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information about Swedish smorgasbord with recipes


The Swedish smorgasbord origins from the Swedish nobility in the 16th century, and their so called brannvinsbord, or snaps-table. In the 19th century the smorgasbord arrived, first it was mainly served at railway stations before the trains had their own restaurant-carriages. But during the Olympics which were being held in Stockholm 1912, the restaurants went from serving the smorgasbord as a starter, to make it an option to have it as a full meal.

The International breakthrough came in 1939 during the world fair in New York. The Swedish pavilion had a rotating smorgasbord in their restaurant Three Crowns. In New York, the smorgasbord lost its Swedish letters.

Smorgas or in Swedish 'smörgås' means literary sandwich, and bord means table. The smorgasbord contains more than sandwiches though, and you cold get both hot and cold dishes as well as bread, cheeses and sometimes also desserts. There are many versions of the smorgasbord, they are all though served buffet-style and traditionally contains for instance Swedish meatballs, new potatoes, janssons-frestelse, different kinds of seafood like salmon, shrimp, eel, pickled herring, various salads, pies, sauces, prinskorv (prince-sausage), cold-cuts like ham and roast-beef, eggs, bread, cheese and butter and as earlier mentioned, sometimes also desserts.

To the smorgasbord, like most of Swedish and Scandinavian cuisine, the best company is cold beer and snaps, but also wine is perfectly acceptable and common.

To try at home, here are some common dishes at the smorgasbord:

Prinskorv-sausage, small Swedish sausages
Swedish Meatballs
Potato-salad
Janssons-frestelse, gratin with potato and anchovies
Cured salmon
Toast Skagen
Vastkustsallad, seafood salad from the Swedish west-coast
Rodbetssallad, beetroot-salad
Inlagd Sill, pickled herring
Vasterbottenpaj, Vasterbotten cheese-pie

Also serve for instance pickled herring, bread, crisp bread, butter, cheese, sauces like dill mayonnaise, boiled potatoes and various cold cuts.

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