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DISCOVER SWEDEN

MAP: Where are Sweden’s four new Michelin-starred restaurants?

Looking for a great place to eat in Sweden? The Michelin Guide has just sprinkled stars over four new Swedish restaurants – and handed out stars to another 15 eateries, too.

MAP: Where are Sweden's four new Michelin-starred restaurants?
Nineteen Swedish restaurants in total boast one, two or three Michelin stars. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The Michelin guide for the Nordic countries on Monday released its ratings for 2021, and in addition to confirming the three-star rating of Stockholm’s Frantzén restaurant, it also handed out new stars to four Swedish restaurants – and not just in the capital.

The four new restaurants on the list are:

Aira, Stockholm

According to the Michelin Guide: “In a delightful harbour setting sits this striking restaurant offering great space and comfort. Opened in 2020, it’s an ideal spot for escaping city life. Guests walk through the open kitchen to get to the tables where they’re greeted by a charming service team. The beautiful dishes boast the occasional Asian note and make the superb ingredients really shine.”

Äng, Tvååker

According to the Michelin Guide: “Three siblings – third generation dairy farmers – have created a delightful destination restaurants complete with a vineyard, hotel and spa. The no-waste surprise tasting menu uses fantastic seasonal produce from the surrounding Halland region and the resulting skilfully prepared dishes are delicate, balanced and full of flavour. Gracious service adds to the experience.”

Project, Gothenburg

According to the Michelin Guide: “This cosy restaurant is personally run by a husband and wife team, whose balanced, seasonal tasting menu offers dishes which are refined, original and full of flavour. The eloquent team proudly explain the components of each dish with a smile; from the delicious bread which takes five days to make to the homemade butter which takes two.”

Hotell Borgholm, Öland

According to the Michelin Guide: “The team at this historic hotel’s restaurant provide a warm welcome and its wine list is a treasure trove. Tasting menus showcase seasonal ingredients from the beautiful island of Öland; much of it from their own delightful garden, and the elaborate dishes boast flavours and original combinations.”

Here’s the full list of Sweden’s Michelin-starred eateries:

One star

Etoile, Stockholm

Agrikultur, Stockholm

Sushi Sho, Stockholm

Ekstedt, Stockholm

Operakällaren, Stockholm

Aira, Stockholm

Hotell Borgholm, Öland

PM & Vänner, Växjö

bhoga, Gothenburg

28+, Gothenburg

Project, Gothenburg

SK Mat & Människor, Gothenburg

Koka, Gothenburg

Äng, Tvååker

Two stars

Gastrologik, Stockholm

Oaxen Krog, Stockholm

Aloë, Stockholm

Vollmers, Malmö

Three stars

Frantzén, Stockholm

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DISCOVER SWEDEN

The three tasty treats that make spring in Sweden a forager’s dream

Although parts of Sweden are still under snow at this time of year, spring is in full swing here in Skåne in the south of Sweden. Here are The Local's top tips for what you can forage in the great outdoors this season.

The three tasty treats that make spring in Sweden a forager's dream

You might already have your go-to svampställe where you forage mushrooms in autumn, but mushrooms aren’t the only thing you can forage in Sweden. The season for fruits and berries hasn’t quite started yet, but there is a wide range of produce on offer if you know where to look.

Obviously, all of these plants grow in the wild, meaning it’s a good idea to wash them thoroughly before you use them. You should also be respectful of nature and of other would-be foragers when you’re out foraging, and make sure not to take more than your fair share to ensure there’s enough for everyone.

As with all foraged foods, only pick and eat what you know. The plants in this guide do not look similar to any poisonous plants, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry – or ask someone who knows for help.

Additionally, avoid foraging plants close to the roadside or in other areas which could be more polluted. If you haven’t tried any of these plants before, start in small doses to make sure you don’t react negatively to them.

Wild garlic plants in a park in Alnarpsparken, Skåne. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Wild garlic

These pungent green leaves are just starting to pop up in shady wooded areas, and may even hang around as late as June in some areas. Wild garlic or ramsons, known as ramslök in Swedish, smell strongly of garlic and have wide, flat, pointed leaves which grow low to the ground.

The whole plant is edible: leaves, flowers and the bulbs underground – although try not to harvest too many bulbs or the plants won’t grow back next year.

The leaves have a very strong garlic taste which gets weaker once cooked. Common recipes for wild garlic include pesto and herb butter or herbed oil, but it can generally be used instead of traditional garlic in most recipes. If you’re cooking wild garlic, add it to the dish at the last possible moment so it still retains some flavour.

You can also preserve the flower buds and seed capsules as wild garlic capers, known as ramslökskapris in Swedish, which will then keep for up to a year.

Stinging nettles. Wear gloves when harvesting these to protect yourself from their needles. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Stinging nettles

Brännässlor or stinging nettles need to be cooked before eating to remove their sting, although blanching them for a couple of seconds in boiling water should do the trick. For the same reason, make sure you wear good gardening gloves when you pick them so you don’t get stung.

Nettles often grow in the same conditions as wild garlic – shady woodlands, and are often regarded as weeds.

The younger leaves are best – they can get stringy and tough as they get older.

A very traditional use for brännässlor in Sweden is nässelsoppa, a bright green soup made from blanched nettles, often topped with a boiled or poached egg.

Some Swedes may also remember eating stuvade nässlor with salmon around Easter, where the nettles are cooked with cream, butter and milk. If you can’t get hold of nettles, they can be replaced with spinach for a similar result.

You can also dry nettles and use them to make tea, or use blanched nettles to make nettle pesto.

Kirskål or ground elder, another popular foraged green for this time of year.
Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Ground elder

Ground elder is known as kirskål in Swedish, and can be used much in the same way as spinach. It also grows in shady areas, and is an invasive species, meaning that you shouldn’t be too worried about foraging too much of it (you might even find some in your garden!).

It is quite common in parks and old gardens, but can also be found in wooded areas. The stems and older leaves can be bitter, so try to focus on foraging the tender, younger leaves.

Ground elder has been cultivated in Sweden since at least 500BC, and has been historically used as a medicinal herb and as a vegetable. This is one of the reasons it can be found in old gardens near Swedish castles or country homes, as it was grown for use in cooking.

Kirskål is available from March to September, although it is best eaten earlier in the season.

As mentioned, ground elder can replace spinach in many recipes – you could also use it for pesto, in a quiche or salad, or to make ground elder soup.

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