Visitors Experience ´The Taste of Swedish Summer´ Year-Round With New Food Preservation Initiative
To highlight its gastronomic heritage and sustainable food culture – and inspire tourists to come to Sweden – Sweden has worked together with two leading food experts to preserve ‘The Taste of Swedish Summer’. Swedish food chemist and forager Lena Engelmark Embertsén and innovative star chef Elvira Lindqvist have used both traditional and modern ways to preserve flavours that reflect the current zeitgeist, in which sustainability is playing an increasingly important role.
In a normal year, tourists visiting Sweden during the summer months are able to get a taste of its gastronomic treats but due to the pandemic, many visitors have missed out on the Swedish summer delicacies. In June and July, Swedish nature is bursting with flavours that are characteristic of the Swedish summer season. The long days give berries, flowers and plants precisely what they need to develop their distinct taste that is enhanced further through preservation.
”In Sweden, we have always preserved food. In times past it was necessary to survive the winter. Today we can use these techniques in completely new and surprising ways. One way is to preserve the Swedish summer so that more people can get a taste of our unique summer flavours and see how they can be used.”, says Lena Engelmark Embertsén.
Together Lena Engelmark Embertsén and Elvira Lindqvist have created 22 Swedish summer flavours and combinations, some of which can be experienced at Elvira Lindqvist’s newly opened Restaurant Oxenstiernan in Stockholm or bought at Lena Engelmark Embertsén’s farm, Högtorp gård in Mellösa. The 22 flavours are also presented on Visit Sweden’s website, where you can learn where the ingredients come from, what they can be combined with and with the recipes provided, find out how to create the flavours for yourself.
“Pickled cloudberries are delicious with venison and moose or barbecued turnip, fermented spruce buds work really well with chicken or cheese and dried nettles are packed with vitamins and can be used as a powder to season smoothies or sprinkled over a salad,” says Elvira Lindqvist.
Elvira Lindqvist and Lena Engelmark Embertsén are not the only ones who have discovered the benefits of working with preservation to experiment with new tastes and textures and to reduce food waste and maximise the use of local ingredients. More and more restaurants, shops, and food halls in Sweden – from the family-run Skoogs Eatery and Deli in Funäsdalen in northern Sweden, to the modern food hall Malmö Saluhall in the south – are using these methods.
Dr. Mat – meaning ‘Dr. Food’ – offers delicious food that is also beneficial to your health and wellbeing. You’ll not only enjoy a selection of delicious dishes with the possibility of buying some unique products to take home, you can also participate in several interesting workshops and lectures about food and health. Visit the downstairs ‘food lab’ where Dr. Mat’s team create drinks and health shots. This is where they also ferment vegetables, producing a healthy bacteria culture that can boost the immune system.
Duo Umeå; visitumea.se/en/dua (Northern Sweden)
A gourmet delicatessen with a focus on quality, inspiring tastes and customer service; you’ll find cheeses and other handcrafted foods, with everything from smoked, air-dried produce to locally-crafted, bean-to-bar chocolates with a taste of Norrland, as well coffee from the local Coastas Roastery. Explore the changing seasons’ unique flavours through different kinds of vinegar, fermented beverages and in Duo Umeå’s own jams.
Flammans skafferi, Storlien; flamman.nu (Central Sweden)
Visit Flammans Skafferi for glorious food that exudes a love for nature and sustainable agriculture, as well as for artisan foods and growers. The team at Flammans harvest, smoke, air-dry and preserve a selection of raw produce, exquisitely imbued with flavours from the Jämtland mountains, forests and lakes.
Högtorp gård close to Stockholm; spruceofsweden.com (Central Sweden)
People have lived and worked at Högtorp gård since the 17th century. Today, the farm is run by Lena Engelmark Embertsén, a food chemist and explorer of tastes. With great respect for nature, Lena is constantly on the lookout for new, innovative flavours which she then refines through various food preserving techniques. Visit Högtorp gård’s shop to buy many of Lena’s original and award-winning food products.
