That's a lot of meat! The julbord on display - Swedes want more Swedish produce, more organic and more veggies.Photo:Dave Russell/Radio Sweden
That's a lot of meat! The julbord on display - Swedes want more Swedish produce, more organic and more veggies.Photo:Dave Russell/Radio Sweden

The definitive Swedish Smörgåsbord moves with the times

"I cannot do without pickled herring"
5:17 min

Swedes are becoming more choosy when it comes to what's on their 'Julbord' with a taste for more organic, domestic sourced food and even less meat. But as Radio Sweden found out, some Christmas dinner table traditions never die. 

The Swedish Food Federation has published its findings into this year's Julbord trends, asking Swedes what they want on their Christmas dinner table this year and what they can live without.

In Sweden, the Julbord as it's known, is traditionally groaning with oodles of picked fish, sweet deserts and mountains of meat. But in 2014, the demand is for more high quality and less quantity, and if its meat, it helps if it is produced in Sweden. 

More than eight out of ten of the two thousand or so Swedes surveyed by Demoskop on behalf of the Swedish Food Federation said it was important that the food they eat at Christmas is produced domestically, including the Christmas ham, which is also the Number 1 favourite dish that simply must be served up on Christmas Eve, followed by Jansson's festelse, a dish of creamed potato, onion and pickled sprat.

The Julbord is served in restaurants from late November up until the important day and it's a cash bonanza for the Swedish food industry, worth SEK 21 billion. That is 12 percent of annual food sales. But whether you eat it at your office Christmas party, or only once on Christmas Eve, there's a strict etiquette to dining do's and don'ts.

Maria Söderqvist, head of the Swedish Food Federation tells Radio Sweden that there is an order to approaching the table. People start with herring and salmon, then later come the ham and sausages and various cold cuts, then the meatballs and ribs and of course, one cannot finish without something sweet.

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