Midsummer Food in Sweden: A Culinary Journey

Swedish Midsummer Food

blog authorBy Johanna Hansen shield verification Verified Expert

    Midsummer in Sweden is not just a festival; it's a feast for the senses, especially the taste buds. This celebration, second only to Christmas in its importance, brings to the table a delightful array of traditional Swedish dishes. 

    From the tangy pickled herring to the sweet bliss of strawberries and cream, each dish tells a story of Swedish heritage and culinary artistry.

    Traditional Midsummer Foods

    Pickled Herring (Sill)

    Pickled herring is a cornerstone of Swedish Midsummer, reflecting the nation's deep connection to its maritime roots. Varieties like the dill-infused matjessill and the piquant senapssill in mustard sauce are not just culinary delights but also a celebration of Sweden's fishing heritage. 

    These herrings, with their complex flavors, are a tribute to the traditional Swedish palate.

    Pickled Herring

    New Potatoes with Dill

    In Sweden, new potatoes with dill are a Midsummer highlight, embodying the essence of the season. These potatoes, boiled or roasted to perfection and adorned with fresh dill, offer a subtle yet satisfying flavor. 

    They perfectly complement the boldness of pickled herring, showcasing the harmony and simplicity of Swedish summer cuisine.

    Cured Salmon (Gravlax)

    Gravlax, a luxurious element of the Midsummer feast, showcases the Swedish art of curing. This delicacy, with its rich, briny flavor, is expertly seasoned with salt, sugar, and dill, creating a sophisticated contrast to the lighter summer dishes. It's a celebration of both the sea's bounty and the culinary ingenuity of Sweden.

    Meatballs (Köttbullar)

    Swedish meatballs, known as köttbullar, are a quintessential part of any celebration. These small, yet flavorful orbs are lovingly mixed with spices and herbs, then cooked to perfection. 

    Served with a rich, creamy sauce and tangy lingonberry jam, they offer a delightful balance of savory and sweet, embodying the heartwarming essence of Swedish home cooking.


    Strawberries and Cream

    The classic combination of ripe strawberries with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream is a cherished finale to the Midsummer feast. This dessert, simple in its elegance, bursts with the freshness and sweetness of summer. 

    It's a celebration of seasonal abundance, bringing a light, joyful note to the end of a hearty Swedish meal.

    Traditional Midsummer Drinks


    Snaps, a cherished Swedish spirit, is integral to Midsummer celebrations. Consumed in small, convivial shots, it's often paired with traditional snapsvisor songs, enhancing the communal spirit. 

    With a range of flavors from herbal dill to sweet elderflower, each variant of snaps brings its own unique essence, adding depth and diversity to the Midsummer festivity.


    In the realm of Midsummer feasts, a cold lager beer stands as an ideal companion to the rich flavors of Swedish cuisine. Its crisp and refreshing nature offers a delightful contrast to the savory notes of herring, cured salmon, and meatballs.

     On a warm Midsummer day, it serves as a soothing, thirst-quenching elixir.

    Sparkling Cider or Wine

    Adding a sophisticated flair to Midsummer gatherings, sparkling cider or wine is often the beverage of choice. Whether sweet or dry, its effervescent quality and festive sparkle elevate the meal, complementing the array of flavors on the table. 

    These bubbly drinks encapsulate the joy and exuberance of the Midsummer celebration.

    Sparkling Cider


    Midsummer in Sweden is a vibrant tapestry of flavors and traditions, a celebration that feeds the soul as much as it does the body. As you explore these traditional foods and drinks, you're not just a traveler; you're a part of Sweden's rich cultural tapestry. 

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