Saint Lucia Day – Candles, Glögg, & Saffron Buns {Recipes}

Today is St. Lucia Day (Sankta Lucia Dag), a day to celebrate light and saffron rolls in Sweden.

If you have always wondered about girls wearing candles on their head, this is the holiday to do so!

A rather unusual Luciafirande at Erikdalsbadet, one of the major swimming houses in Stockholm
water lucia fest stockholm sweden

A bunny’s lucia by Matsamats
Pelles Luciatåg och tävling131

Typical Luciakonsert

And on this day, the luciatåg (Lucia participants) give out lussebullar (saint lucia buns or saffron buns) and glögg (mulled wine) to guests.

Here’s my recipe for lussebullar for both American and Swedish kitchens. The difference is that the Swedish recipe has quark (a hung yogurt) while the American one calls for more butter. Saffron dries bread out easily and the quark/butter does a good job of keeping the buns soft and moist.

Still if you make them, plan to eat within a day or two and keep them well stored and away from air.

American St. Lucia buns recipe

1 cup melted butter
1/2 tsp. saffron threads, finely crumbled (or 1 tsp. powdered saffron)
1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 pkg. dry active yeast (4 1/2 tsp)
6 -6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
raisins to decorate
1 egg + 1 tablespoon milk for brushing the buns – can omit

See directions below.

Svenska lussekatter recipe

50 g (1 3/4 oz.) yeast
5 dl (2 cups plus 2 tablespoons) milk (I use 3%)
150g (5 1/4 oz.) butter
250 g (8.8 oz.) Quark (called kesella in Swedish), a kind of curd cream
2 dl (1 cup) granulated sugar
2 envelopes saffron (1 gram) or a large pinch of high quality Spanish saffron
1 teaspoon salt
16-17 dl (6 3/4 cups) flour, probably more if the dough is sticky
Raisins for garnish
1 egg + 1 tablespoon milk for brushing the buns – can omit

Heat the butter and milk in a saucepan until warm to touch. If you have a thermometer, it should be around 36-37 degrees but no more.

Crumble saffron threads into melted butter/milk. Let sit for 15-30 minutes to an hour. This intensifies the saffron flavor and cools the butter/milk down if it was too hot.

Crumble the yeast in a large bowl. Pour a little of the warm milk mixture in bowl and mix until all the yeast has dissolved. Mix in the rest of the liquid. {If the liquid is too warm it will kill the yeast. Hence I go for the lukewarm method – just warm to touch. And cold liquid will also kill the yeast.}

Mix kesella, sugar and salt.

Combine two together (yeast/milk/butter and kesella/sugar).

Start adding the flour a little at a time and work the dough until smooth. Add more flour until it stops being sticky. The dough should be soft to touch.

Cover the dough with a moist paper towel (keeps the dough from drying out) and let rest and rise at room temperature. About 45-60 minutes.

Place the dough on a floured surface and knead it a few minutes. Again, the dough should be light and fluffy to the touch.

To make it easy to keep the roll sizes even, divide the dough into 25-28 pieces.

Stretch out dough into a “snake” (long piece) and then twist the ends towards the center. One end is twisted clockwise, the other counterclockwise.

The buns should look like giant letter “S”-ess. Put them on a sheet that is lightly greased or lined with baking paper.

Press the raisins in the two centers and then let ferment additional 15-25 minutes to double the size. This second rise should not be forgotten!

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

Whisk up an egg with a tablespoon milk and brush the buns with the mixture. You can also skip this if you want to keep the buns vegetarian.

Bake in middle of oven about 5-10 minutes until they become golden brown. Watch them carefully so they do not burn! Don’t leave the kitchen, these buns are fast cooking and require no more than 10 minutes to bake.

Remove the buns and let them cool on a grate. Nice and warm, they’re ready to eat now!

Enjoy lussekatter with a glass of milk or glögg.

Glögg (Mulled Wine)
If you cannot buy mulled wine at the store, you can easily make your own.
This recipe makes around 8-10 little cups for friendly faces and uses a full bottle of wine.

You can adjust the recipe accordingly to your preferences and tastes.

1 bottle red wine
1-2 cups rum (dark is more flavorful)
1 cup sugar

1 Star Anise
4-10 Cardamon pods or 2 tsp Cardamon powder
3-4 Cinnamon sticks broken into pieces or 1 tbsp Cinnamon powder
4-5 Clove pieces or 1 tsp Clove powder
1 inch piece Ginger – smash or chop into little pieces to make easier to diffuse
1/2 small Bitter Orange
1/2 tsp Nutmeg – can skip
2 tsp Dark chocolate Powder – can skip
Raisins and blanched almonds – for each cup. A surprise yummy in every cup!

Mix the wine, sugar, and all the spices and put on medium low heat. Keep the rum for later.

For the first 5-7 minutes, stir so the sugar dissolves.

You can then put the wine on low heat (setting 3 or 4 on a dial of max 10) for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan and it doesn’t boil.

Add the rum and increase the heat to medium. Stir for another 10 minutes. It’s important to not let this boil since the alcohol will then burn off and disappear.

Strain the liquid and serve hot with a few pieces of raisins and almonds in each cup.

Enjoy glögg with piping hot lussebullar and Christmas music by candlelight and you’ll be celebrating St. Lucia Day Swedish style!

Swedish Christmas Julbord Foods- Handy Dandy Translation Guide

Christmastime in Sweden means julbord. It is a traditional Christmas dinner. The julbord is a smörgåsbord, a collection of dishes from cold to hot served on a table, like a buffet.

Families have a julbord on Christmas Eve but companies also have a julbord at a Christmas party. If you will be celebrating julbord with your company or family, I created a Swedish to English guide to all foods served at the dinner.
Christmas smörgåsbord
You can download two different versions: a three page guide in pretty larger font or a two page guide (perfect for front and back printing) in small font.
Pretty three page julbord guide
Easy to print two page julbord guide

Feel free to share and print the guide as much as you want with friends but please give credit and share the link love.

And here’s the guide below to enjoy. There are over 130 delicious foods! {Okay… lutefisk is not so tasty} Just remember to pace yourself, or your stomach will blow up, literally. :-)

The Swedish Julbord is traditionally had in “plates” versus courses. Each plate has a different theme: herring, fish, cold meat, vegetables, etc. Today it is not strictly observed and you can condense/mix plates.

