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FOOD HOLIDAY: Smorgasbord Buffet For A Midsummer Feast

In Sweden, Midsummer marks the start of summer holidays. Midsummer Eve is always the Friday in the middle of the month. People head to the country to be close to nature, enjoy a delicious smorgasbord with beer and aquavit (no wine!), and be with family and friends.

If you’ve seen Ingmar Bergman’s Smiles of a Summer Night, or Woody Allen’s parody of it, A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy, you get the drift.

Celebrants pick wildflowers to weave into wreaths, set up the maypole and outdoor dance floors. Midsummer is supposed to be a magical time for love. But we’d like to focus on that big table laden with food, the smörgåsbord.

Swedish retailer IKEA has an annual Midsummer Smörgåsbord; you can purchase tickets for the 6/14 event at the store. They sell out, so do it in advance—$12.99, for adults, $4.99 for kids. Details at


Pickled herring canapés on pumpernickel bread with gherkins. Photo by Marta Sobo | SXC.

While IKEA offers food only (no dancing, no chasing your romantic interest through the woods), the menu is impressive. Why not adapt it to your own Midsummer Eve’s feast? Make selections from Ikea’s list, or whip up your own favorites:


  • Gravlax with mustard sauce
  • Herring, in assorted preparations
  • Hard boiled eggs with shrimp
  • Meatballs with lingonberries
  • Prinskorv sausage, a type of Vienna sausage, sautéed
  • Smoked salmon with horseradish sauce
  • Swedish ham served cold with mustard
  • Whole poached salmon

    Swedish meatballs. Here’s a recipe from
    Betty Crocker.



  • Cucumber salad
  • Green salad
  • Other favorite salads

  • Boiled dill potatoes
  • Assorted Swedish cheeses (Herrgardsost, the most popular cheese in Sweden, Hushallsost is Swedish farmer’s cheese)
  • Crispbread, thin bread, dinner rolls


  • Assorted desserts—cakes, cookies, Swedish pancakes with lingonberry jam and whipped cream
  • Ice cream
  • Coffee, tea
  • Strawberries and whipped cream

    While you may not have an inventory of Swedish music, ABBA always works for us!


    Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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