The Swedish breakfast is usually served cold and is a combination of sandwiches and yoghurt with some sort of flakes or muesli, and to that you drink juice, chocolate, coffee or tea. The tradition of serving cereal in milk or soured milk is quite new, even though it was previously common practice to break down flatbread or crisp bread in soured milk. Porridge has been a breakfast food for thousands of years and is still a living tradition.
Swedish filmjolk with strawberries and toasted oat kernels. Photo: Anne Skoogh
Strawberry season is upon Sweden, with strawberry sellers along the roads and outside (but usually not inside!) every grocery store. Purists will only buy Swedish berries, but I admit that I’m just as happy with Spanish or Belgian ones at the beginning of the season. You’ll find plenty of strawberries from early June until sometime in mid-July, depending a bit on the weather. The price will vary greatly as well.
Strawberries can be enjoyed a million different ways, but one of the easiest is simply with a bowl of filmjolk – soured milk – or yogurt. It’s a great summer lunch. I like some crunch as well, so I always add a few spoons of granola or cornflakes. A new find, and a perfect topping, toasted oat kernels with cinnamon.
Nothing says summer like a bowl of berries. Photo: Anne Skoogh
It’s also the perfect base for homemade muesli or granola, and it would be great as a dessert topping as well, bringing some crunch to a fruity ice cream sundae . And you can certainly just eat them as they are, as a reasonably healthy snack.
You need oat kernels, though, and they can be hard to find. In Sweden, one of the producers is Risenta, and the bag can be found near the health food isle, or with the baking grains in the grocery store. If you can’t find them, regular rolled oats are also delicious when toasted the same way, and for something totally different but just as tasty, you can always toast some almonds or hazelnuts.
Risenta Oat Kernels - perfect for toasting. Photo: Anne Skoogh
For the toasting, use about 100 ml oat kernels – a little less than half a cup. Measuring isn’t important. Place them in a dry frying pan (and I really recommend a non-stick pan here) and sprinkle with about one tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon.
Toast on medium high heat until the sugar has melted and the kernels are sticking together.
Turn them out on a plate to cool, and break apart as needed. Keep in a tight-lidded jar, if you want to keep them for more than a few days.
…is a British writer and editor who moved to Sweden in 2001. A former chef turned food and travel writer, he loves everything about food, but particularly the raw ingredients themselves. When not cooking, eating or thinking about food, he can often be found hanging around in butchers shops, fishmongers and grocery stores; a hobby he can pursue for hours on end. He hopes that writing this blog will take up so much time that it halves his food shopping bills.