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julbord, information about Swedish Christmas recipes, food and cooking


The Swedish Christmas-table is a buffet-style version of the famous smorgasbord. Julmat, or Christmas-food is presented this way and its often traditional dishes like meatballs, prinskorv (prince sausage), salmon, janssons frestelse, Christmas-ham, herring, beetroot-salad, ribs, and different forms of cabbage that is served. Of course, the julbord has changed during the years and you may find all kinds of different dishes at the modern Christmas-table.

The beginning of the julbord season is in early December and it lasts until Christmas Eve, or julafton, at December 24th.

Traditionally the julbord has been eaten divided into different "plates", the first one, much like the smorgasbord tradition, consists of seafood like pickled herring, salmon, eel and sometimes also shellfish.

The second plate might be cold cuts like julskinka (Christmas ham), sometimes also roast beef and turkey is served. Julost or Christmas-cheese which usually is edam is also very common together with butter and vortbrod (vörtbröd), which is a sweet dark bread, flavoured with cloves, cinnamon, raisins, ginger and cardamom.

The third plate is the hot one, dishes like Swedish meatballs, prinskorv, red cabbage, boiled potatoes, lutfisk (stockfish), revbensspjall (roasted ribs), janssons frestelse, beetroot-salad, green-cabbage and so on are served.

In modern days however, the tradition of dividing the julbord into different plates its not very common, and the usual is to form your own plate after what you prefer.

After the julbord you may find risgrynsgrot (risgrynsgröt), which is porridge made with rice-grains and milk. The most common though, is to serve the risgrynsgrot for breakfast at Christmas Eve. The porridge is served together with milk, caster sugar, cinnamon and sometimes an almond. According to tradition the person who gets the almond will be married within a year.

Here are some Swedish Christmas julbord recipes to try at home:

Gravad lax, cured salmon
Julskinka, christmas ham
Inlagd sill, pickled herring
Rodbetssallad, beetroot-salad
Janssons frestelse, janssons temptation
Rodkal (rödkål), red cabbage
Gronkal, (grönkål), green cabbage
Kottbullar (köttbullar), meatballs
Prinskorv, prince sausage
Potatissallad, potato-salad
Graddsas (gräddsås), cream-sauce

Serve together with boiled green peas, edam-cheese, dark bread, butter, sweet grainy mustard and for drink christmas beer, snaps and julmust, which is a Swedish Christmas soft-drink.

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