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Five things you have to do before Swedish summer ends

We hate to be the one to say it, but the end of Swedish summer is almost here. So spend your days wisely -- make like the Swedes and embrace the outdoors with a seasonal menu inspired by your surroundings.

Five things you have to do before Swedish summer ends
West Coast archipelago. Photo: Per Pixel Petersson/imagebank.sweden.se

When summer days are numbered, the last thing you want to do is spend them trudging through supermarket aisles.

No one wants to push around a heavy shopping cart when they could be outside, breathing in the warm air and feeling the sun on their face. OK, that last part might be a stretch for Sweden, but you get the gist…

There is a solution, and it means you can enjoy the last days of summer and have a fully stocked fridge.

Order your groceries online at MatHem.se and get them delivered to your door at a time that suits you. With over 10,000 items to choose from –including fresh meat, fish, vegetables, and tinned goods — you can stock up without wasting hours better spent enjoying summer with friends and family.

Now you’ve saved all that time — what will you do with it? Here are our suggestions of how to spend the closing days of Swedish summer (and some tasty dishes to accompany them).

1. Go berry picking

One of the perks of Swedish summertime is an abundance of delicious berries! Swedes grow up foraging and their bounty plays a huge part in Swedish cookery. Think lingonberries on everything, chased with a berry-based dessert.

The Swedish blueberry is found almost everywhere, and can be turned into delicious jams to smear on pancakes with whipped cream, or baked into buttery, crumbly pies.

Once you’ve got your basketful of berries, there’s nothing tastier to turn them into than this mouth-watering smoothie bowl — it’s a colourful breakfast that will summon that summer feeling whatever time of year it is. You can find more smoothie inspiration right here on MatHem.se.

2. Take a swim

It’s non-negotiable — you absolutely have to take a dip before the temperature drops. In fact, there may actually be a Swedish law that says you must go swimming at least once during summer (but don’t quote us on that).

Wherever you are, with the country’s endless coastline and thousands of lakes, you’re bound to be near some water — and this is Sweden, so don’t let not having a costume or trunks on hand stop you.

Make a day of it at the sandy Ribersborg beach in Malmö, or dive in off the rocks at Fjäderholmarna,on Stockholm’s nearest archipelago island. And if you’re nowhere near either, there will almost certainly be a scenic and inviting lake nearby.

Remember to pack a picnic so you don’t have to cut the day short. We suggest taking along these tasty sweet potato wraps with feta cheese and spicy beans (and pack them in your cool bag if you really want to prove your Swedish credentials). You can browse recipes for over 200 wraps here on MatHem.se.

3. Explore the archipelagos

Both Stockholm and Gothenburg are built on vast and spectacular archipelagos. Thousands of islands and islets, each with its own character and landscape, lie just outside the cities. And believe us when we tell you, it’s a really special sight in the summer.

Save time (and 200 kronor!) when ordering groceries with MatHem.se

Hop on a ferry and you can explore an almost uncharted part of the world. Many of the islands are relatively untouched, bar pretty wooden summer houses, small local communities, and shadows of ancient villages.

Rent a summer house for the weekend, or book a room in a characterful Swedish guesthouse. You can reach some islands by car, so if you drive make sure to fill your trunk with tasty treats. You could even pack a barbecue and eat al fresco — these tomato burgers with grilled halloumi will go down a treat with the whole family. Check out more burger recipes on MatHem.se.

4. Go hiking

Sweden has nearly 400 hiking trails spanning the course of the country. You can still follow the trails in winter but nothing beats a walk on a light, warm day before settling down for an afternoon picnic.

Hike or bike The Vasalopp Trail in Dalarna, soak in the scenery along the Skåneleden trail on the south west coast, or follow the Höga Kusten on the Gulf of Bothnia — just make sure to wear appropriate shoes and take a hearty snack!

We suggest making the most of the last days of rhubarb season and packing some home-baked rhubarb buns to enjoy with a flask of coffee. If you're on a health kick you could also try these tasty raw food balls made with ginger and lime. Who says you can’t fika on the go?

5. Host a kräftskiva

Nothing says “Swedish summertime” like throwing your very own kräftskiva, or crayfish party. It’s the traditional summer eating celebration (and a great opportunity to knock back a few shots of snaps while belting out Swedish drinking song Helan går).

Cook crayfish the traditional way with this flavourful recipe from MatHem.se. And no crayfish party is complete without västerbottenspaj, the delicious savoury cheese pie that is a mandatory kräftskiva side dish. And you can get all the ingredients and a traditional recipe right here on MatHem.se.

However you choose to spend the final days of summer, make sure you’re in good company with a fridge packed full of good food.

With MatHem.se you can even order the evening before and have your groceries delivered the next day. So if you see a sunny forecast you can plan a spontaneous kräftskiva without worrying when you’ll find time to get to the shop.

And right now, MatHem.se has a special offer that gives readers of The Local 200 kronor in savings on their first order with MatHem-se. Click here to find out more.