First Plate

  1. Inlagd sill – Pickled herring (not surströmming!)
  2. Rökt matjessill – Smoked herring with spices
  3. Matjessill – Herring with spices
  4. Senapssill – Mustard herring
  5. Löksill – Onion herring
  6. Ansjovis – Anchovies
  7. Currysill – Curry flavored herring
  8. Havtornsill – Sea-bucktorn herring
  9. Sherrysill – Sherry flavored herring
  10. Tegnérsill – Herring w/ crème frâiche and chili
  11. Chilisill – Chili flavored herring
  12. Apelsin- och rosmarinsill – Orange- rosemary herring
  13. Kräftströmming – Baked herring with dill and tomato puree.
  14. Ansjovisströmming – Baked herring with anchovies, cream, onion, and dill.
  15. Kaviarströmming – Baked herring with caviar
  16. Ört- och vitlöksgravad strömming – Baked herring with herbs and garlic.
  17. Löjromsströmming – Fine Swedish caviar with herring. Mixed with sour cream, mayonnaise and spices, served cold.
  18. Stekt inlagd strömming – Fried pickled herring
  19. Matjessilltårta – Herring pie made w/ eggs
  20. Löjromsägg – Hard boiled eggs topped with Swedish caviar
  21. Skagenägg – Hard boiled eggs topped w/ shrimp
  22. Laxägg – Hard boiled eggs topped with salmon
  23. Sillsallad – Herring salad
  24. Second Plate

  25. Gravad lax – Cured salmon
  26. Kallrökt lax – Cold-smoked salmon
  27. Varmrökt lax – Smoked salmon
  28. Portvinslax – Salmon infused with port wine
  29. Inkokt lax – poached salmon
  30. Laxtartar – Raw salmon (similar to steak tartar)
  31. Laxpaté – Salmon pate
  32. Gubbröra – “old dude’s salad” – hard boiled eggs with anchovies, red onions, dill and sour cream.
  33. Rökta räkor – Smoked shrimp
  34. Kräftskagen – Crayfish sandwiches – made with dill, sour cream, caviar.
  35. Skaldjursterrin – Shellfish soup
  36. Confiterad röding – Char confit
  37. Skaldjurssallad – Shrimp and mussel salad
  38. Pastramilax – Sauteed lax with four peppers and honey/citrus
  39. Hovmästarsås – also called gravlaxsås – Mustard sauce with dill
  40. Honungssenapscrème – Honey mustard cream
  41. Pepparrotsdressing Citron – Horseradish citrus dressing
  42. Chilicrème – Chili cream
  43. Örtagårdssås – Garden herb sauce
  44. Saffrans- och apelsinaioli – Saffron- orange aioli
  45. Third Plate

  46. Julskinka – Christmas ham
  47. Rullsylta – Rolled thin flanks (pork, veal) boiled
  48. Kalvsylta – jellied veal
  49. Leverpastej – Liver pate
  50. Lantpaté – Chicken liver with spices
  51. Fasanterrin – Pheasant terrine (slow cooked soup)
  52. Rökt lammstek – Smoked lamb
  53. Lammterrin – Lamb terrine (slow cooked soup)
  54. Pomeransjulanka- Christmas duck w bitter orange
  55. Kycklingleverparfait – Chicken liver parfait
  56. Kycklinggalantine – Chicken galantine w veal/pork
  57. Renkorv – Reindeer sausage
  58. Älgkorv – Elk sausage
  59. Tjälknöl – Norrlands elk. Baked in the oven on low heat for several hours
  60. Fårfiol – cured, salted leg of mutton (sheep)
  61. Kroppkaka – Potato, meat dumplings
  62. Tillbehör – side dishes

  63. Våra senapsfavoriter – Selection of mustards
  64. Cumberlandsås – Cucumber salad
  65. Cornichons – French pickles
  66. Äppelmos – Apple sauce
  67. Syltlök – Onion relish
  68. Pepparrot – Horseradish
  69. Picklade grönsaker – Pickled vegetables
  70. Apelsin- och aprikoschutney – Orange, apricot chutney
  71. Västeråsgurka – large, famous, salty pickle
  72. Pressgurka– sliced pickle w pepper, vinegar sugar
  73. Rödbetssallad – Beet salad
  74. Syltad svamp- Mushroom preserve
  75. Fourth Plate

  76. Köttbullar – Swedish meatballs
  77. Isterband – Pork potato sausages
  78. Kåldolmar – Cabbage rolls filled with rice
  79. Revbensspjäll – Roasted pork ribs
  80. Julgryta – Christmas stew with figs, cinnamon and tenderized cow shoulder pieces
  81. Prinskorv – Prince sausage
  82. Janssons frestelse – Jansson’s Temptation – Casserole of potatoes, cream, onions, anchovies.
  83. Dopp i grytan – Sauce made from leftover bits of christmas ham. Bread is typically dipped into this
  84. Wallenbergare – Ground veal, cream and onions
  85. Lutfisk – lye fish – salted/cured white fish; gelatinous in texture, has a pungent odor.
  86. BBQ-rökt oxkarré – BBQ smoked meat
  87. Vedugnsgrillad pomeranskyckling – Wood fired roasted chicken with bitter orange.
  88. Tillbehör – side dishes

  89. Rödkål – red cabbage
  90. Brunkål – Boiled and fried white cabbage cooked with vinegar, salt, and syrup
  91. Långkål {grönkäl} – Kale
  92. Lutfisksås och kryddor – Lutefish sauce with spices
  93. Gröna ärtor – green peas
  94. Stekta champinjoner – sautéed mushrooms
  95. Kokt potatis – Boiled potatoes
  96. Kokta rotfrukter – Boiled root vegetables
  97. Brysselkål – Brussels sprouts
  98. Rårörda lingon – Mashed lingonberries
  99. Fifth Plate

  100. A variety of salads are served. Ginger (ingefära), rödkål (red cabbage), romaine (romaine), morot (carrot), betor (beets), fänkål (fennel), granatäpple (pomegranate), nötter (nuts) are popular ingredients.
    Greens are not a big part of the julbord though.
  101. Sixth Plate

  102. A variety of local Swedish cheeses (Västerbottenost, Boxholm, Smålandsost, etc) and international favorites are served.
  103. Vikabröd
  104. Mjukt tunnbröd – Soft flatbread
  105. Hårt tunnbröd – Hard/crispy flatbread
  106. Surdegsbröd – Sourdough
  107. Vörtlimpa – Christmas bread – dark bread with christmas spices
  108. Kavring – Dense, dark rye bread
  109. Husåknäcke – Huså’s (a company) crispy bread
  110. Valnötsbröd – walnut bread
  111. Fikonbröd – fig bread
  112. Veteknäcke – Wheat crispy flat bread
  113. Seventh Plate

