The Swedish Julbord…Christmas Around The World

Jul (Christmas)  Bord ( Table)

I have been told since I travel a lot , I offer up and expose a lot foods and traditions that are new to some people. I take it all for granted, but if that’s whats my blog is known for, I love it.  I hate to see people living in a narrow closed world where food is concerned. You don’t have to buy an expensive ticket to travel in the culinary world. Your passport is your open mind and hunger.

Last fall , in Stockholm, I had the pleasure of accompanying Anne of Anne’s Food to an event given by Scan. Scan is a major Swedish producer of pork. They are most known for their meatballs (kottbullar).For those of you that don’t know what a Julbord is, think of it as a Christmas Smorgasbord consisting of cold and hot meats, herrings, and desserts.  After attending the afternoon event , I realized the Swedes take the whole Christmas Ham (Julskinka) very seriously. Many hams were on display  cooked in various ways. Scan’s own butcher in his metal chain mail mesh glove, demonstrated how he breaks downs hundreds of hams daily. It was all so effortless when watching him.

While the presentation was in Swedish, I got the total experience by sampling the many offering from Scan’s chefs of sausages, meatballs, hams, terrines, appetizers, cured meats and warmed by Glogg ( spiced wine). In my opinion the Swedish really know how to do Christmas. One of my favorite things is comparing how other cultures celebrate common holidays. So I  want to give you a glimpse of  Julbord offerings that will perhaps inspire you this Christmas. In a perfect world, I would love to throw my own Julbord party next party with Certain Someone. We shall see.

Some classic Julbord dishes:

  • Herrings
  • Cured Salmon ( Gravlax)
  • Cheeses
  • Breads
  • Pickled Vegetables
  • Head Cheeses, Terrines, Pates
  • Swedish Meatballs ( Kottbullar)
  • Pork Ribs
  • Fried Sausages and small Hot dogs (Prinskorv)
  • Jannson’s Temptation ( a potato casserole with anchovies)
  • Cabbage rolls
  • Assorted salads
  • Rice Puddings
  • Cakes
  • Schnapps and Aquavit
  • Glogg

Click here for Scan’s recipes


here for Traditional Swedish Julbord Recipes from Such as the classic mustard and bread crumb coated Julskinka ( Christmas Ham)

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7 thoughts on “The Swedish Julbord…Christmas Around The World

  1. the caked crusader

    I’ve been lucky to travel to some fairly far flung locations for work and the thing I always love the most is learning about what’s ordinary or accepted custom/tradition in other cultures. The most ordinary thing to a local can stun and delight me!
    I particularly love that your travel influences are completely different to mine – I love reading about Scandinavia as I’ve never been …hopefully one day!

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