My last and final destination for my five-week trip to Europe was Sweden. I was taken by the glimmering light of the sky, the golden, deep red and often violet sunsets during midsummer days during my visit. There was an evening glow that was breathtaking. Unfortunately, I have no photos to show you. My trip to Sweden began when Barbie, our tour guide, picked us up in Copenhagen. I had taken a trip with Barbie to Provence in March 2020, where we stayed in Julia Child’s home. Read more about it here. So, I was excited to go on another trip with her.
We were picked up on Monday afternoon in a hotel in Copenhagen and driven to our first lodging in Sweden. There we stayed in the countryside on a farm once owned by the king of Sweden in Kivik, a charming little town in Scane, part of Österlen. It is known as the breadbasket of Sweden. The setting reminded me very much of northern Germany, with its large wheat fields. We enjoyed a nice dinner the first night and got to know each other.
The following day, we had a wonderful cooking lesson in a typical Swedish house with several cooking stations and a nicely decorated dining area. The garden was spectacular with all its herbs and veggies, a labor of love. I very much enjoyed this day in the kitchen and garden with Maria sharing her Swedish recipes and house with us. If you are ever in the area, don’t pass this by. Here is a link to her website
The next day, we visited a farm where mustard is made. We learned a lot and made our own mustard. Mine did not pass quality control.
We visited Ale’s Stones, which I found fascinating. The function of Ale’s Stones is much disputed (according to Wikipedia), and there are many different theories about its purpose. It is generally believed to be either a grave monument, a ritual center or maybe a sun calendar. I tried to have my Outlander moment to go through the stones, but it didn’t work. And I am happy to still be here.
The same day, we ate in a restaurant on the water. Of course, I had to have herring.
Another day, we went foraging for wild herbs with Roland Rittman. He forages for restaurants, most notably René Redzepi’s Noma in Copenhagen. Roland is quite a character and showed us many edible plants that we picked and ate throughout the week. He and his wife invited us to have coffee and cake in his house. It was very pleasant and the homemade apple cake was delicious.
We also met Johanna Kindvall, an illustrator and cook who has written two cookbooks. Barbie sent us one of her cookbooks and I can’t wait to pick a recipe to try. The name of the book is Smörgåsbord, the Art of Swedish Breads and Savory Treat, by Johanna Kindavall.
On day four, we drove to Torekov in the Skane province. It’s a cute little town with its red and white clapboard houses. We settled into our rented house and started exploring the town. Barbie served us smoked salmon with fresh potatoes, which are the best I have ever eaten. The Swedes are very proud of the different varieties of potatoes they grow and I have to say that they are very good. Barbie added our foraged greens to them, which made for a very healthy dinner. Annette, our Swedish tour guide, had prepared lingonberries, I loved them.
Annette encouraged me to participate in the Swedish custom of going for a morning dip in the North Sea. The ritual is that you have to walk to the sea in an old robe with old wooden clogs, take a quick dip in the sea (seven strokes to be precise). On the way home, it’s okay to stop in a bakery in your robe and buy some rolls for breakfast. I found it very invigorating. Barbie gave us some robes.
On one of the days, we visited the beautiful gardens of Norrviken. Norrviken Garden is a 14-hectare garden that was created in 1906-1920 by Rudolph Abelin. There are temporary art exhibits both outdoors and indoors, with beautiful water and Japanese gardens. Ingmar Bergman made All These Women (his first color film) here. We had a relaxing lunch at the Villa Abelin. I was taken by the beauty of this garden.
Another wonderful dining experience was a delicious dinner, which Annette’s friend, Maria, served us at a fisherman’s boathouse by the sea. Thank you, Maria, for a magical evening and for sharing this wonderful place with us.
Our week went by fast and for our last night, three beautiful Ukrainian women prepared a feast for us. Annette’s husband, Anders, shared his crawfish with us and showed us how to eat them correctly.
The next morning, Barbie and Annette put us on the train to Copenhagen where I checked into my airport hotel, as I had an early flight the next morning to return to the United States. Surprisingly, the hotel had a good restaurant where I had herring eggs with flatbread and cream cheese. Delicious! But I was ready to return home to my husband.
9/19/2022 12:03:40 pm
No problem, you can share this post and any other but would you please add a link to my blog and give me credit.
9/23/2022 08:21:27 am
Wonderful and enjoyable story of a visit to Sweden and its culinary aspects. I would love to see you do that plunge in the Pacific Ocean!
9/23/2022 08:51:28 am
Let’s do it together!!!
Sweden! On my bucket list but if I never get there, I'll feel like I have a "feel" for it, thanks to this post. What an amazing experience with the guide and the food and the 7-minute dip in the water. :-) I'm glad you didn't get time traveled, also. I bet your husband couldn't wait for your return. xo
9/19/2022 12:06:25 pm
My guy and I were very happy when we reunited. He is used to it because I have gone so many times to take care of my German family.
9/20/2022 01:22:56 pm
I love how you take cooking lessons wherever you go. Because of my garlic allergy, I always find it difficult. When you mentioned the gentleman foraging for herbs and such for Noma, I got excited and thought maybe you got to go there! Looks like a lovely visit.
9/20/2022 01:30:50 pm
No , I didn’t eat at Noma . During our week in Sweden we had a lot of local sourced homemade meals.
Gerlinde de Broekert
9/22/2022 07:28:08 am
Sweden was interesting. I enjoyed the culture and the food.
10/23/2022 08:04:20 pm
Ron, I think you would enjoy Maria and her place. It’s too bad we couldn’t meet in person during my visit to Sweden. I have a question, I saw acres of wheat fields in Sweden.In Germany we have different names for the different wheat varieties that are being planted. Do they have different wheat varieties in Sweden?
They do have two distinctive types here and I'm sure different varieties of each type.
10/25/2022 07:21:14 pm
Thanks for the information Ron. The next time I talk to my brother I will asked him about the different wheat varieties in Germany. I know we grow Rye wheat .
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Thank you for visiting my blog. My two passions are cooking and traveling. Traveling exposes me to a wide variety of food and experiences. I walk around cities looking for markets, restaurants, bakeries, shops, you name it, and if it is related to food you will find me there, tasting, smelling, talking to vendors, and having a great time.