  114. Ris à la Malta med mandel – Cold rice pudding whipped with whipped cream and almonds
  115. Grynkaka – cold rice pudding with saffron
  116. Fruktsallad – fruit salad
  117. Mandelmusslor med hjortron – Almond cookies with cloudberry jam
  118. Småländsk ostkaka – Småland’s cheesecake
  119. Chokladmousse – Chocolate mousse
  120. Kryddbavaroise – Spiced bavarian cream
  121. Päron- och mandelkaka – Pear-almond cake
  122. Crème caramel – Flan
  123. Äppelterrine med kanel och hasselnötter – Apple terrine with cinnamon and hazelnuts (usually has no flour)
  124. Mandarinmousse – Mandarin orange mousse
  125. Saffranspannkaka – {Gotland} Saffron pancakes
  126. Frukter – an assortment of winter fruits like dadlar (dates), fikon (figs) and satsuma oranges
  127. Tillbehör

  128. Vispgrädde – Whipped cream
  129. Rårörda bär – Berry sauce
  130. Saftsås – Saft sauce
  131. Eight Plate

  132. Klenäter – Swedish small fried pastry dough – similar to donuts, possibly originated in Germany
  133. Struvor – Rosette-styled deep fried pastry (donut)
  134. Chokladtryffel – chocolate truffle
  135. Ischoklad – mini chocolate cup candies
  136. Knäck – Crack – hard coffee
  137. Pepparkakor – Gingerbread cookies
  138. Marsipan – Marzipan
  139. Blandade nötter – Mixed nuts
  140. Marmelad – Marmalade
  141. Saffransskorpor – Saffron biscotti
  142. Nötskorpor – Nut biscotti
  143. Hallongrottor – Thick cookies with raspberry jam
  144. Kladdkaka- Gooey chocolate cake

And make the julbord food yourself with Real Ordinary Swedish Meal Time

Thanksgiving Shopping in Stockholm

Fellow Americans out there, tomorrow is the most important food day of the year, Thanksgiving! For everyone else, you will think we are crazy folks who stuff ourselves silly with turkey, watch a parade, and yell at the Dallas Cowboys.

It is my favorite holiday of the year though! While Thanksgiving has dirty roots and is followed by the vain Black Friday, to me it’s about family. I will leave mushy family post until tomorrow.

Right now it is about buying all the supplies to make a proper turkey dinner. This will be my third Thanksgiving in Sweden and I have all my spots scored on making a proper American dinner.
thanksgiving in sweden
Here’s a rundown of what I make and where I buy the ingredients.

Forget the store bought, Stovetop crap, make your own stuffing, it’s super easy.
What you need:
2-3 stalks of celery (not heads!), sliced into 1/4cm pieces
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, sliced into 1/4cm pieces
1 garlic clove, diced into little pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup dried cranberries. Cranberries are tranbär in Swedish and you can dried ones in the Fruit/Nut bins or some in snack packs. If you cannot find them at all, grab a box of frozen tranbär.
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
day old bread, cibatta or any large loaf. no sliced bread
salt, pepper to taste

You also need – skillet (frying pan), large bowl, large spoon, foil, 1/2 cup boiling water

1. Heat oil in a small pan on medium heat.
2. Add onions and saute for 4-5 minutes.
3. Add garlic and carrot and continue to saute for another 4-5 minutes. It’s okay if the vegetables turn slightly brown.
4. Add celery and saute again for another minute or two.
5. Turn off and remove from heat.
6. In a large bowl, add the vegetable mix. Chop the bread into small pieces (about 1 cm) and throw into bowl.
7. Pour 1/2 cup boiling water and immediately cover with aluminum foil. This keeps the steam inside and softens the bread. However, we don’t want the bread mushy. Let sit for 5 minutes.
8. Take off the foil and give everything a mix with a large spoon. [If you find the bread to be rock hard, add another 1/4 cup (very small amounts!) and cover again with foil.]
9. Add the nuts and cranberries.
10. Finally season with salt and pepper and even a dash of oregano.

thanksgiving desserts stockholm

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
This is one of my favorite and easiest dishes to make. It is like a banana bread and served as a dessert. It will make four small loaves or one very large loaf.

Pumpkin – Can buy at most large ICAs now or at Ingelsta Kalkon. Ingelsta Kalkon is all over Sweden and your best bet for finding American turkey day sides as well as delicious turkey.
Cranberries – Buy them frozen from any grocery store.

Adapted from the
4 eggs
2 cups pumpkin puree
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sour cream (gräddfil)
4 cups sugar
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground clove
1 teaspoon ground allspice
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups cranberries

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

In bowl combine eggs, pumpkin puree and oil.
In another bowl, add all dry ingredients and mix.
Combine the two bowls and gently mix with a hand whisk.
Add cranberries and mix for a couple more minutes.
Divide dough into 4 small loaf pans or two large ones. You should not fill more than 75% of the pan with batter.
Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Pumpkin Bread

Cranberry Sauce
Again, forget the Ocean Spray cranberry gelé in a can. Instead, make a fresh sauce. You’ll never turn back after.
What you need:
1 box (225g) frozen cranberries
1 orange
1/2 cup sugar
1 cups water
Dash of vanilla extract

1. Bring water to a boil and add sugar. Stir so the sugar dissolves.
2. Add frozen cranberries and bring down to medium heat (4-5 on an electric stovetop). Cover the pot with a lid and let simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Check on the sauce. It should be thicker and the cranberries should have burst apart by this point. Continue cooking with the lid off so that the sauce can become a bit thicker (should be thick enough to cover a spoon).
4. Using a microplane or small grater, grate the peel off the orange and add to the sauce.
5. Turn the heat off and add a dash of vanilla, about a 1/4 teaspoon.
6. If too tarty still, add another few spoons of sugar.

Ready to serve alongside the turkey and stuffing.

Pumpkin Pie

I can’t find my favorite recipe at the moment, but send me yours or post a link your favorite!

