Five tasty events for foodies in Sweden

Hop on the food market trend while it's still growing. We've picked out the five best events in Sweden for you to get your teeth into this week, alongside our guide to the best other events around the country.

Five tasty events for foodies in Sweden
The food truck Mi Taquito at Street Food Saturday in Gothenburg. Photo: Hanna Axelsson/Avenyn

1. GRÅW Raw Food & Life Festival

The raw food trend – which includes fruits and vegetables but avoids for example foods that have been pasteurized or produced using chemical fertilizers – is growing in Sweden. This could possibly be the healthiest event you could attend in the Nordic country this week. It takes place at Hellasgården south of Stockholm on Saturday, July 18th.

Entrance is free – almost. Visitors have to bring one kilo fruit and vegetables, which will all be blended together to create green smoothies for everyone. Raw food 'fika', ecological clothing and fruit will also be on sale. 

2. Matholmen Food Market

We haven't been able to verify Matholmen's claim that it is the biggest street food market in Sweden – but it is certainly in the running for the title of prettiest. Foodies are offered the chance to sample foods from up to 30 different vendors on the island of Skeppsholmen against the gorgeous backdrop of the deep blue water of Mälaren.

It takes place from 11am to 5pm every Saturday and Sunday until the end of September and the best advice the market's website offers visitors is: make sure you're hungry when you get there. Our tummies are already rumbling in anticipation.

The bustling Matholmen food market. Photo: Max Andersson/Matholmen

3. Street Food Saturdays

What's the best Saturday of all? Street Food Saturday, of course. If you're in western Sweden this week, head to the Götaplatsen square in central Gothenburg to try out cuisine from all around the world: Jamaican, Ethiopian, Mexican, Greek, traditionally Swedish and much more.

Around 10 vendors will set up shop at the food market, which is open from 5pm to 10pm in the evenings every Saturday in July. Visitors will also be able to listen to live music performed by local Gothenburg troubadours.

4. Food Truck Movie Screening

Full already? Put your legs up and watch a movie while nursing your food coma. This Saturday, Sommarscen in Malmö in southern Sweden presents 'Chef'. The 2014 Hollywood flick stars Jon Favreau as head chef Carl Casper, living every Swedish hipster's wet dream as he quits his job and opens a food truck. 

Sommarscen is run by Malmö council and organizes various performances and movie screenings throughout the summer. 'Chef' will be shown at 10pm on Glasbrukskajen on Saturday, July 18th.

5. Swedish Museum of Spirits

Need something to help you wash down all that food? Stockholm's Spritmuseum (the museum of alcoholic spirits) is open throughout the summer. Learn about Swedes' conflicted relationship with alcohol, find out how to make your own beer like a pro and sample some of the exhibits at the museum's restaurant.

You will find the museum on the Djurgården island, accessible by bus, tram or ferry. Tickets are sold at 90-200 kronor, depending on special exhibitions and concessions.

For more tips on what to do in Sweden this week, check out the interactive calendar below.


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The three tasty treats that make spring in Sweden a forager’s dream

Although parts of Sweden are still under snow at this time of year, spring is in full swing here in Skåne in the south of Sweden. Here are The Local's top tips for what you can forage in the great outdoors this season.

The three tasty treats that make spring in Sweden a forager's dream

You might already have your go-to svampställe where you forage mushrooms in autumn, but mushrooms aren’t the only thing you can forage in Sweden. The season for fruits and berries hasn’t quite started yet, but there is a wide range of produce on offer if you know where to look.

Obviously, all of these plants grow in the wild, meaning it’s a good idea to wash them thoroughly before you use them. You should also be respectful of nature and of other would-be foragers when you’re out foraging, and make sure not to take more than your fair share to ensure there’s enough for everyone.

As with all foraged foods, only pick and eat what you know. The plants in this guide do not look similar to any poisonous plants, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry – or ask someone who knows for help.

Additionally, avoid foraging plants close to the roadside or in other areas which could be more polluted. If you haven’t tried any of these plants before, start in small doses to make sure you don’t react negatively to them.

Wild garlic plants in a park in Alnarpsparken, Skåne. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Wild garlic

These pungent green leaves are just starting to pop up in shady wooded areas, and may even hang around as late as June in some areas. Wild garlic or ramsons, known as ramslök in Swedish, smell strongly of garlic and have wide, flat, pointed leaves which grow low to the ground.

The whole plant is edible: leaves, flowers and the bulbs underground – although try not to harvest too many bulbs or the plants won’t grow back next year.

The leaves have a very strong garlic taste which gets weaker once cooked. Common recipes for wild garlic include pesto and herb butter or herbed oil, but it can generally be used instead of traditional garlic in most recipes. If you’re cooking wild garlic, add it to the dish at the last possible moment so it still retains some flavour.

You can also preserve the flower buds and seed capsules as wild garlic capers, known as ramslökskapris in Swedish, which will then keep for up to a year.

Stinging nettles. Wear gloves when harvesting these to protect yourself from their needles. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Stinging nettles

Brännässlor or stinging nettles need to be cooked before eating to remove their sting, although blanching them for a couple of seconds in boiling water should do the trick. For the same reason, make sure you wear good gardening gloves when you pick them so you don’t get stung.

Nettles often grow in the same conditions as wild garlic – shady woodlands, and are often regarded as weeds.

The younger leaves are best – they can get stringy and tough as they get older.

A very traditional use for brännässlor in Sweden is nässelsoppa, a bright green soup made from blanched nettles, often topped with a boiled or poached egg.

Some Swedes may also remember eating stuvade nässlor with salmon around Easter, where the nettles are cooked with cream, butter and milk. If you can’t get hold of nettles, they can be replaced with spinach for a similar result.

You can also dry nettles and use them to make tea, or use blanched nettles to make nettle pesto.

Kirskål or ground elder, another popular foraged green for this time of year.
Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Ground elder

Ground elder is known as kirskål in Swedish, and can be used much in the same way as spinach. It also grows in shady areas, and is an invasive species, meaning that you shouldn’t be too worried about foraging too much of it (you might even find some in your garden!).

It is quite common in parks and old gardens, but can also be found in wooded areas. The stems and older leaves can be bitter, so try to focus on foraging the tender, younger leaves.

Ground elder has been cultivated in Sweden since at least 500BC, and has been historically used as a medicinal herb and as a vegetable. This is one of the reasons it can be found in old gardens near Swedish castles or country homes, as it was grown for use in cooking.

Kirskål is available from March to September, although it is best eaten earlier in the season.

As mentioned, ground elder can replace spinach in many recipes – you could also use it for pesto, in a quiche or salad, or to make ground elder soup.