The Swedes are groundbreakers when it comes to humanitarian posturing. They believe in gentility and peaceful resolutions on interpersonal as well as societal levels. Sweden has been successful as a monarchy since it’s inception and is still ruled today by a King and a parliamentary system.
However, Sweden has had its share of war throughout the centuries. The country took control of the Baltic region after winning wars against Poland, Russia, and Denmark and became a European empire, establishing the balance of power between government and religion. Sweden is responsible for the establishment of the Lutheran church. In the early 1700s, Sweden’s army was overtaken by Russia and was forced to cede some of its lands, and so began Sweden’s journey toward peace and enlightenment.
Along with a great love of music and art the Swedes love rich, robust food. Dishes of fish, meats, and vegetables are commonly served with a large variety of bread. Lingonberry jam is commonly used in Swedish cuisine as a condiment or in hearty meals like a stew.
One of their most celebrated desserts is “Princess Cake”, created in the 1920s by Jenny Akerstrom, a teacher to the daughters of Prince Carl Bernadotte. It is traditionally dome-shaped with layers of chiffon cake filled with jam, whipped cream, and pastry cream, and covered by a layer of green colored marzipan. In Sweden, “Princess Cake” is celebrated the third week in September.
Kanelbulle meaning Cinnamon buns have been around Sweden since the 1920s and the average citizen consumes hundreds of them per year. Their common ingredients include butter, flour, sugar and, of course, cinnamon. They are enjoyed as a breakfast food or as dessert and are so well loved that October 4th has been named “Kanelbulle” day.
Waffles are an extremely popular dessert & breakfast snack. The Swedes have been making waffles since the 1700s. The common ingredients are flour, salt, baking powder, milk, eggs, and butter. They were conceived as a religious tribute on “Our Lady’s Day” which was celebrated nine months before Christmas. Today, Swedish waffle day is still celebrated on March 25th but is no longer associated with a religious holiday.
Sweden has such wonderful food and desserts. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like Swedish meatballs. They also have a version of cheesecake called, Ostkaka and a candy called Ischoklad which originated in Germany but is a very popular treat in Sweden as well which is a combination of Coconut oil and chocolate. I have tasted my share of Swedish dishes and loved every bite. Thank you, Sweden for all of your wonderful contributions; Culinary and otherwise.