If there is one thing in which the Scandinavian people deserve Olympic gold, it is Christmas. By mid-November, streets are already richly decorated with Christmas lights and as soon as Advent starts, Scandinavian diaries are filled to the brim with Christmas activities. This includes, of course, Scandinavian delicacies for Christmas. There are a lot of them, but we highlight a few of the tastiest.
6 x typical Scandinavian treats for Christmas
1. Danish Risalamande
The Danish answer to rice pudding is risalamande. The name comes from the French ris à l’amande (rice with almond), but is now pronounced in Danish as ‘ riesalamang ‘. Risalamande is traditionally eaten at Christmas, often in combination with cherry sauce. It is a creamy rice pudding with small pieces of almond. One lucky eater will find a whole almond in his porridge. This person traditionally wins a marzipan figure.
We stay in Denmark. Flæskesteg is roast pork that is traditionally eaten there on Christmas Eve. The dish is prepared with a crispy crust and is served with warm red cabbage, browned potatoes, brown sauce and sweet and sour. The greasy, crunchy crust is even considered a delicacy. It is of course not low in fat, but that makes it extra suitable for special occasions such as ‘Juleaften’.
Julesmåkager means something like ‘Christmas cookies’. It is therefore a collective name for all kinds of cookies that the Scandinavians will make en masse during Advent. Well-known variants are vanilla garlands , honey hearts or rum truffles , often decorated with icing and sprinkles.
4. Gravlax on crispbread
Although gravad lax (or gravlax ) is originally French, in Sweden it is often eaten as a snack on crispbread. Usually combined with sour cream, lemon and dill. And with those flavors you already know: it doesn’t get more Scandinavian.
We thought we knew something about poffertjes in the Netherlands (it is true…), but the Danes also know what to do with this delicacy! They make aebleskiver : poffertjes that are larger, fluffier and crispier than our Dutch version: often eaten during the Christmas period. Their round shape makes them ideal for filling, for example with apples. That is also where the name comes from: aebleskiver simply means apple slices! Ha, so it can be that simple. Nowadays the dough balls are filled with much more than just apple.
The iconic kötbullar are eaten all year round in Sweden, but they are also a welcome delicacy at Christmas. There, the meatballs are usually part of their ‘jullbordet’: a buffet full of typical Swedish Christmas dishes. Make your own kötbullar? Culy previously came up with a delicious recipe for it.
> To the recipe: Culy Homemade: Swedish meatballs (like those from Ikea!)