The forthcoming World Food Travel Summit in Gothenburg – Interview with Executive Director, Erik Wolf

Hundreds of food and travel companies from across the globe will gather at the World Food Travel Summit in Gothenburg, West Sweden (21-24 September) 

Cod with Fresh Potatoes. Photo: Jonas Ingman

Continue reading…

Crayfish Parties– On the Lookout for the Tastiest Accompaniments.

If anyone can sing the praises of langoustines, it’s me. Because langoustines are among my favorite foods. Newly boiled and still warm, fresh from a liquid to which a tiny amount of porter has been added to bring out the natural sweetness of the shellfish. And what about freshwater crayfish? Yes, please! Cooked with heaps of dill, they brighten up the crayfish party with their cheery red color.

Crayfish! Photo: Jonas Ingman

Continue reading…

Skål! It’s Time for Kräftskiva!

Kräftskiva, or Crayfish Party, is one of Sweden’s most unique and fabulous traditions!

Crayfish parties are mostly held during the month of August, a tradition that started because crayfish harvesting in Sweden was, for most of the 20th century, legally limited to late summer. For more information on the history of Crayfish parties, check out our previous blog-post on the subject.  Today, the kräftpremiär  – crayfish premier- date in early August has no legal significance.  Also, the crayfish parties nowadays often continue into late September.

Fresh Crayfish with Dill! Photo: Cecilia Larsson

Continue reading…

Pickled Herring – On the Lookout for Swedish Food Traditions

What makes pickled herring so tasty? Admittedly, not everyone loves herring, so perhaps I should take that back. No, actually! Pickled herring is incredibly nice and can be varied in so many ways; by adding creamy sauces or using clear pickling liquids with onion, herbs and spices. I could go on describing all my favourites forever.

A Variety of Pickled Herring. Photo: Jonas Ingman

Continue reading…

Wild garlic – On the Lookout for Wild Herbs on Kinnekulle

If you want to describe the flavour of wild garlic, a mild form of garlic is the closest you get. I have had wild garlic in a number of different ways. The last time my taste buds were tickled was not long ago. I had been invited to a Michelin-star restaurant in Stockholm. Behind an anonymous door, with an interior in light, soft colours, lots of wood and shiny copper lamps, is Gastrologik. This is a restaurant that surprises with the same sure neo-Nordic balance you find among top restaurants in Copenhagen. Jacob Holmström and Anton Bjuhr’s menu contained a very attractive dish; fillet of veal with cream of wild garlic, endives julienne and soured vegetables. In that harmonious Swedish way, with a careful balance between the sweet, fresh, sour, and mildly salty. The cream of wild garlic was superb and gave this dish a beautiful base, like a small piece of green meadow on a plate – if you know what I mean.

Wild Garlic. Photo: Jesper Anhede and

Continue reading…

Oysters – On the Lookout for a Popular Festival in Grebbestad

How do you get a really popular festival? A festival that celebrates food and leaves visitors with a warm and genuine feeling. This is something that must have been up for discussion many times in Grebbestad, where the Nordic Oyster Opening Championships will soon be held. This year, the aim is clear! The competition will be a true celebration. Not a concept that feels forced or artificial. Instead, a festival that everyone can enjoy right in the middle of the picturesque fishing village of Grebbestad. More genuine than ever, and with focus on the best oysters in the world. I’m talking about the tastiest oysters you can imagine – freshly caught in Grebbestad. Just imagine!

Oysters. Photo: Jonas Ingman

Continue reading…

Come Along at Capital Cooking’s Food Adventure in West Sweden

Swedish oysters are like the U.S. women’s gymnastic team – a rare mix of power and elegance that combine to make them the world’s best.”