KOKA, Göteborg; restaurangkoka.se/en/restaurant-koka (Southern Sweden)
At Koka, sustainable gastronomy is a passion. It’s where you’ll enjoy the finest food but still keep a clear conscience, as most of the dishes are plant-based, with organic ingredients that are locally sourced as much as possible. Even the wine list is carefully selected, featuring small-scale wine producers that use organic or biodynamic methods. Koka’s light, original fare has garnered them a Michelin star in 2020, and a high ranking in the 360 Eat Guide, which ranks Nordic countries’ restaurants according to sustainability criteria.
A food market hall for everyone and every taste. This is where you’ll find it all – from local produce, freshly caught fish, cured delicacies and inspiring street food stands, to freshly baked cardamon buns, chocolate pralines and handcrafted ice cream. Even if you’re not feeling particularly hungry, the Malmö food hall is most definitely worth a visit. Not least for the building, a former warehouse from the 1800s, which has been lovingly restored and redeveloped by one of Sweden’s foremost architects, Gert Wingårdh.
Paul Taylor, Sundbyberg (a suburb of Stockholm), paultaylorlanthandel.se (Central Sweden)
A restaurant and farm shop run by two of Sweden’s most famous chefs, Paul Svensson and Tareq Taylor. Sustainability is the common thread throughout – from the seasonal and organic, locally grown produce to the restaurant’s innovative furnishings, made from recycled sea plastic and plant waste. A circular and zero-waste approach is also reflected in the duo’s passion for pickled and preserved produce. Every aspect of the dining experience is considered and thoughtful while still being fun and utterly delicious.
Restaurang Oxenstiernan in Stockholm,oxenstiernan.se (Central Sweden)
Restaurant Oxenstiernan is run by star chef Elvira Lindqvist and silversmith Sebastian Schildt. This is where you’ll enjoy innovative, Swedish cuisine on a beautiful old farm that dates back to the 18th century. The restaurant has a strong focus on sustainable cuisine, with locally sourced food and beverages, and is also a natural draw for those interested in Swedish design and quality craftsmanship.
Rutabaga, Stockholm, mdghs.se/en/rutabaga/Mathias (Central Sweden)
Modern fine dining with a plant-based twist! Rutabaga combines Swedish, lacto-ovo-vegetarian produce with influences from all over the world and uses curing methods throughout the year to enhance and offer unique taste experiences. Located in Stockholm’s historic Grand Hotel, Rutabaga has been awarded the Pioneer of the Year Award by the prestigious White Guide. It’s run by restaurateur Mattias Dahlgren, who has, among other accolades, been named Taste Maker of the Year at Sweden’s national Restaurants Awards event.
Sav, Östersund, savhuset.se/en_us (Central Sweden)
A unique, Swedish winery and drinks producer who creates handcrafted beverages with birch sap, harvested from the Storsjön area in Jämtland, northern Sweden. SAV’s name means birch sap in Swedish, and its first wine, Sav Sparkling, is based upon a recipe from 1785. Today, their sparkling wine has been joined by several other artisan beverages, both with and without alcohol. SAV offers guided tours and tastings.
Skoogs krog, deli och bistro, Funäsdalenskoogskrog.se/krog (Central Sweden)
A family-owned business in the Funäsfjällen mountains, with a restaurant, bistro and delicatessen, as well as lodgings. Skoogs work closely with local producers to source everything from raw ingredients to the restaurant’s crockery, with much of the raw produce coming from Skoogs’ own farms in Funäsdalen.
Swedish Wine Center Vinbar; Malmö; swedishwinecenter.se (Southern Sweden)
As the name suggests, the Swedish Wine Center has its main focus on wine, not least on locally produced Swedish wines, mainly from Skåne. Here, you can enjoy a selection of world-class wines, take part in a wine tasting of select Swedish wines and also enjoy some good, homemade food at the same time. Choose from a selection of larger dishes or smaller bites, all prepared with locally sourced and freshly produced ingredients.