While in Stockholm a few weeks ago for TBEX, one of the most important travel blogger conferences of the year, a few of us chose to head down to Nynäshamn with the sole purpose of eating and drinking! Only about an hour from the capital, it would have been a pity not to make the trek.
For a tiny town with only 13,000 inhabitants, at the jumping off point of the Swedish Archipelago, Nynäshamn is known throughout the country as a food-lovers paradise. Some of the best culinary delights produced in Sweden come out of this little seaside port.
Boats stock up on smoked fish, cheese, sausage and beers before heading out to the over 25,000 islands of the archipelago. Even marauding masses of Vikings were said to have sampled a few Swedish products here on their way to parts unknown.
We only had overnight, but were able to taste what the fuss was all about.
1. Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri (Steam Brewery)
Parched from the long bus journey of an hour, our first stop was the city’s award-winning micro-brewery, Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri. A brewery has been in town since 1912, but after the original’s decline in popularity, Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri took up the reins and literally steamed ahead. Bottling over 800,000 a year, it is now the most popular micro-brewery in Sweden.
From their first ever product, Bedarö Bitter, they have been players in the worldwide micro-brewery renaissance. Now they make up to 25 different types per year, including time specific ones for Easter, Summer & Christmas. They have even ventured across the pond in collaboration with famed US micro–brew Dogfish Head, called Arketyp, using home grown Swedish ingredients, such as lingonberry, honey, birch, and wormwood in the recipe.
2. Nynäs Rökeri & Fiskhall
A friend of mine living in Stockholm ventures south to the Nynäs Rökeri & Fiskhall every month just to stock up on their hot smoked Salmon. After one bite of smoked fish, unlike any I had ever eaten, I don’t know why she doesn’t head here every week. It’s not only the salmon that is superb, but everything else in the store: smoked & just boiled shrimp, herrings of every type – curried, mustard, pickled, smoked chili & garlic mackerel and the aforementioned hot smoked salmon. I just wish I could have transported it all back to London with me.
3. Sorunda Korvfabrik
One thing I could take home with me was Sorunda Sausage. I used to think that pretty much all sausage tasted the same, well, I was wrong, after sampling the Lindqvist family’s pork merguez, chorizo, garlic and their father’s gold-medal winning secret recipe. We were lucky enough to visit the factory to see where it all gets made, but you can buy it packaged in every food store before leaving town.
4. Gårdsmejeriet Sanda
What should you do when you retire? Open a gårdsmejeriet (dairy)? Well, only if you can do it as well as the Sanda family. After a lifetime in business, they decided their life’s passion was cheese, lucky for us. Their dairy produces over ten types of cheese annually, everything from brie to blue. They also sell locally made jams derived from local flowers and sap from the nearby fir trees, all to accompany their cheeses.
We were let in to one secret, however. There is a cake that all Swedish people make, but I have never seen it anywhere else. The sad thing is that you can never make it at home! All I can tell you are the basics – butter, sugar, apple or prune sauce. Actually no one knows the exact recipe, because it’s handed down from mother to daughter. Everyone’s family makes it a different way. Some similarities abound though – they all have between five to seven layers and are designed with same set of patterns. There is nothing else to reveal except that it tastes scrumptious!
(photo taken by Daryl Hirsch, while I was busy enjoying the spa!)
There is only one hotel worth staying in town and that is the Nynäs Havsbad. It’s simple with a pretty house and too die for, luxurious view and spa!
NB: I was the guest of Visit Stockholm. I can’t thank them enough. Everything I write is always my own opinion!