West Sweden Food /

Lauren DeSantis from Capital Cooking, a food and travel TV show and blog, has had the pleasure of exploring the West Swedish food scene recently. She’s been out in Bohuslän’s stunning archipelago on crayfish- and oyster safaris, stayed at Villa Sjötorp Hotel, probably Sweden’s most charming fin-de-siecle villa and indulged in West Sweden’s culinary delights. Read about her adventures in the quaint seaside resorts Ljungskile, Grebbestad and Fjällbacka:

Crayfish safari in Fjällbacka.

Oyster safari in Grebbestad.

Villa Sjötorp Hotel and Restaurant. 

Catch langoustines and enjoy a Crayfish Party in the Fjällbacka Archipelago

It all started in 1878, in the lake Hjälmaren, where over-fishing of crayfish threatened the survival of the species. A ban was imposed, which later spread to other parts of Sweden. It was not permitted to catch crayfish from the 1 November until the 7 August, which meant that the 8 August became the first day of the crayfish season. Even though the ban has long since been removed, Swedish people continue to start catching crayfish – and hold crayfish parties! – on 8 August every year. The date was probably chosen because crayfish shed their shells two to three times during the summer as they grow in size, during which they hide under stones and are extremely difficult to catch.

Crayfish party

Crayfish party

Continue reading…

A blind date with a top foodie blogger – famous Swedish chef visits Ms Marmitelover in her London home!

Oyser safari in Grebbestad

Oyser safari in Grebbestad

A taste of the ocean with oysters, herring and cod. The west coast of Sweden has rich flavours to offer. I was invited to spend a day in London at the home of the famous food blogger Ms Marmitelover (Kerstin Rodgers) – to be the storyteller alongside Swedish Chef of the Year Gustav Trädgårdh. My suitcase was packed with goodies such as Lunator beer, a rich in flavour beverage from Grebbestad’s very own brewery – made once a year on full moon. – as well as Knäckebröd, a crisp ryebread, cheeses from Dalsspira, Sivans and chokeberry jam from Torgunnehagen.

Continue reading…

A Lobster Safari in Western Sweden

As seen in Intermezzo Magazine, story by Jessica Mueller

Jessica Mueller from Intermezzo Magazine, toured the seas of West Sweden on a lobster safari excursion. Read the story of her incredible adventure here as told in her own words:

“Thursday didn’t seem like a good day for a “lobster safari.” Sheets of rain made for bad driving from my guesthouse in Ljungskile to the fishing village of Grönemad, and a boat ride seemed impossible. But, as the morning wore on, the rain eased up, the clouds parted, and the “yellow house by the sea” I’d been told to look for popped obvious and bright through the mist. There were no signs and no parking lot—just a friendly-looking guy in a wool cap, coming up the weed-lined walkway to meet me. In soft-spoken, perfect-but-cautious English, he introduced himself as Per Karlsson.

As seen in Intermezzo Magazine, story by Jessica MuellerI followed Per into the tidy fishing cottage. But the prettiest part was just outside the sliding glass door. Grönemad is located on the Bohuslän coast, in the province of the same name, just north of Gothenburg. The waters are dotted with about 8,000 islands—some inhabited, others little more than hunks of rock.

Also outside, tied up to the dock, was the lobstering boat—all twenty-eight feet of it. Before boarding, Per instructed me to put on a gigantic, waterproof, buoyant bodysuit. It was black and orange and very ugly, but very comforting. I couldn’t have drowned if I tried.

I climbed onto the boat, named Tuffa and built in 1952, and we set off. Per’s brother Lars is at the rear, steering. The brothers own the boat and the house, and operate the whole coastal experience—collectively, the business is called Everts Sjöbod (“Evert’s boathouse”).

At first, the water was pretty smooth. But after we rounded a big island the conditions became, by my standards, rocky. Between reassurances that the boat would definitely not capsize, Per told me about this gorgeous slice of coastline. Bohuslän is a big vacation spot for Swedes, and in the summer these waters are chock full of recreational watercraft.

But we were after the lobster. Beginning the first Monday after the twentieth of September and running until April 30, Swedish waters are open to the lobster harvest. The rest of the year, Per and Lars take visitors out for mackerel fishing, crab harvesting or just swimming and island-hopping.

