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Six irresistible autumn foods that make the most of Sweden’s produce

It's autumn and that means the weather is changing in Sweden. It's getting colder and darker, but do not despair: enjoy the abundance of tasty treats autumn has to offer.

Autumn is a delicious season in Sweden. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

1. Mushrooms

Forget about the ubiquitous portobello or button mushrooms, there’s a whole fungal world out there. The tasty, golden chanterelle (kantarell) is popular in Sweden, as is the Yellowfoot (trattkantarell) – both found in supermarkets this time of the year. Make your own chanterelle toast, wild mushroom tart or chanterelle pesto.

There are some 10,000 mushroom species in the Nordics and around 100 are edible. Get your inner outdoors person out and go foraging for mushrooms such as chanterelles, stensopp/karljohansvamp (porcino) or stolt fjällskivling (parasol mushroom) – just make sure you don’t accidentally pick anything poisonous.

Chanterelles are so popular there is even a word in Swedish for a place in the forest where a lot of them grow: kantarellställe. Many Swedes have a special spot they return to every year, and keep it a secret.

READ ALSO: Six keys to understanding autumn in Sweden

Golden chantarelles. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

2. Game

Hunting is becoming more popular among women in Sweden, losing its “macho” label as an increasing number of consumers want to know first-hand where their food came from, rather than just buying meat in the supermarket. Venison, elk and wild boar all find their way onto menus, although concern has been raised about high levels of radiation in some wild animals as a result of the Chernobyl disaster more than three decades ago. Hunting season is usually from around late August to January, depending on the animal, with the elk hunt being the most high-profile. If you’d rather buy your own meat, head to your nearest supermarket (it is usually found among the frozen foods).

There’s also reindeer meat. The semi-domesticated reindeer owned by Sami herders are not hunted, but meat from the slaughtered animals is often served as suovas in northern Sweden, smoked reindeer meat.

If you’d rather not eat meat at all, don’t worry, the rest of the food in this list is vegetarian.

RECIPE: How to cook Swedish delicacy reindeer ‘tjälknöl’

Elk meat and elk mince. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

3. Berries

The berry season lasts until late September, but you may still be able to find some left in stores even later if you are lucky. Try Swedish bilberries (blåbär, which literally means blueberries but are smaller and more tart than the North American blueberries), blackberries (björnbär), raspberries (hallon), cloudberries (hjortron) – or even better, lingonberries. Forget about that sweet gooey stuff you get with your meatballs at Ikea, buy fresh lingonberries in the store in Sweden and make your own sweetened lingonberries – it’s easy and delicious.

Cloudberries grow in moorlands in northern Sweden, but bilberries can easily be found and picked in forests in central Sweden, even in or near Stockholm and its suburbs.

Cloudberries, which grow in northern Sweden. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

4. Apples

As we’ve mentioned before, autumn means the apples are ripe for harvest, which means it’s time for äppelmust (cloudy apple juice), äppelpaj (apple pie), äppelmos (apple sauce) and äppelcider (apple cider). In years with an abundance of apples, it is not uncommon to see free help-yourself boxes outside people’s houses.

True apple enthusiasts should visit Kivik in southern Sweden which is known for its apple production and even organises an annual apple market with apple art. Try making southern Swedish apple crumble.


The apple market in Kivik. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

5. Root vegetables

Autumn is the best season for root vegetables (rotfrukter), with supermarket vegetable sections packed full of carrots (morot), potatoes (potatis), swedes (kålrot), parsnips (palsternacka), beetroot (rödbetor) and many more. They are cheap and make for hearty and tasty dinners. Mash them, or add them to a gratin or a stew.

RECIPE: How to make pickled beetroot

Root vegetables. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

6. Cinnamon buns

We’ve saved the best for last. National Cinnamon Bun Day (October 4th) was invented in 1999 when Sweden’s Hembakningsrådet (‘Home Baking Council’) tried to think of ways to celebrate the organisation’s 40th anniversary and announced the introduction of an annual feast day. It turns out they perfectly gauged the tastes of a nation, so the day caught on quickly and is today honoured (or exploited, depending on how much of a cynic you are) by shops, cafés and bakeries all over the country every October 4th.

But don’t worry, you can still eat (and make) cinnamon buns even after October 4th.

