The Best Scandinavian recipes for Christmas

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Taste the difference of festive foods in your very own Nordic kitchen

Scandinavian food is usually associated with the Swedish cinnamon rolls (Kanelbullar) or those seasoned meatballs in creamy sauce, readily available from your nearest IKEA. As tasty and moreish as both these popular foodstuffs are, there is a lot more to choose from to keep your stomach satisfied this Christmas. A roast turkey or goose with all the trimmings musters a mouth-watering appeal as the iconic Christmas Day dinner in the UK, with the exceptions of vegetarians and vegans. However, we are offering some alternative serving suggestions for a truly Scandinavian spread.

Discover how to celebrate a traditional Nordic Christmas here.

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We begin with a smorgasbord as VisitSweden tempt us with the typical tasty titbits for this time of year: “delicacies including pickled herring, gravlax [raw salmon with dill on top of bread or accompanying boiled potatoes], paté, knäckebröd [rye crispbread], ham, meatballs with beetroot salad and lutfisk.” A potato rosti with mackeral and eggs is recommended for Christmas morning. While cured herring with mustard sauce is also a favourite snack in Sweden and Denmark. Ham studded and spiced with quince, as well as something that will have you salivating, courtesy of VisitDenmark: “roast duck or goose, stuffed with apples and prunes and served with boiled and sweet potatoes, red cabbage, beets and cranberry jam.”

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If you can’t wait until the dessert course a ris à l’amande (which is a rice pudding with whipped cream, vanilla and almonds and drizzled with hot cherry sauce. If you find an almond that is peeled in your bowl you are in luck and given a prize. If you don’t have much of a sweet tooth and tend to opt for the cheese board, a Norwegian twist on the selection may sway you. Sliced Brunost (brown Norwegian cheese, made from part goat’s milk and part cow’s milk with a caramelised finish) on a plate with waffles and fruits is a tantalising savoury choice.

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The ScandiKitchen in Central London, established by co-founder and director Bronte Aurell, includes a range of specialised Christmas recipes on their website, including Jansson’s Temptation – a potato gratin dish with anchovy sprats or pickled sprattus sprattus to be precise. Learn more about recreating it here. As a main, you can whip up a Danish Flaeskesteg – which is roast pork with crackling. Prepare for a Scandi roast here. Next up is a traditional Nordic dessert and try your hand at Ris à l’amande med kirsebærsauce – rice pudding with cherry sauce, well-liked in Denmark also. Check out the recipe here.

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For more inspirations, you can buy The Scandi Kitchen – Simple, delicious dishes for any occasion by Bronte Aurell in Hardcover from Amazon here.

Bon appétit, or rather: Smaklig måltid! Velbekomme! Vær så god! Verði þér að góðu! Hyvää ruokahalua!