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Swedish summer mixes

Deliciously Swedish summer mixes with seafood or smoked meat: Skagen, Old Man's Mix and Suovas. Perfect for a late snack, a light lunch or an appetizer for steamy afternoons in the summer of 2020.


Skagen mixture gets its name from Toast Skagen, a dish that did not originate in Denmark, in spite of its name. It was invented during the 1950s by legendary Swedish restaurateur Tore Wretman. Old man’s mix (herring-egg salad) makes Swedes think of summer inns and local hotels with white tablecloths, where people enjoyed a lunch of herring, cheese and butter chased by flavored spirits (snaps). Most people who ordered this lunch were men, which is also true of the herring-egg salad known as “old man’s mix”.
Souvas means smoked in the Sami language and is coldsmoked reindeer meat. In earlier times, lightly salted meat was hung up by the smoke hole in the tent where the Sami lived. Now there are special tents for smoking.

Skagen mix

14 ounces (400 g) fresh shrimp in their shells (7-8 ounces/200 g without shells)
1/2 inch (1 cm) fresh horseradish
3 1/2 tablespoons (1/2 dl) chopped dill
1/3 cup (3/4 dl) mayonnaise
2 tablespoons (1/4 dl) creme fraiche or sour cream
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1. Shell and coarsely chop the shrimp.
2. Grate the horseradish, chop the dill and combine with the mayonnaise, creme fraiche and shrimp.
3. Season with salt, pepper and Dijon mustard.
A playful way of adding lobster and red chili to the traditional Swedish west coast recipe: 'Skagen Mix' on lobster (Courtesy of San Francisco based chef Roberth Sundell)

Gubbhyllan’s old man’s mix (Gubbröra)

3 eggs
3 small potatoes
3 matjes herring fillets (available at your local Scandinavian store or IKEA Foods)
1 tart apple
1 small red onion
3 1/2 tablespoons (1/2 dl) finely chopped chives
3 1/2 tablespoons (1/2 dl) finely chopped dill

1. Hardcook the egg (around 8 minutes) and boil the potatoes. Refrigerate.
2. Chop all ingredients into fine dice and combine.
There are many classic variations of this mix, and many use Swedish spiced anchovies instead of matjes herring. For some, apples and potatoes are not traditional ingredients, but I think they work beautifully and that the tart apple adds the perfect touch.
Other variations on this classic Swedish dish: 'Gubbröra' times four

Reindeer mix with suovas

7 ounces (200 g) suovas (smoked reindeer is hard to find but can be replaced with cold-smoked salted beef or even lean air dried ham such as Jamon Serrano)
Scant 1/2 cup (1 dl) parsley
1 red onion
1/3 cup (3/4 dl) mayonnaise
2 tablespoons (1/4 dl) creme fraiche or sour cream
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
Salt and pepper

1. Cut the smoked reindeer into fine dice, chop the onion and parsley, and combine with the mayonnaise and crème fraiche. Season to taste with mustard, salt and pepper.
Suovas, which means smoked in the Sami language, is salted and smoked reindeer meat. Suovas is one of the oldest means of food preservation in Sweden. The meat is salted for a few days before it is smoked.

Recipes: KG Wallberg
Photography: Bruno Ehrs
Recipes are from the recipe book “Wonderful Sweden” – a culinary journey through Sweden, from Skåne in the south to Lappland, covering provincial specialties, points of interest and traditions.
We have a small amount of the book for sale at a discount for subscribers; call 1.800.827.9333 extension 10 to order. Check the book online, at Wonderful Sweden - The Glorious Landscape and Delicious Cuisine


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