Fresh Whipped Cream
3dl whipped cream (vispgrädde), 36% or 40%
approx 100 dl powdered sugar (florsocker)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Endive Goat Cheese Salad
This salad provides a balance to the heavy dishes offered on thanksgiving day. It also takes out the drab in some old dishes, like the mushy green been casserole.

I don’t even make a dressing for it since it would add a heaviness to the dish. Besides, once everything ends up on the plate, it gets all mixed.
3 endives
1 packet goat cheese – the President pre-chopped 12 pieces is the best one
1 pomegranate
1/4 cup walnuts
1 package arugula
1 pink lady apple
salt, pepper

Large serving bowl.
1. Chop up the endives into small pieces. Give it a quick rinse using a strainer so that there’s no dirt.
2. Throw the endives into a bowl. Add the package of arugula.
3. Open the package of the goat cheese and crumble into small pieces. Add to salad. If you find a log of goat cheese, just make sure not to use the ‘skin’, it has a bitter taste and doesn’t go well with the salad.
4. Cut open the pomegranate and get out all the red seeds. Throw into the salad bowl.
5. Chop up the pink lady apple into small pieces.
6. Chop the walnuts into small pieces and add.
7. Toss together and add salt and pepper to taste.

endive salad

More to read:
Thanksgiving Wines – Check out the New York Times for the best pairings
Vegetarian dishes – Plenty covered by the NYT for those looking for meatless dishes

Plockgodis – Loose Bin Swedish Candies {Part II}

This is part two in the Swedish candy series. Hope you read the introduction!

Plockgodis are also known as lösviktsgodis, or loose candies. These are the famous candies you see in the bins at the store.

Lösviktsgodis bins in sweden

And there’s something for everyone. Every type of flavor or hardness or sweetness or even saltiness is available in the bins.

If you buy candy at the bins, there are a few rules:
Freshness – Go to a store that has a constant turnover. The longer the candies are out, the drier and harder they become.

Saturdays – Don’t buy candy Saturday morning or afternoon; that’s when all the kids are out screaming their heads off. Best to not buy candy on a Saturday at all.

Spoons – Use the spoon to fill your bag with candy, not your hand. That’s gross.

Sampling – We know in the US you can get away with a bite of candy after you fill your bag up, but don’t do it in Sweden. It may get you dirty looks or admonishment from a store clerk.

Separation – I keep the lakrits candies separate from all the other candies as they tend to ‘leak’ themselves onto the other candies. Nothing tastes worse than chocolate marshmallow gummi infused with licorice.

Here’s my something-for-everyone breakdown of the different candies you can find in the bins.

Licorice – Lakrits
I spoke to Ingrids Candy Shop and they told me the most popular flavor is licorice. From the Swedish candy survey given out a few weeks ago, lakrits invoked true love or true hate by the surveyors. {You can still take the quiz here if you haven’t already done so}

Swedish licorice can be spicy, salty, sweet, or strong. The licorice obsession extents from candies to ice creams to even a shop dedicated to it!

The most popular licorice loose candy type is Turkisk Peber (though available in bags at the store). It is a hard candy with a powdery explosive center. I was skeptical and a bit scared of Turkisk Peber but after tasting it, it’s just like licorice Jelly Belly but as a hard candy. And I love Jelly Belly licorice!

Other popular licorice candies are pulverfylld padda (a salty toad that has powder in the center), salt sill (Swedish fish’s black bro), and saltskallar (sour, chewy skulls).

a dedicated lakrits store on sveavägaen
lakritsbutiken stockholm

Salty wine gummies
Most salty Swedish candies come in the form of licorice. See above.

Sweet wine gummies
They are not sweet as they are in America sweet but these candies pack a more fruity punch.

The color to flavor translations is as follows:
Red – Raspberry though sometimes strawberry.
Orange – Orange.
Yellow – lemon.
Green – Pear. Yes, Swedes love pears. Look at the ice cream Piggelin.
Black – Licorice

Most popular are gele hallon (raspberry gummies with sugar on the top – very popular near Valentine’s Day), and persikor gele (peach gele). Personally, the hallon gele ones are the most lame but also the sweetest so they would appeal to the real sweet tooth lovers.

swedish plockgodis

Sour wine gummies
These are my personal favorites. They are sour because of the sour sugar coating on the outside but still fruity and not too sweet.

The strongest ones are the surskallar (skull sours), sura colanappar (sour cola), sura bläckfiskar (sour squid) and sura soda pops. Oh yea, I’m gonna eat me some sour squids!

Marshmallow – Skum
The marshmallow gummies are usually a mix of half marshmallow and half wine gummy. The most popular are sweethearts, sommarbär (summer berries), and stekta ägg (a sunny side up looking egg).

It’s like eating stale Peeps from Easter.

swedish candy apple pie and vanilla
Chocolates are of course everyone’s favorite but Sweden does pull the weird chocolate choices. Would you like to try some chocolate covered skum or punschpraliner (punch cream covered with sprinkles) or chocolate lakrits?

For those of us less adventurous, there is always the classics like Bounty, Geisha, Daim, and Snickers.

No matter what, you should find a favorite candy in those bins at the supermarket!

An Introduction to Swedish Candies {Part I}

Swedes have an obsession with sweets. They have special days for pastries, cinnamon bun day, semla day, waffle day and they go crazy during Christmastime with boxed candies. Fazer and Aladdin here we go!

But nothing is more proverbial than the Swedish loose candy called lösviktsgodis or plockgodis and traditionally you buy loose candies on Saturdays. Because Saturday is the day of fun.

American Candy Love
Most Swedes think Americans do not have loose candies but we do. For the past three decades, Braches is the most common candy in the bins at the grocery store. They make soft caramel chews with different flavorings. I loved them as a kid!

Some grocery stores like Wegman’s are making the return to candy bins in the shop. Here’s an American candy section.

cc licensed flickr photo shared by psgreen01

The real, traditional candy shops in America are few and far between today. They have loose candies of all types: chocolates, Swedish fish, hard candies, gumballs, wine candies, peppermints, etc.

When I was in Old Town San Diego I did come across a typical candy shop with nearly a hundred bins of loose candies. I found my favorite Blow Pops for 25 cents each. What I didn’t find was Swedish style candy except for the Swedish fish.

During Easter, you find a plethora of candy. Easter Peeps are infamous, yellow marshmallowy stuff, but jelly beans are the real deal. Jelly beans are like wine gummies but with a hard coating outside and soft inside and sweeter than the gummies.

