The Native: Julbord (Christmas Smorgasbord)

2011-12-19. Published in Language & Culture
by Caroline

The expression Julbord and everything that comes with it, has been a legacy from the days of Vikings that's become a tradition all over the country in today's society. When the Christian Christmas celebration came to Sweden during the Middle Ages, the fasting that came with it was accepted by the people. They were forbidden to eat meat, which meant that dinner could consist of stockfish and porridge instead. When the days of fasting where over, most likely on Christmas Day, meat in all kinds of shapes and sizes were layed upon the table and people celebrated by enjoying the delicious meat.

During the 1900, a wish for the perfect Christmas began to take shape and the old traditonal dishes of stockfish, porridge and meat got accompanied by a range of other dishes to fill the table. Over the years, more different dishes have been added to the "must have" on the Christmas table.  Dishes like sausage, gravsalmon, red cabbage salad and herring with different flavors together with the meatballs have become a regular appearence on the traditional Julbord. The Modern Julmust, Snaps, Julbeer are also some of those things that is considered to be important for the Julbord.

It is a experience in itself to go and have a Julbord together with family and friends. One can almost find dish that is significant to certain families or restaurants that have created their own "must have" on the table with the other dishes. What will be your "must have" dish that exists on your Julbord?

/Caroline, Team, 2011