The forests of Sweden = berry and mushroom heaven
So, where do you go if you fancy a spot of berry or mushroom picking – or indeed a handful of wood sorrel (also known as sour grass)? Simply head for the trees, and since half of Sweden is covered in woods, you’ll never have to venture too far before stumbling into a sizable chunk of forest, even if you’re based in the capital of Stockholm, or Gothenburg near the west coast.
Hit the right spot in the forest and you’ll be surrounded by a sea of blue or red – and sometimes a mix of the two, since blueberries and lingonberries both thrive in the same sort of environment. In fact, you’ll even come across them in marshier terrain further north. In these arctic climes, you’ll also find the “gold of the marshland” – the cloudberry. These beautifully amber, raspberry-shaped delights are vitamin-packed and delicious served – northern Swedish-style – with waffles and whipped cream.
Raspberries, meanwhile, grow wild in most of the country, as do rosehip and nettles (best picked in spring). Wild strawberries are a joy to find in decorative little clusters soaking up the sun in forest clearings, along country lanes or on the edges of flower meadows. Swedes even have an expression for a favourite, treasured place, or hidden gem: smultronställe, which translates to “wild strawberry place”. Having experienced the joy of stumbling upon a spot of intensely sweet wild strawberries, it’s easy to see why it has become a symbol of magic delight.