Jelly beans are an interesting type of candy. Turkish Delights, dating from Biblical times, are the precursor to the jelly bean. Gourmet jelly beans like Jelly Belly are not as sweet and come in hundreds of flavors so are a option for Swedes who live in America.

Halloween is all about the candy: candy corn, candy apples, trick or treat candy. It’s the American equivalent to Cinnamon-waffle-semla-pastry goodness days in Sweden.

And Americans love candy canes in the wintertime. And chocolate Santas. Pretty much we love candy just as much as Swedes but just in different forms and degrees of sweetness.

What is Swedish candy?
Swedish candy comes in three types of candies: vingummi (wine candy), skum (marshmallow), chocolate, and an honorary type called polkagris (peppermint). I did not count lakrits as a candy type since it really is a flavor. Also not that I am not a candy expert but do love eating candy.

But, if you are veritable candy expert, do let me know.

Wine candies
Wine candies and peppermints are the most popular since they can be found in the loose bins at stores everywhere. Wine gummies are soft, gelly-like candies flavored with fruit. Almost a hundred years ago, these candies were made with wine but that was short-lived.

Wine candies are made from gelatin (sorry vegetarians), fruit extracts, sugar, water. Candies sold in Sweden tend to more fruitier and less sweet while the loose candies sold in the US are sweeter and less fruity.

In Sweden, wine gummies come in all shapes and sizes. Square or round gummies exist but the most popular are animal and object shapes. Toads, boats, cars, skulls, eggs, bottles, fish are just part of the zoo of flavors and styles.

This word always makes me laugh. Skum! I call it marshmallow and so would most Americans who eat marshmallows. Swedish skum is not the same as American skum as it is less sweet and fluffy and just not as tasty.

Some skum are mix between wine gummes and skum.

julskum swedish christmas marshmallow candy
Swedish chocolate is notable for milk chocolate bars, like Marabou. Pralines are popular during the Christmas season, but rarely Swedes buy them at the store, unless it’s a special occasion. Aladdin and Fazer are the most well known praline boxes.

aladdin swedish christmas chocolate

Chocolate bars are distinctly Swedish because of the flavors they come in. There is the standard Marabou milk and dark chocolate but other flavors include Marabou milk Daim (with bits of Daim candy bar), Marabou milk Non-stop (with Non-stop candies), and Marabou polka (with bits of peppermint).

Occasionally you can find chocolate bars with lakrits or päron, two very popular Swedish flavors.

Better known as peppermint, polkagris is very popular. The original flavor for polkagris is peppermint and it comes from the city of Gränna in southern-central Sweden.

Today these candies come in different shapes and sizes and plenty of flavors.

Swedish Candy Logs

Where do you find wine candies?
If you are in Sweden, then EVERY grocer and convenience store and corner store will have a selection of candies. Honestly you cannot go far before being inundated with the plastic boxes stacked six high and 10-20-30 bins across.

If you are not in Sweden, it’s not easy. Ikea carries Bilar and Swedish Fish but not any other loose candies or name brand chocolates.

Regarding online shopping, there is Ingrid’s Candy Shop and I recommend them since their candies are fresh and are individually packaged (by 100g per type).

How I make my own wine gummy?
Check out DN for a classy recipe. Have your own recipe, share in the comments below!

Will I turn into a godis if I eat too much?
Probably. Even though wine gummies are on the lower side of the candy calorie scale, they still have plenty. Here’s the breakdown:
1 chokladpralin = 44 kcal
1 colaflaska = 28 kcal
1 lakritskonfekt = 22.7 kcal
1 marmeladkonfekt = 101.1 kcal
1 mini-marshmallow = 3.4 kcal
1 pastellmint = 8.3 kcal
1 polkagris = 11.9 kcal
1 punschpralin = 16 kcal
1 salmiakbalk = 10.5 kcal
1 salt sill = 24.5 kcal
1 saltlakrits = 19.7 kcal
1 skumbanan = 24 kcal
1 skumgodis = 13.4 kcal
1 sockerbit = 14.4 kcal
1 sockerfri syrlig karamell 20.1 kcal
1 syrlig karamell = 19.7 kcal
1 vaniljpralin = 13.5 kcal
1 vingummi = 16 kcal

And yes, Swedes do beat Americans at something: candy eating! Swedes eat 17 kgs of candy a year and 50 kgs of sugar per year; more than three times the recommended value by WHO.

Stay tunes for the next parts in our Swedish candy series.

Halloween Cupcake {Recipes}

This is a digression from my usual posts but since Liv asked in my last post about Halloween, I thought I would share the cupcake recipes I used and how I decorated them.
table is set for treats
I am not sweet tooth person in the traditional sense. I love sweets, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t like over sugary frosting (and gross if it’s made with crisco!), or milk chocolate candy bars like Hershey’s (also gross), or anything that’s so sweet your brains want to chop off your tongue.

I do love delicious and flavorful treats. These vanilla and chocolate cupcake recipes are the basic for awesomeness.

To note
Salted Swedish butter – Is delicious; take advantage of it. Margarine or any substitute is not acceptable. Your grocery store better not be out of stock.

Fulkorn finaste mjöl, whole wheat fine grained flour – Works too. Just remember to NOT over stir the batter or your cupcakes will become gluttonous.

Vanilla extract – Use the good stuff, not the shit sold in most Coops or ICA. Go to one of the gourmet store and buy real vanilla essence. Your cupcakes will thank you.

Sour cream, gräddfil – Is a must. It’s what helps make the cupcakes light and fluffy.

Parts in this post
Vanilla cupcake recipe
Dark chocolate cupcake recipe
Decorating the cupcakes
Chocolate gloss frosting
Special Hootie Owls
Buttercream frosting
Coloring buttercream frosting
Piping bags

Vanilla cupcake recipe
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon table salt
1 stick (115 grams) salted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
3 medium eggs (or 2 large), room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Food coloring if you want color your cupcakes… say orange for halloween :)

Makes 12 regular sized cupcakes. Preheat oven to 180C.

1. Mix dry ingredients (salt, flour, baking powder) in a bowl with a hand whisk.

2. In another bowl, mix butter and sugar with an electric whisk (elvisp) until soft and creamy.

3. Add eggs and vanilla to butter and sugar mixture and blend for 2-3 minutes on low setting. No need to overbeat to death!

3b. Add food coloring if you want to make your batter look pretty. I made orange batter by mixing several drops of yellow and red with a few dashes of pink.

