Spring has sprung, and in coastal West Sweden that means one thing: it's time to eat!
In Swedish culture, fika is a coffee and cake break with friends. It is a part of everyday life, nowhere more so than the pretty West Swedish town of Alingsås. Alingsås has a flourishing fika culture and is home to around 30 cafes, some of which date back as far as the 1700s. Three are listed in the prestigious White Guide Café guide.
Coffee and cake in Sweden (Shutterstock.com)
The local tourist board offers a guided fika tour where visitors can learn about the history of fika and experience the enviable Swedish tradition first-hand. The tour visits two of the cafés listed in the White Guide, Ekstedts Bakery & Café and Nygrens Café, where you will taste cinnamon buns, truffles, pastries and cookies, and take a goodie bag of samples away with you.
The tour runs every Saturday at 11am from 2 April until 29 October.
AirDine is a new app developed in Gothenburg that transforms every home into a little restaurant. It is designed to encourage people who would otherwise probably never meet, to get together and have a great time over food.
Homemade Swedish gravlax with beetroot salad (Shutterstock.com)
Hosts make money and meet new people, while guests get to socialise and enjoy great home-cooked meals. The app was made available to download from the App Store in Sweden in late February.
The gorgeous fishing village of Smögen is regarded as one of West Sweden’s crayfish centres, and a long term favourite with foodies. During spring, the local hotel Smögens Havsbad offers a crayfish safari that will delight lovers of seafood.
Crayfish in front of fishing cage (Shutterstock.com)
The tour starts at the local fish market, where guests are shown how crayfish are caught and how a fish auction takes place, before setting out to sea with a local fisherman to catch crayfish for themselves. On the way back, the boat stops at a small island where the fisherman cooks the catch and serves it with a selection of local goodies from a picnic basket.
Back at the hotel an indulgent three-course supper is laid on for guests – after relaxing in the hotel’s spa, of course.
Spring in West Sweden marks the arrival of the oyster season, when these delicacies are at their most succulent. It’s also time for the Nordic Oyster Opening Championships (6-8 May), held in Grebbestad, where 90% of Sweden’s oysters grow.
Oysters shucked on a stone plate (Shutterstock.com)
Contestants race to shuck 30 oysters at impressive speeds and present them to the judges in the most attractive way. Spectators can then feast on oysters to their heart’s content.
Main image:Table set for crayfish party (Shutterstock.com)