This Friday we celebrated Midsummer Eve in Sweden. So I thought I'd share some pics and info about what we traditionally eat and drink at Midsummer Eve.
Matjessill - Matie Herring is a given at the table and the most common type of pickled herring to eat at Midsummer Eve in Sweden. Although I prefer to eat "normal" pickled herring, the ones in jars. The difference between pickled Matie herring and "normal" pickled herring is that Matie herring is caught in early autumn just before the herring becomes mature to mate. This is when the fish has the right fat content, size and has eaten the type of food which gives it its special Matie herring flavour.
To wash down the pickled herring we drink snaps - shots. Preferably OP Anderson Aquavit. And you are supposed to sing snapsvisor - special booze songs before you drink each snaps, but I just drink. Lol!
Besides pickled herring at our Midsummer Eve table we have; smoked salmon, eggs, new potatoes, sour cream with chives and Västerbottenpaj - West Botnia cheese pie. Actually, West Botnia cheese pie is very Swedish food indeed. This is because its main ingredient is Västerbottenost - West Botnia cheese, a strong, hard, aged cheese which is only made in Burträsk in Northern Sweden. We also had veggie "meat balls" this year. :p
My Midsummer plate and drinks.
Finally, my favourite part, a Midsummer Eve MUST and classic dessert - Strawberry cake with Swedish strawberries!
In short, a traditional Midsummer food menu (in my opinion) should include some form of pickled herring, aquavit and strawberry cake. Simple and summery. :p
Read more about why and how we celebrate Midsummer in Sweden in my post: Midsummer Eve
Yay! Now the Leaf market is a truly traditional Karlskrona market, in fact this market has been a yearly tradition in Karlskrona for over 200 years.
It's also the first major market of the summer season so it's always packed with people.
Originally the Leaf market was when farmers went into town to sell shrubs and flowers, which were used as decorations around farms. And although flowers still are a popular part of the market today, there are a lot of other things for sale at the market stalls as well.
Brända mandlar - Roasted almonds covered in melted sugar. These are so good! Especially when they are freshly made.
Home made candy.
Old fashioned chocolate covered cream buns.
Which look like this inside. But the white stuff is not cream, it's whipped egg white.
Swedish strawberries, which are a huge seller at the Leaf market. This is of course because the Leaf market take place the day (always a Thursday) before Midsummer's Eve. And something you HAVE TO EAT on Midsummer's Eve is strawberry cake!!!
Another very popular berry at the Leaf market is Bigarrå - a sort of Cherry.
Of course all this walking around creates an appetite! And my favourite market food to eat is Langos! And there are plenty of Lango carts to choose from at this market.
Langos is not a Swedish speciality though, it's a Hungarian dish. It consists of fried bread with different toppings. I love to have sour cream, shrimps, caviar and red onions on my Lango. It's sort of like a mini pizza when I think about it.
And here I am devouring a Lango at the Leaf market. So tasty!!!!
A major concern each year is how the weather is going to turn out on the day of the Leaf market. But I have to say that, although there were a few rain clouds in the sky, the weather was pretty nice at Karlskronas Leaf market this year. :-)
I spent this weekend in Gothenburg, Sweden, visiting friends. Now I have been to Gothenburg a few times before, however I have not really done any proper sightseeing. So I decided to do that this time. And of course I brought my camera and took a ton of photos! :p
So the first thing I associate with Gothenburg is trams. Much in the same way I associate trams with San Francisco. Actually, Gothenburg has the largest tram system in Sweden and trams have been in traffic in Gothenburg since 1879. The carts were pulled by horses until 1902, which is when the first electrical tram was introduced.
Left pic: tram line number 12, also known as Lisebergslinjen. This is a museum tram line with trams from as early as 1902. Right pic: some modern trams.
Nordstan mall. I didn't do any shopping this weekend because I wanted to focus on sightseeing, but we did park the car in the garage of Scandinavia's largest mall - Nordstan (in the pic). In fact Nordstan mall is also one of Northern Europe's largest malls measured in terms of total area (320 000 m² or 3 444 451 ft²) and number of stores (200).
Paddan sightseeing (Paddan - toad in English). On to some proper sightseeing then! We chose to try the popular Paddan sightseeing boats that run along the river Göta Älv. These boats have been in business ever since 1939. And it was definitely a fun way to learn about and see Gothenburg.
Paddan sightseeing tour. But there are a lot of bridges along Göta Älv, like "The Cheese Slice Bridge" (bottom pics). Where, if the water is high enough (like when we went) you have to get down on the floor and duck so the boat can fit under the bridge.
Paddan sightseeing tour. Paddan seen from Göta Älv Bridge.
Paddan sightseeing tour. View from Paddan.
Left pic:Gothenburg Opera House, built in 1994 and shaped as a ship (was the idea anyway). Right pic: The red and white building which locals refer to as "The Lip Stick". Its real name is Skanskaskrapan and it's mainly an office building. Although a café is located at the top floor where you can have some coffee and enjoy the view.
Göteborgshjulet - Wheel of Gothenburg. This Ferris Wheel first opened on May 22, 2010. Today it's located at Kanaltorget - Channel square, however it will be moved to the amusement park Liseberg in 2012.
View from Göteborgshjulet - Wheel of Gothenburg. Unfortunately it had started to rain when we went on it and the raindrops on the windows made it hard for me to get any good photos of the view. But this is a decent is one.
Avenyn. Avenyn is probably the most well known street in Gothenburg. It's packed with shops, restaurants, night clubs and theatres. I had an awesome hamburger along this street at the Italian-American restaurant Joe Farelli's, yum!
