Did I forget to tell you that we went to Stockholm last year? Hmm…
We were in Stockholm during the last week of August when the locals started to come back to the city from their summer vacation. There were a couple of days that were very hot out and we wished we had shorts! But, the majority of the time, the weather was wonderful. Stockholm was the most expensive city we have been to, but we had a lot of fun. We rented a studio apartment through Cocoon Stockholm. We stayed in Södermalm and slept on a Hästens bed! We had a little kitchen, but we didn’t cook a meal in it.
Swedish cuisine is very dairy and meat-centric and almost every dish has, you guessed it, lingonberries! I normally have yogurt and my chocolate granola for breakfast; so, I want to try their yogurt because different countries use different bacteria cultures; therefore, they taste different. But, I went nuts and bought 3 cartons of yogurt. Their yogurt comes in a 1 liter carton that looks like milk carton in the U.S. So, we had to finish 3 liters of yogurt in a week. We would have yogurt and muesli for breakfast before heading out for coffee and baked goods (second breakfast!). For lunch, we would get lunch special (look for the word “dagens” on the menu). After the third day, I felt like I needed to have vegetables, any kinds of vegetables, just give me a bowl full of steamed broccoli and I’d be happy. We went to Saluhall in Östermalms. I ordered a salad and what I got really made us laugh. I got a huge pile of shrimp and smoked salmon mixed in with a tiny bit of greens. Drew got “pork” and lingonberries and, I swear, what he got was a pound of bacon with lingonberries. Both dishes were delicious! Alchohol was also very expensive there since they are taxed on the percentage of alchohol. If you have the house beer with your meal which normally is a lower percentage of alchohol, it was not bad. Sometimes, a small beer is even included with lunch! One day, we were in Gamla Stan, I had a lunch special with a glass of wine. The meal was 98 SEK, and the wine was 100 SEK.
We usually spend a day in a neighborhood to really get to know the neighborhood when we travel. In Stockholm, we did one day in Norrmalm, another day in Gamla Stan, etc. We like to bum around outside the city center to see how people live and see where they do grocery shopping. We spent a great amount of time in supermarkets. I like browsing through the aisles to see what people in other cultures eat. And we came back to the U.S. with a lot of stuff (stuff you can’t get at Ikea 🙂 ) We got mustard in tubes. Slotts Stark mustard is phenomenal on sourdough grilled cheese (Stark & Grovkornig is good, too!). Coop brand museli are yummy — Mixed are better than Fruit & Nuts. I also got Kron jäst bread yeast. Hey! Don’t laugh, yeast from different places taste different! Another thing we can’t forget to mention is Swedish chocolate hazelnut spread. During our stay, we also went through 9 or 10 bottles of different flavors of Ramlösa — a brand of carbonated mineral water from the southern part of Sweden.
I didn’t think I’d like Stockholm as much as I did. I think good food and awesome pasties had a lot to do with it. So, here are a list of things to try when you go to Stockholm — aside from the obvious dishes like Swedish meatballs and lingonberries, Elk, Moose and Reindeer.
- Saffron ice cream at Gunnarsons Konditori in Södermalm.
- Licorice ice cream in Gamla Stan.
- Cardamom rolls (called kardemummabullar. Cinnamon rolls Kanelbullar are good too!)
- Princess cake and pistachio & cardamom rolls at Vete-Katten Konditori in Norrmalm
- Yogurt (I bought Arla brand. Their mild yogurt, fil and a-fil all taste different. A-fil has acidophilus in it.)
- Marabou salt licorice chocolate
- Salt licorice (make sure it’s Malaco Djungelvrål)