The Classic Swedish Appetizer That's Actually Named After A Danish Fishing Port

Like it or not, Swedish food deserves more recognition, and there are many iconic Swedish foods everyone should try. You probably already know some traditional Swedish dishes such as the famous meatballs, köttbullar. If you've ever had lunch in the IKEA food court, chances are that meatballs were on the menu, paired with creamy mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam on the side (via Nomad Paradise). There are many more Swedish delicacies that you might not have heard of, such as semla, a donut-like bun that's flavored with cardamom and stuffed with whipped cream and almond paste, or the delicious Swedish-style cheesecake called ostkaka, made with rennet, milk, and flour. 

And if you want to try out Scandinavian and Swedish food in the US, luck is on your side, as Swedes in the States shared a list of Scandinavian restaurants in different U.S. cities. And once you make the pilgrimage to one of these foodie hot spots, you may want to try a traditional Swedish appetizer that's actually named after a Danish fishing port.

Toast Skagen consists of bread fried in butter, prawns, mayonnaise, and fish roe

This classic Swedish appetizer is very popular in the country of its origin, and it's called toast Skagen. In its most traditional version, it consists of a slice of white bread that's fried in butter and topped with prawns, mayonnaise, and fish roe. Later variations of this open-faced sandwich used additional ingredients such as dill, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, horseradish, or onions (via Sweden). Swedish Spoon reports that the appetizer was invented by the late cookbook writer and chef Tore Wretman, who significantly impacted modern Swedish cuisine. 

In 1956, Wretman and his crew competed in a sailing competition in Skagen, Denmark. Once they lost all hopes of winning the competition, Wretman made this dish on his mahogany boat Salta Marina to cheer up his mates. According to Aftonbladet, Wretman called it toast Skagen after looking out over the water to the fishing port of Skagen. However, according to Wretman's biography, the man simply placed a finger on a map and it pointed to Skagen, hence the name of the dish (per Swedish Spoon). Regardless of the origin of the name, this creamy and tasty appetizer should be the star of your next dinner party –- it's easy to make and delicious to eat. Just make sure to leave some space for the following courses.