it's exuberant. In the outskirts of the city, sweet, jewel-like berries weigh groundcover down in the late summer, from midnight-hued blueberries to thick strands of bright red lingonberries; fresh, feathery-skinned new potatoes taste of earthy minerals; wild chanterelles gathered from fill plates in the early fall. Year-round, locals feast on salmon striated with fat fished from clean waters, while the summer brings archipelago parties soaked in caraway-scented snaps and dill crown-boiled crayfish parties. International variety may not be the city's strong suit, but the local cuisine is a world unto itself, nuanced and unfussy.
Saveur.com site director Ganda Suthivarakom lived there for seven months, trying to eat her way around the entire city. She learned to love most herring and may have eaten every pastry available on the five main islands. Here are her twelve picks for Stockholm, Sweden.
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Bacon Turnovers, Layered Herring Salad, Cranberry Mousse and more recipes inspired by Gabriella Gershenson's story Riga Revisited, about the enduring culinary traditions in her family's hometown in Latvia.
Thanks to a Swedish tradition called Allemansrätten ("every man's right"), anyone is allowed to forage for wild foods and flowers (excepting those that are protected by law), as long as nothing is disturbed or destroyed.