4. Time to marry the wet and dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry bowl and with the hand whisk, slowly whisk until totally incorporated. I usually do 15-20 stirs before done. It’s okay to have a few lumps.


Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
1 stick (115 grams) salted butter, room temperature. Chopped into 3-4 pieces.
2 (60 grams) ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (darker the better!)
½ cup (65 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder (I used Fazer but I don’t recommend it. Does not have the full flavor and richness of good chocolate)
¾ cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour or fine whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 medium eggs (you can get away with 2 large eggs as well)
¾ cup (160 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon table salt
½ cup (125 ml or 4-5 large spoonfuls) sour cream

Makes 12 regular sized cupcakes. Preheat to 180C.

1. Put the butter in a small glass/microwave safe bowl. Microwave on medium-high, not the highest setting, for 10 seconds.
Check butter, if not all melted, put in microwave for another 10 seconds. I like to do this in 10 second intervals to prevent burning.
If the butter is mostly melted and you can use a spoon to mush the remaining butter into liquid, and it’s done.

2. Break the chocolate into small pieces and throw in the butter bowl. Stir with a spoon until the butter and chocolate have mixed together and formed a glossy sauce.

Note – Whatever you do, don’t let the mixture before, during, or after, touch water. This can cause the fat to coagulate and causing seizing. If you are mixing and you notice after several minutes the chocolate dissolved but there’s a watery/oily residue that won’t mix in, most likely water got in. It’s a mess to fix so you might want to start over.

3. Put the butter-chocolate sauce aside.

4. In a bowl mix all dry ingredients (cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, salt).

butter- chocolate sauce, dry ingredients, and wet ingredients before combining

5. In another bowl, use a electric whisk to whip the eggs, vanilla, and sugar until creamy. 3-5minutes on low.

6. Last add the butter-chocolate sauce to the wet ingredients and mix on low for 2-3 minutes.

7. Combine wet and dry into one bowl. Again, I do this part of the mixing with a hand whisk. Again no need to over whisk. A couple minutes will do the trick.

Chocolate cupcake and vanilla cupcake batters

If you want to be creative, you can make chocolate – vanilla cupcakes by mixing together the batters. The key is to NOT mix the batters. Just dump one batter on top of the other in the bowl. When you scoop out to fill for each cupcake, the batters will mix automatically.

Cupcake batters mixed together – in the tray

Bake for 13-17 minutes at 180C. You should be able to stick a toothpick in and not have anything stick. You should feel that the cakes are spongey but are cooked through.

Cooled down and ready to decorate!

Decorating the Cupcakes
What you need
Sprinkes – chocolate flavored (for black) and orange colored sprinkles. I found Dr. Oetker’s sprinkles in the store pretty easily.
Butter (saltat smör) – 250 grams, room temperature … will be good for the 24 cupcakes
NEVER ever use margarine, shortening, or Crisco. Thank you.
Powdered sugar (florsocker) – 500-600 grams
Vanilla essence
Dark chocolate – 100 grams … if you want to have chocolate gloss frosting
Food coloring
Piping bags
Dr. Oetker’s (or Wiltons) piped icing colors … Works great for small quantities you may need

My decorating table
decorating cupcakes!

{Chocolate Gloss Frosting}
100 grams chocolate – broken into small pieces
2 spoons butter – about 20 grams

1. Melt the butter for 10 seconds on medium high in the microwave.

2. Add the broken pieces of chocolate and begin stirring.

This chocolate mix should be liquidly but dense. Small peaks can be formed. This chocolate will harden and look glossy. It’s perfect for covering cupcakes and then decorating them.

{Special Hootie Owls}
Reese’s pieces (surprisingly found at many ICA’s) – that tiny bag will do to make 10-15 hooties.
Chocolate sprinkles
Chocolate frosting

1. Use the chocolate gloss frosting to frost the cupcakes.

2. Separate the Oreos by twisting them apart; just like the tv commercial! You’ll have a half Oreo that has the white cream and a half without cream (or a tad). The white sides will make the eyes for Hootie.

2. While the frosting is still wet, add Hooties eyes to the center area of the cupcake. Press to make the Oreos stick but be careful not to break them! (If your cupcakes have a peak from the baking, saw off the peak to make it flat. A bonus munch for you!!)

3. Above Hooties eyes, add chocolate sprinkles.

4. For his nose, use an orange or yellow Reese’s pieces. For his eyeballs, use a fine tipped piping bag, put a little on each black Reese’s and glue it to Hootie’s eye. You can also use the ready made Dr. Oetker’s piped icing.

Let Hootie set for 15 minutes and then EAT him!
{Buttercream Frosting}
1. Chop butter into a few pieces and place in a medium sized bowl.

2. Using and electric whisk, start whipping the butter on medium. After 5-7 minutes it should be creamy and whipped up. If you still have pieces of butter, it means the butter was too hard (cold) when you started mixing. It’s okay, just keep whipping.

3. Add 1 tsp vanilla extract to give the frosting an extra oomph in flavor.

4. Now, with the whipper on low, begin adding the powdered sugar, 100 dl at a time. The powder sugar will add sweetness and structure.

5. The buttercream should be stiff but still softish, if that makes sense. You should be able to take a spoonful and put it in the piping bag without trouble.

{Coloring Buttercream Frosting}
Food coloring is where the magic is at. While I normally use plain buttercream or whipped cream frosting and then lots of sprinkles, on occasion, the color buttercream makes for fun and happy cupcakes.

For the halloween cupcakes, I made three frosting colors: orange, purple, and bright green.

I used McCormicks Neon colors, Natural Vegetable Dyes, and Dr. Oetker’s yellow. Dr. Oetker’s food coloring is a creamy liquid and not as strong as the other colorings.

Orange – 7-10 drops of yellow, 3-4 drops neon pink and 1-2 drops natural red.
Purple – 4-5 drops neon blue and 5-7 drops neon pink.
Bright Green – 5-6 drops neon green and 1 drop natural blue.

Of course, you should experiment and make lots of pretty colors!


{Piping Bags & Filling}
Plastic piping bags – from Wilton’s … Don’t have them? Buy them online from (Sweden’s it store for baking)
Tips – Wilton 3B, 2C for star piping; 2 and 1B for lines and designs

You first want to get the coupler in the bag and cut the tip. Not too much though, otherwise the coupler could push out when piping. On the outside of the bag, you twist the outer coupler and the tip.

