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information about Swedish midsummer, or midsommar food and recipes

In late June, when nights are the shortest of the year, 'midsommar' or midsummer is celebrated. This holiday is an ancient festivity which assembles young and old to celebrate, sing and dance around the 'midsommarstang', or midsummer pole which is dressed with flowers and grass.

In the past, unmarried girls were supposed to pick seven kinds of flowers and put them under their pillows at midsummer's eve. This way, the girls would hopefully dream about their future husband.

The celebration is different throughout Sweden and for instance in Scandia, or Skane, midsummer-fires are lit.

Usually the food at midsummer begins with the 'sill-lunch', which means herring-lunch. The herring is usually pickled in for instance mustard, garlic, onion and sometimes even curry. The herring is served together with new potatoes boiled with dill, sour cream, egg-halves and chopped chives. For drink preferably 'nubbe', or schnapps like aquavit are served and together with that, mostly beer for adults, and various soft drinks for the younger ones.

After the herring-lunch the dinner follows, many people likes to have a barbecue at midsummer, and this barbecue might contain both grilled meat as well as more classic midsummer dishes. The midsommarbord, or midsummer-table is often including Swedish meatballs, prinskorv (prince sausage), salmon, more herring, sour cream, potato-salad, roast beef, vasterbotten cheese-pie, various breads, brannvinsost (liquor-cheese) and desserts like strawberry cake or fresh strawberries served with vanilla ice-cream and whipped cream. During this, beer is the most common drink as well as of course, schnapps.

We have selected a few midsommar, or midsummer recipes for you to try at home.

Swedish meatballs, serve them hot or cold without cream-sauce and lingonberries
Potato-salad with roastbeef
Pickled herring
Prinskorv, 'prince sausages', crispy small sausages, serve with sweet grainy mustard

Vasterbottenpaj, pie filled with vasterbotten cheese
Cured salmon, serve with hovmastarsas

Together with this, serve bread, eggs, butter, cheese, pickled herring, chopped chives or onions, sour cream and dill-boiled new potatoes, some crips bread and a cold beer is also very nice. If possible, enjoy midsummer on an island or in close proximity to water.