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The Swedish capital has a unique culinary heritage that splits opinions – for some, the traditional fare is a culinary tour de force, while for others it’s a bit limited. But you’ll never know until you try. Once you’ve sampled the local spirit called akvavit, here are Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ five favorite food experiences:
1. Meatballs. It’s a cliché, but the fact is that the Swedes make meatballs like nobody else. You can pick up a plate of the things, served with mashed potatoes, lingonberry-jam and pickled gherkins, almost anywhere — and it’s one of the few traditional dishes that is almost universally liked.
2. Pickled herring. There’s no denying that it’s an acquired taste, but you can’t leave Sweden without sampling the traditional pickled herring — usually served with boiled and seasoned potatoes.
3. Gravlax. You’ll find salmon on every Stockholm menu, served variably grilled, baked and boiled, but the most traditional way to eat it is in the form of ‘gravlax’ — raw salmon, cured in salt, sugar and dill and served on crisp bread.
4. Berries. The Swedes love berries, so don’t leave the country’s capital without knocking back a handful of blueberries, lingonberries and cloudberries. You can even head north to pick your own.
5. Swedish pancake. Don’t miss out on the local pancakes. More like the French crepe than the American pancake, this breakfast treats are served with jam as a dessert with a variety of savory fillings.