What’s cooking in Skåne?
You’d be right in describing the vast fertile plains of Skåne (Söderslätt in the south-west and Österlen in the south-east) as the ‘granary’ of Sweden, as this is where most of the country’s cereal and other crops are produced. The yields are higher and the soil is richer here than anywhere else in Sweden, indeed the soil is among the most fertile in the world.
Allow us to make a comparison; Skåne is to Sweden, what Tuscany is to Italy.
Locally produced food is de rigueur in Skåne and there has been a boom in small-scale artisan food production. Skåne also has its very own food traditions such as spättekaka (cake on a spit), eel feasts, roast goose feasts (on St Martin’s Eve, 10th November), thick pancakes, coarse, sweet mustard and a myriad of marinated herring mix with new tastes and influences from near and far.
Around the region and in the metropolis of Malmö dining is relaxed with the focus being on well prepared and local-produce based comfort food with a European influence.
Apples, apple festivals and 'must'
Skåne is also the region famous for its apple 'must', Skåne’s word for the unsweetened, non-alcoholic drinks made from pressed apples. Some also produce excellent calvados and wines from the rows of apple orchards.
The town of Kivik in Österlen is where the apple action is, with the Apple Market festival in late September each year that, along with celebrating the many local varieties, treats visitors to apple tastings and swigs of the local cider. Highlights include the world’s largest apple display, variety judging and tours of Äppelriket (the apple kingdom).
Beer, wine and vineyards in Skåne
Situated in the very south of Sweden, with a mild climate and a long farming season, Skåne is surprisingly well suited for viticulture. Skåne is becoming an established wine region and has even got it’s own Route du vin. Today you’ll find more than 20 wineries in the compact area of Skåne, and the number is constantly growing. Visit Hällåkra vineyard and book a guided tour or a wine tasting you can sample everything from reds and whites to sparkling wines and sweet dessert wines. For fans of history head to Arilds Vingård located in north western Skåne, with wine vaults dating from Roman times, and with beautiful farm buildings from the 16th century.
Beer is booming in Skåne and a constantly increasing number of microbreweries are setting up production in cities and villages as well as in the countryside. Being a region compact in size and with great communications, the large number of beer producers in such a small area makes Skåne a perfect destination for beer lovers. Many of the breweries are open to the public so that you can visit their production facilities, and many of them arrange guided tours and beer tastings on a regular basis. Keep in mind to note the name of the beers you like, so that you can locate them later on the shelves in Systembolaget, the centralized liquor stores through which all alcoholic beverages are sold in Sweden.