FOOD IN SKÅNE: Traditions are important in new cuisine in Skåne

Many local and regional players work to incorporate classic cooking from Skåne into modern cuisine. There are a number of food producers in Skåne who contribute to marketing the new Skåne cuisine, and many chefs will only serve the best of the best. Local produce – such as lamb, pork, chicken, cod and herring, cabbage, asparagus, potato and mushrooms – forms the basis of the best cuisine. New cuisine in Skåne is prepared with less fat and more seasoning and follows current trends. Sometimes the food is clearly inspired by dishes from Tuscany in Italy and Provence in France.

Immigrants inspire cuisine in Skåne
Skåne is a multicultural part of Sweden, which is noticeable in Skåne's new culinary traditions. Pasta and pizza are becoming Swedish classics, but the internationalisation process is much broader, including dishes that originate from Asia, Africa and South America. Grocery stores are well stocked with spices from all over the world, and cookery books are published with recipes from many different countries. One of Malmö's tourist attractions is Matkaravan (the food caravan), a tour where food fans are guided round grocery shops in Malmö owned by Greeks, Libyans, Persians, Chinese and people of other nationalities, in order to inspire Swedes to savour international cuisine even more.
Similarly, restaurants in Skåne have embraced the development. Many restaurants and inns specialise in and tempt diners with their exotic menus.

Discover Skåne's cuisine at the market
There are many food markets in Skåne, although most are set up in late summer and early autumn. The more famous markets include the herring market in Skanör, the asparagus festival in Skillinge, Potato Day in Båstad and the apple market in Kivik.

Inns with a long history
The origins of today's Swedish inns go back to the Middle Ages when travellers established the custom of paying for accommodation, food and horses on the road. With the advent of the railways towards the end of the 19th century, most of the inns in northern Sweden were forced out of business. In Skåne, however, the inns have maintained their status as culinary havens well worth a detour. Some of the best-known and most popular inns can be found in Skanör and Vellinge (both south of Malmö), Hammenhög in eastern Skåne and Spången in Röstånga, in the heart of Skåne.

Subtle spicing
Good food and plenty of it, served at the right time is what a true inhabitant of Skåne will ask for. The traditional food of Skåne is known throughout the rest of Sweden as rich and heavy – not recommended for dieters. Cream and butter are ever-present ingredients of the cuisine here, and spices are used subtly. Salt, black pepper, thyme and marjoram often enhance the popular pork dishes.

Herring and smorgasbord

Not that Skåne doesn't offer dishes without bite. Just try mustard from Skåne; its seed grains are ground in a mortar and mixed with oil. It's excellent with sausage or boiled fish.
Skåne is also known for its many variants of pickled herring. It's hard to think of a flavouring that hasn't been tried, approved and appreciated in the form of a new pickled herring dish on the substantial Skåne smorgasbord. Have you ever tasted herring in red wine, sherry, garlic, vinegar, herbs or onions?
Any smorgasbord worth its salt will also offer salmon, baked omelette, smoked ham, smoked beef, sausages, pickled vegetables, potatoes and bread. At Christmas these dishes will be joined by Jansson's Temptation (a popular herring gratin with potatoes, onions, anchovies and cream). And for the truly hungry there should also be spare ribs and different kinds of cabbage.

Preserving the best

Good food is eaten all over Sweden every day of the year, but people in Skåne take particular care to preserve their culinary traditions. In recent time people have been more aware about the survival of eels, but September has for long been the month for special eel feasts along the coast of Skåne. Then eel is eaten boiled, smoked, fried or served in other classic ways. Naturally a couple of schnapps taste best with eel.
Come November, goose is on the menu, preferably oven-baked with all the trimmings and followed by apple pie and custard.

Skåne's beverages

Flavoured schnapps is a speciality in Skåne, especially the two famous labels Bäsk, seasoned with sagebrush, and Skåne Akvavit, seasoned with caraway. The world-famous vodka Absolut is produced at the distillery in Åhus in eastern Skåne. Ramlösa taps its mineral water in the same way as it has done for the past 150 years, and there is a whisky distillery on the island of Ven, located between Skåne and Denmark. Zoégas in Helsingborg makes coffee such as Skånerost, a strong brew and an excellent choice with which to round off a good meal. It tastes even better with a piece of dark chocolate. Kivik in eastern Skåne is famous for its apple orchards and produces high quality apple juice and cider.

January 2010

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