Smörgåsbord originates from sixteenth-century Sweden but is used across Northern Europe including Norway, Denmark, Finland and Estonia to describe a buffet or range of cold dishes. The original meaning of the word Smörgåsbord is a type of buttered, open-faced sandwich.
A traditional Swedish Smörgåsbord may have both hot and cold dishes but will most certainly have bread, butter, cheese including Brunost, cold cuts and cooked sausages, fish and cured fish like Gravadlax, rollmops, salmon, eels, and herring as starters and be followed by hot dishes and even a dessert.
At Christmas time Swedes eat a special Smörgåsbord called the Julbord (literally “Christmas table”), which can also include baked ham, meatballs, sausages, hard-boiled eggs, boiled cabbage and potatoes, and beetroot salad. The meal is often served with strong spirits like snaps. The meal is finished with a traditional dessert a cinnamon flavoured rice pudding with an almond hidden in one bowl.