RECIPE: How to make your own cinnamon buns

Huge cinnamon rolls. Photo: Tina Stafrén/

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For members


Five of the best spots in Sweden for a naked swim

As temperatures soar in Sweden this week, even the thought of wearing a swimsuit might seem a bit much. If you feel the need to expose a little more skin to the elements, here are some of Sweden's best nude beaches.

Five of the best spots in Sweden for a naked swim

From vast, sandy shores to coastlines dotted with caves and inlets, Sweden’s as many as 90 nudist beaches span the range of what the country’s beaches have to offer.

According to Malin ArlinderEkberg, chair of the Swedish Naturist Federation, interest in naked swimming and bathing grew significantly in Sweden during the pandemic. 

“Those [nudist] associations which have camp sited had more visitors than they usually do, a whole lot of people who wanted to try something new when everyone was having holidays at home,” she told TT in an interview last summer. 

But she said that while Swedes aren’t particularly shy about getting their clothes off, they were reluctant to tell friends that they visited nudist beaches. 

“On hot days, the nudist beaches are rammed, but I promise you that 90 percent of those there won’t dare tell friends and relatives that they go there. The first step is to talk about it and not make such a big deal out of it. Everyone at my job knows I’m a naturist. I do the same things that you and everyone else does, just without clothes.

But you don’t have to join the federation, or even visit a nudist beach, to enjoy a naked swim in Sweden. 

Almost any spot by the sea or on a lake can be your own nude swim spot, so long as you remain respectful of other visitors who prefer to keep their bikinis and swimming trunks on, and choose a moment when there’s no one nearby to strip off and leap in.  The rule is not to flaunt your nakedness.  

READ ALSO: How to find Sweden’s cleanest and best beaches in the summer of 2022 


The Sandhammaren beach in Ystad is among Skåne’s most popular, and it’s easy to see why it’s often considered one of Sweden’s best beaches. Its white sandy dunes and long coastline in the southern tip of Sweden make it a popular spot for swimmers and sunbathers, while the pine forest inland is perfect for walks year-round (clothes not optional when traipsing through the forest).

Watch out for strong currents when venturing out for a swim. Historically, pirates took advantage of the strong currents at Sweden’s southernmost tip to run unwitting ships aground before swooping in to plunder the ships.

When you tire of sun and sea, you can visit a lighthouse that dates back to the 1860s, or head back toward Ystad, which The Local ranked among Sweden’s cutest hidden gems in 2015.

Another one of the many beaches Skåne has to offer, Ribersborg – or Ribban, as the locals say – is close to Malmö’s city centre.

The nude section at this beach is designated at brygga, or bridge, 10, where you’ll also find a public restroom and outdoor shower. If you fancy getting back into your clothes after a few hours in the sun, there’s an outdoor gym you can use, or you can take your dog to the large, dog-friendly area.

Malin Arlinder-Ekberg, chair of the Swedish Naturist Federation, at Ågesta nudist beach. Pontus Lundahl/TT


Ågesta is Stockholm’s only official nudist beach, although you will find naked visitors at other breaches, such as Brunnsviken, Lövnäsbadet, and Kärsön.

At Ågesta, by Lake Magelungen, you’ll find a sandy beach where you can bring the whole family. There are play areas, picnic tables, and even a barbecue area.

Venture inland from the rocky shore and you’ll find yourself walking through the forest that surrounds the beach. And if you tire of the sand, there’s a large grass-covered area where you can spread your towel and settle in for a day of sunbathing – without any tan lines getting in the way.


Gothenburg’s Amundön is more rocky than sandy, but don’t let that deter you. Here, you’ll find a hilly 4.5km trail in a protected part of Gothenburg’s archipelago. On your way to the nudist beach, you’ll pass through various hilly and grassy landscapes on your way to the large rocks and cliffs that make up the coast.

On a warm summer evening, the cliffs are ideal for watching the sunset. Bring your own refreshments, because the amenities here are limited to a public restroom. In between dips in the water, you can sunbathe on the rocks or explore the archipelago.


Another official beach, Gustavsberg, by the Nora lake in Dalarna, boasts a sand beach with shallow waters that make it safe for even the youngest swimmers. Between the playground, picnic area, grassy sunbathing area, and large barbecue area, it’s easy to spend long Swedish summer days at Gustavsberg. 

There’s a camping space here too, if you can’t tear yourself away from this idyllic space. Rates are available here.

If the shore and camping area get too crowded, rent a boat – you can also buy a fishing
license – and paddle out into the lake for some solitude.