Gustaf Adolf's square. A popular sightseeing stop indeed. King Gustaf II Adolf founded Gothenburg in 1621. However, the square was originally named Big square. But in 1854, when the statue of King Gustaf II Adolf of Sweden was placed there, the square became known as Gustaf Adolf's square instead.
Saluhallen. Saluhallen is a covered food market with tons of fresh, fun and unusual foods! Like Moose snacks - Älg snacks (bottom right pic), hehe.
Skansen Kronan in Haga, Gothenburg. This is an old defence construction built between 1687-1700. It's located on a small mountain called Risåsberget in Haga, a few kilometres outside Gothenburg. Today this building is used as celebration premises, it's also a great place to enjoy some spectacular views of Gothenburg (for free).
Views from Skansen Kronan in Haga, Gothenburg. I must say it was the best views of the whole day, and it didn't cost a penny. Just a climb up about 195 steep stairs and a small (but also steep) hill, PHEW! I had no idea my fitness level had dropped so dramatically! Yikes!
Liseberg amusement park, Gothenburg. We spent Saturday evening at Gothenburgs awesome amusement park Liseberg. I love this one!!! It has been in open since 1923.
Flumeride at Liseberg amusement park. I love this ride! It's like a mini roller coaster in water. :p
AtmosFear at Liseberg amusement park. This new attraction is called AtmosFear, ooo! Lol! It's Europe's highest free fall. From 146 meters above sea level you free fall at 110 km/h straight down before the attraction abruptly slows down. Now I have gone on an attraction like this one called Free Fall at Gröna Lund (amusement park in Stockholm, Sweden). It was probably a few meters shorter but I'm sure my experience would be pretty much the same on AtmosFear - CANNOT BREATHE or see!!! So, nah. I didn't try this one. Hehe.
Balder roller coaster at Liseberg amusement park. Balder is a roller coaster completely made out of wood. It's also the largest single investment Liseberg has ever made in an attraction so far, which is more than 100 million SEK or 15 099 809 USD. And I did actually ride on this one!!!
Me on Balder the roller coaster (right pic)!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!! They had cameras that took photos when we came down one of the steepest hills. LOL! But I must say that the ride wasn't as scary (a good thing) as I thought. I think I probably had raised my expectations of what it would be like (getting slammed from side to side, not being able to breathe, being pushed down in the seat by gravitation) a biiiiiit to much. So it was a very, very, fun ride on da roller coaster for me!
So all in all I had a
great, and very active, weekend in Gothenburg! :p
Before I announce the winner I want to THANK all of you who participated in my Giveaway! I have truly enjoyed reading your comments about all your favourite traditions/celebrations! I feel like your comments have given me a little glimpse into your lives, and to many parts of the world as well. Awesome indeed! :-)
And the winner of my Swedish Midsummer Giveaway is...Oksana!!! Congratulations to you! Below is Oksanas comment about her favourite celebration:
"My favourite celebration is New Year Eve! We always decorate our home and Christmas tree, prepare tasty food and play games and dance all night!!! "
Once again - Thank You ALL for making this such a fun Giveaway! :-)
Giveaway time!!! Because it's Midsummer in Sweden in two weeks (June 24th) I felt a Midsummer theme would be appropriate for this Giveaway. I mean, to me there is nothing more Swedish than Midsummer! This means that the prizes consist of a few typical Midsummer items and some Swedish treats. The winner will be picked in a live broadcast drawing via my Ustream channel on Monday June 20th, I will be back with the exact time later.
Before I get into the details of this giveaway I want to share abit about our Midsummer tradition. So Midsummer is a Swedish tradition we celebrate by dressing up a Midsummer pole with flowers and then dancing around it. A traditional Midsummer headwear on this day is a Midsummer flower crown. Some traditional food we eat on this day are pickled herring, boiled new potatoes and sour cream with fresh chives. To drink - snaps (shots) preferably P.O Andersson. Dessert always consist of strawberry cake.
Left pic: We are dancing around a Midsummer pole in the eighties sometime. Right pic: Me wearing a traditional Midsummer flower crown (a long time ago, lol).
- A wooden Midsummer pole
- A Midsummer plastic flower crown
- A can of a typical Swedish pickled herring
- Napkins with Swedish flag motive
- 12 small plastic plates with Swedish motives
- Two wooden butter knives
- A car air freshener with Swedish motive
- Swedish crispbread
- Some popular Swedish candy; three different kinds of salt liquorice candy.
- A postcard with motives from my hometown Karlskrona
One entry per person.
To enter simply answer this question in the comment section of this post.
Question --> What is your favourite tradition/celebration and why?
My favourite tradition is actually Midsummer Eve. It's such a fun, simple and family friendly tradition. With family and friends we eat good simple food, dance, play games and enjoy a snaps (shot) or two. A wonderful outdoor tradition indeed!
Disclaimer - Please read This Giveaway is Open Worldwide. The package will be sent with a tracking code on it and I will pay for all delivery costs. I will send one package once. And because the delivery process is out of my control I cannot guarantee its safe arrival. However, the winner will have the option to receive 25 US Dollars via PayPal instead of the Giveaway package. Good luck! :p
I love licorice candy but have always been a bit skeptical towards licorice ice cream. However recently I tried a new licorice ice cream, and I must say that this is now one of my all time favourite ice cream flavours. Mainly because it has a good balance between salt and sweet, a combination I absolutely love. So it looks like it's going to be a very licorice summer for me. :p
Summer means swimming in the ocean! Yay! Although I'm not as brave as Lisen, lol! I haven't jumped in yet. But Lisen has. She had her first swim of the year in the ocean (Östersjön - the Baltic Sea) at Verkö, Sweden today. And how she loved it!
This is definitely one of her absolute favorite activities in the world! So it's always a pleasure for me to play with her and see how happy she gets on these occasions. Love it all the way!