EATING SWEDISH LAPLAND
Dog sledding, northern lights, and Santa's fave four-legged friends... 🦌
Just when you thought Swedish Lapland couldn't get any more fairytale-like, you discover the food.
Taking their cue from the indigenous Sámi people, Swedes in the north have nailed sustainable, tasty eats. So we’re taking a sleigh ride into the wild to find out what makes Swedish Lapland so special, and where you can chow down on the best bits…
What's All the Fuss About?
Hikers scoop water straight from streams, the animals frolic in the forests, and the rivers are teeming with minerals…
Processed food is not a phrase they understand here. Your turkey twizzler lunch? It’s offensive 🚫
If you go to Swedish Lapland today you’ll be eating pretty plates of pickled things. But don’t get it twisted, the Sámi people have been developing this cuisine for yonks. They started smoking, salting, and pickling food to store it for the brutal winter months. The wild berries and greens were used to spice up plates of reindeer, elk, and Arctic char. YUM 😋
You could write a book (literally, people have) about all the amazing produce that comes out of Swedish Lapland. But we're giving you a concentrated dose of delicious with three of our faves...
1. Kalix Vendace Roe
The rivers in Swedish Lapland may as well be liquid gold as far as the fish are concerned. Kalix vendace roe is so good it gets served at Nobel dinners AND it made it to the Protected Designation Origin list - alongside Champagne and Parma Ham. Dahhling 💅
Sticking with rivers, The Torne has a tasty secret of its own. It’s home to Whitefish, some of the freshest fish you can find. These little guys swim along the Kukkola rapids in summer 🎣 Try them grilled over an open fire with new potatoes and a drizzle of butter. We said a drizzle… put the bucket down.
The prettiest sounding veg around. Soz Romesco. The Sámi pick it during summer as their reindeer are grazing. The best bit is how versatile it is, the stems can be grilled or eaten raw, they also make the roots into porridge, or it’s dried and made into a spice to thicken reindeer milk. Genius.
Best Places to Eat...
Neihku Mountain VillaTucked away in Riksgränsën, in the far north, Neihku Mountain Villa is the work of Sweden’s most famous sommelier and a mountain guide.
It was always going to be good.
In the dining room, timber beams hug the ceiling and leather seats look out onto icing sugar slopes. The food is “for hungry adventurers”, which means plates of Narvik skrei fish, Kebnekaise Arctic char, and reindeer from the Sami shop down the road. Check ahead, the hotel is usually only open to guests.
Restaurang TageSet high above twinkling water in Piteå, on the West Coast of Swedish Lapland, Restaurang Tage does grown-up hunks of meat with seasonal veggies. But that’s underselling it. You choose your cut from their meat locker...
Sounds like serial killer chat.
Then they chuck it (lovingly) on the state-of-the-art barbecue. Get the Kalix vendace roe, they do theirs with sour cream, onion, lemon, and butter-fried toast. Butter-fried anything? SOLD.
Traditional Lávvu TentDinner in Luleå close to the Brändön shoreline is a once in a life taste of traditional Sami eats. Don’t miss it...
You’re walking over the frozen sea towards a traditional lávvu tent. Inside the tent candles flicker and reindeer pelts warm wooden benches. You look down… the sea ice is the floor.
YOU WIN, SWEDISH LAPLAND. YOU WIN.
Lola Akinmade Åkerström/imagebank.sweden.se
Lennart Pittja/Sápmi Nature/imagesbank.sweden.se
Full link to image credits here