When you fill your bags, fold over the plastic by at least half. This makes it easier to fill the bag with buttercream and prevents spilling. Fill with a couple spoons of frosting so the bag is not hard to use.

Piping bags used – missing the green one though
Piping bags

The black frosting works for making eyes, hair, and overall spookiness.

I used the black for Dracula’s face and the pumpkin face.
Black frosting – you can see fine lines which created the curly hair for Dracula

When piping, the bags should be at room temperature (but not out for hours!), otherwise the butter could be too hard. I let my bag sit out for around 30 minutes if it was in the fridge for several hours.

If the frosting starts to be glossy or mushy, throw the bag in the fridge for 30 min to one hour. The warmth from your hands can warm the bag enough to break down the buttercream…and if it’s melty, it’s nearly dead.

This was my second longest post but this should cover decorating cupcakes for every holiday and birthday. Cupcakes not a Swedish fika treat but I think they are fabulous with a cup of tea or a cappuccino.

And the best part is that the whole cupcake is for you!

Halloween in Sweden

Happy Halloween!
happy halloween

What did you do to celebrate? We had a low-key Halloween eve. Watched Ghostbusters, ate pumpkin pasta, and enjoyed a halloween cupcake.

On Sunday, we had some friends over and carved pumpkins. And jeez, finding pumpkins at this time was a nightmare. There were pumpkins in all the shops a few weeks ago but not this past weekend!

We did eventually find a few pumpkins at ICA and at the market. My friend’s daughter did a spectacular job carving this little pumpkin.

It seemed this year Swedes really got into the Halloween spirit. Despite not having any stores dedicated to Halloween (Buttricks does not count), people still did it.

Like the rabbit on the train…

… he must be hot!

And a lot of stores carried pumpkin displays and orange and black candles to be spooky. It was nice. This is the only time of year I really miss America. Well, I miss fall in America: Halloween, pumpkin patches, Thanksgiving, and Black Friday shopping.

But there’s nothing like Halloween. I hate the ugly, scary costumes, but as a kid I loved trick or treating and dressing up and making cookies. Hell, I still love all that but only get to dress up and make cupcakes now.

Once year, when I was a kid, I went to the IBM sponsored Halloween party at the campus. Mom and I went into the haunted house, which I hate (but love the pretty colors – deranged, yes). I started crying and freaking out so much, we had to turn back and find an exit. One of the ghouls in the haunted house felt so bad he took off his mask and was trying to explain it was all fake. And he tried to give me the mask to play with. I promptly cried again and he started apologizing to Mom, who thought it was funny.

By the way, I was eight years old. Don’t laugh.

This year, to remininse, I bought some Brach’s famous candy corns. Yes, they are sweet. Yes, they are made from corn syrup and sugar. And yes, they are made from yellow 6, yellow 5, red 3, blue 1, and titanium dioxide color.

But my oh my, candy corn is to halloween as peeps are to Easter.

Pretty! And tasty {sorta}

Pricey, at 39kr in Stockholm (10kr in the US), these little candies are perfect for my next batch of cupcakes.

Here’s some of my work on the cupcakes. If you want me to post the recipes, let me know. I don’t like super sweet so I kept more on the flavor and light on the frosting.

Owl cupcakes – hoot!
owl cupcakes

Little purple monsters
monster cupcakes

in the darkness there were eyes

Hope all of you had a wonderful Halloween and an All Saint’s Day today. And here’s to hoping for a sunnier November too!

Visit Stockholm: Bars with a View

There is one beauty you can never tire of in Stockholm: the view. Despite it being a relatively flat city with low height buildings, there are a few buildings that stand tall in the city and lend a beautiful view.

It does not matter if you come in the wintertime, summertime, fall-time, springtime or depressing time, the views will change but be spectacular nevertheless.

The bars and restaurants chosen lay on the water and offer earthly views, or lay in the sky and offer heavenly views.

Sitting on top of a random elevator shaft and walkway, Gondolen sits atop Slussen. You can see Gamla Stan, city, Djurgården, and Skeppsholmen.

The drinks and food are on the pricey side and the people who visit the restaurant are either tourists or those born before the war. Service can be good though since they do encounter tourists, but just don’t be a douche and stand around for an hour without buying a drink.

Skrapan is the tallest building in Stockholm city. The lower levels are student housing and the top two floors is a stylish restaurant. The restaurant has a near 360 degree review of the entire city. Skrapan is great to get drinks or dinner, though a little on the pricey side, but wonderful all year round.

The restaurant Kungsholmen is on the island of Kungsholmen. So smart. The restaurant is all windows and sits on the south side of the island and overlooks northwestern Södermalm.

The food at Kungsholmen is eclectic and international. From cajun chicken to tandoori chicken you can find delicious food and drinks. In the wintertime you can watch the floating ice crushing against each other.

Eken is the hotel bar at the Hilton hotel in Slussen. The outdoor serving is open a few short months in the summer and is worth it. The indoor hotel bar overlooks the tracks into Gamla Stan as well as City Hall but it is nearly as exciting as sitting outside.

Pontus by the Sea is located on the easter side of Gamla Stan. They are known for the shellfish, delicious, and outdoor seating in the summer. Of course in the wintertime, the restaurant is full with people, but it’s not the same thing.

Expect higher prices and stuffed up Östermalmers but ignore them as they takeover anywhere cool.

Mossebacke / Södra Bar & Kök
These two bars share the same terrasse overlooking Gamla Stan and Djurgården. They are funky and offbeat and cater to the Södertjejer and killar of the city.

Södra Bar is a nightclub, bar, and a theater. They have cultural performances, and off-Broadway productions.

Mossebacke is a terrasse bar. It’s wonderful in the summertime and pretty much closed in the dead of winter. But for a great view, visit the place.

Sky Bar Radisson Blu
This is the one place I do NOT recommend. The Sky Bar is nothing like what the reviews say, though mainly they are written by the hotel itself.

The bar is small, extremely overpriced (a $22 martini is cheap comparatively), and has a view of construction at T-Centralen and dingy street shops on Klarabergsvägen. The clientele was more in line for super senior citizen day than the “under 65 age group.”

Located right next to Kungsholmen Restaurant, Orangeriet is rococo and vintage style. It’s a fun place with less fake bougies and more class.

Definite worth a visit if you want to have good drinks and a lot of fun.

