Sweden is one of the world’s most modern nations. Yet Swedish people love their traditions, particularly when it comes to food, and Skåne is no exception. Next time you visit, come with an open mind and boost your taste buds by trying some of the many delicacies on offer in the region’s restauarants and cafés. The information below tells you what you need to know about when, where and how to experience these extraordinary dishes.

1. Spettekaka 

Spettekaka (in English pyramid cake) is made of ribbons of batter piped onto a conical mould to form that classic shape. Ingredients include eggs, sugar, and flour. Traditionally, spettekaka was cooked on a rotating spit above an open fire and ordered based on dozens of eggs rather than servings. People could bring their own eggs to a spettekaka baker who would prepare the cake. Today they are baked in special rotating ovens and sold by the number of servings. Heights range from 6-25 inches (16-64 cm). 

Spettekaka at Fricks Spettkaks-bakery
© Carolina Romare
Spettekaka at Frick's Spettkaksbageri in Billinge.
Spettekaka on a plate
© Carolina Romare

Enjoy spettekaka on its own or served with ice cream, whipped cream, or a variety of sauces such as chocolate or caramel. It is often accompanied by fresh fruit or berries. A nice glass of champagne or port tops it off. The main occasions for spettekaka are Christmas and midsummer but it’s also popular for weddings, banquets, and other special occasions. 

Eat spettekaka at one of the following cafés in Skåne:

2. Goose Dinner

Goose dinners are a tribute to St Martin, Bishop of Tours. He used a goose as his personal symbol and we celebrate him on the 10th of November, when geese are ready for killing. St Martin’s Day was an important medieval autumn feast, and the custom of eating goose spread to Sweden and Skåne from France. 

Black soup
© Claes Westlin
Black soup.
The main dish – Goose
© Claes Westlin
The main dish – goose.
Apple pie with vanilla sauce
© Claes Westlin

A traditional goose dinner uses all parts of the goose.  The dinner begins with a bowl of sweet and sour black soup made from goose blood and goose broth, richly seasoned with fruit pureés, spirits and spices such as clove, ginger and a generous splash of brandy. The soup is thick and reddish black. The neck, liver, heart and craw and fried wings are served with the soup. 

The goose is offered as the main course with boiled apple slices, prunes, boiled potatoes, Brussels sprouts, red cabbage and a rich sauce. Apple pie with vanilla sauce is the traditional dessert.

Enjoy your goose dinner at one of the great restaurants listed below:

3. Egg cake

Äggakaga (egg cake) is a traditional dish from Skåne made using a pancake-like batter but adding more eggs and flour for a creamier consistency.

Thick pancake with bacon and lingonberries on top with glass of beer on the side
© Alexander Hall

Äggakaka can (or should) be served with fried pork or bacon, lingonberry jam and chopped white cabbage. It tastes best hot straight from the pan. The dish comes from the time when farm labourers worked long days harvesting the fields in the autumn. As äggakaga can be eaten cold, it was easily wrapped up and eaten in a field for lunch.

Here are some places in Skåne that have äggakaga on their menu:

4. Eel parties in Skåne

Many eel fishers organize eel parties (ålagillen in Swedish) between mid-August and the end of November. An eel party is a Skåne tradition that involves eating various eel dishes. An authentic eel party includes salted eel, preserved eel, fried eel, smoked eel, straw-smoked eel, eel soup and eel à la daube, all washed down with a lot of home-made spiced schnapps.  

The ideal accompaniments are mashed egg, coarse rye bread and pressed potatoes.

Eel dish from Skåne
© Skånska matupplevelser
Scanian eel dish
© Skånska matupplevelser
Scanian eel dish
© Skånska matupplevelser

Eel fishing restricted 

Eel fishing is part of Skåne’s cultural heritage. The area is even called the Åla (eel) coast. However, overfishing and pollution in the Baltic sea has drastically reduced the eel population, which is now protected under the UNESCO Convention for the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage. As a result, eel fishing is strongly restricted and allowed during just three months in a year. 

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