Silence and pondering…
Whether it be beef, chicken, pork, or game, we couldn't think of examples of Swedish meat dishes served without sauce. Neither could our kindly Swede volunteer.
It's been five years since that question was posed, and during that time I've come to understand the importance of sauce to Swedes.
Sauce is the rule, not the exception, and it goes beyond meat to encompass fish dishes, appetizers, and desserts. In some instances the Swedish use of sauce is a bit baffling, and in some cases, sauce is downright necessary. Of course there are a myriad of sauces, but some are key to Swedish cuisine such as the following seven sauce classics.
And lastly, if you happen to be hosting Swedes for dinner, don’t be shy with the sauce(s). From the appetizer to the dessert, a Swede will feel right at home with the option to slather the courses with sauce. As a sauce fan, I'm 99 percent on board with this approach.
Perhaps after another five years here I will convert to full acceptance and welcome béarnaise on my pizza. But for now, count me out.
Maia Brindley Nilsson is a designer and food enthusiast based in Malmö, Sweden. Her food blog semiswede is "sort of about Sweden, and sort of not."