Josefin’s is the other bar I don’t recommend visiting. While it’s in a great location behind Nordiska Museet facing the water, the people and wait staff are anything but tolerable. A glass of wine, crappy at best quality, is 100:- and served in an old plastic glass. Everything is served in plastic.

This TV and radio tower stands 155 meters tall and is Stockholm’s tallest building. Except for broadcasting and the cafe, nothing else is in the building.

There is a 360 degree view of all of Stockholm and the charming, rudimentary cafe is worth grabbing a coffee and cake.

Definitely not a place to forget your camera!

Entry costs 30SEK but is free with the Stockholm Card.

View Bars with a View in a larger map

Do you have a favorite bar or restaurant with a view?

Be sure to check out my list of best bars and pubs in the city.

The Best Ice Cream in Stockholm

Clearly, I am in the wrong season for ice cream. It’s cold and dreary, and cold. So why have ice cream? Because you can!!!

I love ice cream in the wintertime. It is cold, delicious, and happy. Just because it is -25C outside, it does not mean you cannot partake in childhood pleasures.

Ice Cream

Lucky for me, the best ice cream shop in Stockholm is on my island, Södermalm. 18 Smaker (18 flavors) makes their own homemade, organic ice cream. It is founded by two friends, Danne and Karin and opened in 2009.

But they have delicious and unique flavors. Anise and cardamum, licorice, cosmopolitan, blueberry shortcake, ginger, pepparkakor. There are too many flavors to try!

And so I spent afternoon with Danne discussing ice cream.

Me: We all dream of owning an ice cream shop as kids. How did you do it?
Danne: Like everybody else, I loved ice cream. I worked at an ice cream shop during the summers when I was in college and it was one of the best experiences.

When I was chatting with my friend, Karin, over a fika, we both realized we were dissatisfied with our corporate jobs and wanted to do something else. Something fun. So, we decided to go for the ice cream shop with our own homemade ice cream.

Me: And it happened!
Danne: It did! But there were a couple moments where it was all going to fall apart; not having a place, not having everything financially secured. Then as luck would have it, a perfect spot dropped on us and we open in August 2009.

Me: Most of your products are ekologist (ie. organic). Why?
Danne: With so many processed foods today with chemical ingredients, we realized we wanted something real. Some ice cream produces uses artificial flavors, powdered milk, and chemicals to make ice cream tasty.

In reality, a beautiful ice cream is: milk, eggs, sugar, cream. And why not buy organic? It is better and tastier.

On top of the base mix always being organic, we try to ensure all of other ingredients are organic as well. Occasionally it happens we cannot get organic (e.g. Indian mangoes do not come organic; neither does Trykisk Peber) but then we strive for the best quality of fruits and mix-ins.

Me: How do you choose flavors?
Danne: Hehe, I never thought about it as they just come to us! Most of the flavors are suggestions from customers and of course the basics like vanilla, dark chocolate and lakrits.

In addition, some customers will share their summer yield of fruits with us. We were able to make a rhubarb ice cream thanks to a customer of ours. Other times family members will give us their extra plums and lingonberries. Fresh, natural, and from Sweden!

Me: I’ll put my two cents and would love to see pumpkin pie!

So Many Choices

Me: You just mentioned lakris, licorice, as a popular flavor. Really?
Danne: Yes! Licorice is one of the most popular flavors we have. It’s Sweden equivalent of vanilla.

When tourists stop by the shop, they ask about licorice. We give them a tasting and usually get such funny faces! Some tourists love it and some still remain skeptical.

And we use Tyrkisk Peber, this very strong flavored licorice that is a popular Swedish godis. It is strong, sour, spicy, peppery, and anise-y (is that a word?).

Me: Have you had a train wreck ice cream?
Danne: Yes, the worst was an espresso sorbet. It was so bad it would not even solidify and we had to let it go.

Me: What’s going to popular for the fall?
Danne: With the wintertime, we like to have some of the favorite Christmas sweets. There will be saffron, pepparkakor, and then wintertime flavors like cognac and plum.

A big thank you to Danne who chilled with me to chat about ice cream.

Opening Hours
Monday to Saturday: 12 – 18
Sunday 12 – 17

Timmermansgatan 15, Södermalm, Stockholm
Tbana: Mariatorget, take the Mariatorget exit
OR, walk 8 minutes from Slussen

The ultimate list of ice cream flavors

Food served
Ice creams
Coffees, cappuchinos
Hot chocolate (varm choklad)

Gimme ice cream!


Swedish Butter Crisis Keeps Churning

Update: Sweden is out of the butter crisis, but Norway is lacking delicious spread.

The comic Scandinavia and the World put the butter shortage best:

There is a problem buying real butter, smör, at the grocery stores. Not Bregott, or Lätta, or some fake margarine that Swedes loves so much, real butter is nowhere to be found. I first thought the shortage was restricted to certain regions because of shipping issues or something mundane.

Nope, Swedes are evidently on a fat-high roll; they are addicted to butter, high fat milk and yogurt.

Seriously, an entire nation of kanelbullar and potatis eaters without butter? Kill Julia Child again.

When I was at Hemköp yesterday, I took a photo of this letter. I missed the bottom half where it discusses the low-carb diet.

According to the newspapers and the dairy industry, the reasons for the empty shelves are that people are into the LCHF diet and that over the last 20 years consumption has declined for full fat, “natural” products.

It makes me wonder how much butter people have to eat to cause a national shortage. Would a low carb diet really be the cause of it? You would be eating butter by the kilos to cause a smörbrist (butter crisis)!

I will blame butter smearing contests as the root problem. Too many Swedes going wild and smearing butter on each other like life size smörgåsar. Definite likely problem. Solution? None really, except buy knäckebröd in the millions of tones and use the butter-smeared people as a dip.

The other ‘real’ reason for the butter shortage is the lack of demand for high fat products. Butter sales have been falling for years and exports increasing. Twenty years ago, Sweden used to ship 25,000 metric tons of butter across Europe. This year so far it is only 1,100 tons. Now, we need to import cream from Denmark. Not daelig.

Here is Sweden’s dairy production for last year:
348,000 cows yield an average 8329 kg milk / year
which yield…
1 million ton of drinking milk
263,000 tons fil and yogurt
110 000 tonnes of cream
103 000 tonnes of cheese
49,000 tons of milk powder
18,596 tons of butter
via NA.
We really need more butter…

I hope the issue will be resolved in time for the holiday season because I want to make lots of cookies. High fat, high carb, delicious cookies.