Click here for a special offer from MatHem.se

This article was produced by The Local Client Studio and sponsored by MatHem.se.

 

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FOOD & DRINK

Five sweet treats you should be able to identify if you live in Sweden

Do you know your biskvi from your bakelse? Your chokladboll from your kanelbulle? Here's a guide guaranteed to get your mouth watering.

Five sweet treats you should be able to identify if you live in Sweden

Kanelbulle

The most famous of all Swedish cakes outside Sweden, the classic kanelbulle (cinnamon bun) is the symbol of Sweden abroad, no doubt helped by the fact that Swedish furniture giants IKEA stock frozen buns in their food stores for customers to bake off at home.

Forget American tear-apart cinnamon rolls baked in a pan and slathered with cream cheese frosting: a classic Swedish cinnamon bun is baked individually using a yeasted dough spread with cinnamon sugar and butter. The dough is then rolled up, sliced into strips which are then stretched out and knotted into buns, baked, glazed with sugar syrup and sprinkled with pearl sugar.

Home-made varieties skip the stretching and knotting step, rolling the cinnamon-sprinkled dough into a spiral instead which, although less traditional, tastes just as good.

Kanelbullar in Sweden often include a small amount of Sweden’s favourite spice: cardamom. If you’re a fan of cardamom, try ordering the kanelbulle‘s even more Swedish cousin, the kardemummabulle or cardamom bun, which skips the cinnamon entirely and goes all-out on cardamom instead.

Sweden celebrates cinnamon bun day (kanelbullens dag) on October 4th.

Photo: Lieselotte van der Meijs/imagebank.sweden.se

Chokladboll

A great option if you want a smaller cake for your fika, the chokladboll or ‘chocolate ball’ is a perfect accompaniment to coffee – some recipes even call for mixing cold coffee into the batter.

They aren’t baked and are relatively easy to make, meaning they are a popular choice for parents (or grandparents) wanting to involve children in the cake-making process.

Chokladbollar are a simple mix of sugar, oats, melted butter and cocoa powder, with the optional addition of vanilla or coffee, or occasionally rum extract. They are rolled into balls which are then rolled in desiccated coconut (or occasionally pearl sugar), and placed in the fridge to become more solid.

Some bakeries or cafés also offer dadelbollar or rawbollar/råbollar (date or raw balls), a vegan alternative made from dried dates and nuts blended together with cocoa powder.

Chocolate ball day (chokladbollens dag) falls on May 11th.

Photo: Magnus Carlsson/imagebank.sweden.se

Prinsesstårta

The lime-green prinsesstårta or ‘princess cake’ may look like a modern invention with it’s brightly-coloured marzipan covering, but it has been around since the beginning of the 1900s, and is named after three Swedish princesses, Margareta, Märta and Astrid, who were supposedly especially fond of the cake.

The cake consists of a sponge bottom spread with jam, crème pâtissière and a dome of whipped cream, covered in green marzipan and some sort of decoration, often a marzipan rose.

Prinsesstårtor can also be served in individual portions, small slices of a log which are then referred to as a prinsessbakelse.

Although the cakes are popular all year round, in the Swedish region of Småland, prinsesstårta is eaten on the first Thursday in March, due to this being the unofficial national day of the Småland region (as the phrase första torsdagen i mars is pronounced fössta tossdan i mass in the Småland dialect).

Since 2004, the Association of Swedish Bakers and Confectioners has designated the last week of September as prinsesstårtans vecka (Princess cake day).

Photo: Sinikka Halme, Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0.

Budapestbakelse

Belonging to the more traditional cakes, a Budapestbakelse or “Budapest slice” is a type of rulltårta or “roll cake” similar to a Swiss roll, consisting of a light and crispy cake made from whipped egg whites, sugar and hazelnut, filled with whipped cream and fruit, often chopped conserved peaches, nectarines or mandarines, and rolled into a log.

The log is then sliced into individual portions and drizzled with chocolate, then often topped with whipped cream and a slice of fruit. 

Despite its name, the Budapest slice has nothing to do with the city of Budapest – it was supposedly invented by baker Ingvar Strid in 1926 and received the name due to Strid’s love for the Hungarian capital.

Of course, the Budapestbakelse also has its own day – May 1st.

Kanelbullar (left), chokladbollar (centre) and biskvier (right). Photo: Tuukka Ervasti/imagebank.sweden.se

Biskvi

Another smaller cake, a biskvi (pronounced like the French biscuit), consists of an almond biscuit base, covered in buttercream (usually chocolate flavoured), and dark chocolate.

Different variants of biskvier exist, such as a Sarah Bernhardt, named after the French actress of the same name, which has chocolate truffle instead of buttercream.

You might also spot biskvier with white chocolate, often with a hallon (raspberry) or citron (lemon) filling, or even saffransbiskvier around Christmastime.

Chokladbiskviens dag is celebrated on November 11th.

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