Jessica MuellerAfter about twenty minutes, we came to our first lobster trap (there are twenty-eight in all), identified by a bobbing red buoy. Hand over hand, Per hauled it up, and success! Inside the trap was a black lobster, speckled with red around its tail and claws. Per took it out and let it (actually, her) walk around on the seat cushions and snap at his gloves while I took scores of pictures. But before he could officially harvest this lobster, Per needed to measure her. The requirement is eight centimeters from about the lobster’s roving, bulbous eye down to the end of its head, and Per had a special ruler for making the calculation. Our lobster passed the size test.

At our next stop, Per told me I would be hauling up the trapho. About two seconds into this endeavor I handed back the rope and informed him that the trap was caught on the bottom, and what would we do to untangle it? He smiled, shook his head no, and handed me the rope. I tried again, and it was like playing tug-of-war with an elephant. Per insisted that was just the strength of the mighty ocean and that eventually the crate would come up. It did, but not before my arms were like jelly.

But we got another lobster! Per and Lars talked to each other in rapid Swedish—apparently, it’s pretty uncommon to get two in a row.

We checked a few more traps but found nothing but crabs, all of which we tossed back. By law, we could have taken them, but there was just no need. Lars and Per are in the tourism industry, and they don’t actually sell anything they catch.

Instead, they cook it for guests like me. Back at the cottage they boiled our lobster (the female) and split it in half to reveal bright white flesh. There was lemon and butter but mostly I ate it plain, as the meat was too sweet and pure to mess with. There was also a pasty, greenish-beige “something” up in the abdominal area that Per told me was the “best part,” though I was skeptical. It turned out to be the tomalley, part of the lobster’s digestive system. Our lobster also had abundant bright orange roe, another delicacy. I tried a little of both, but was happiest by far with my white meat.

Food definitely tastes better when you grow it or catch it yourself. And though I’m thankful I personally wasn’t the one who had to drop our lady lobster into the pot of boiling water, this ocean-to-table experience is undoubtedly the best way to taste the west of Sweden.”

Recipe: Lobster Pot au Feu with Hake, Serves 4

For cooking lobster:
1 live lobster, about 10 to 14 ounces
4 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon dill seeds

For lobster sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 onions, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato purée
1 teaspoon dill seeds
Roasted lobster shell
3/4 cup white wine
Water, as needed
1 cup cream, or to taste
Splash brandy (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper

For finished soup:
1 1/3 pounds hake, cod, or other firm white fish
Meat from 1 lobster
2 carrots
2 parsnips
1 kohlrabi
2 cups lobster sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh dill, finely chopped (to taste)

Lobster soup1. Prepare lobster. Combine water, salt and dill and bring to a boil. Put live lobster head first into boiling water, cover and boil 20 minutes. Remove lobster and cool.

2. When cool enough to handle, remove all flesh and set aside. Reserve shell.

3. Preheat oven to 450°F.

4. Place shell on a baking sheet and place in oven. Roast about 15 minutes, tossing and stirring a few times. Remove and cool.

5. Prepare lobster sauce. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened but not browned, about 7 minutes.

6. Add tomato purée and dill seeds and stir to combine. Add lobster shell and wine and cook for 2 minutes, then add enough water to cover shell. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.

7. Remove and discard shells. Simmer until stock is reduced by half. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and into a clean pot. Add cream and brandy (if using). Briefly return to a boil, then remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

8. Prepare soup. Cut hake into 1-inch cubes. Chop or shred lobster into slightly smaller chunks.

9. Peel and finely mince or julienne carrots, parsnips and kohlrabi.

10. Preheat oven to 350°.

11. Place fish, lobster and vegetables in an ovenproof dish and pour sauce over. Bake about 10 minutes, until fish is cooked through. Season to taste, garnish with dill and serve.

As seen in Intermezzo Magazine, story by Jessica Mueller.