Try Swedish west coast

Welcome to try the Swedish west coast, home of fresh fish and shrimp, in-season lobster, mussels, crab, octopus, and perhaps, most delicious of all, langoustine. Supremely juicy flesh and with a multi-layered taste, it is finger-lickingly-good and needs no company on the plate.

This week will be spent in Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city, located on the west coast. The city was founded in 1621 and has since then undergone an exciting journey from being a shipping and industrial city to becoming a creative hub for innovation.

Gothenburg was appointed the Culinary Capital of Sweden 2012 and has strengthened its reputation as a gastronomic hotspot in Northern Europe. The closeness to the sea results in top-quality, fresh fish and seafood and there is a strong tradition among local chefs to work with locally produced and seasonal raw ingredients.

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Catch of the day. Lobster safari on the West coast arranged by Brygghuset inn. (Credits: Fredrik Broman/imagebank.sweden.se)

The West Coast stretches from Gothenburg to the border of Norway. Thousands of islands dot the coastline known for its smooth and sculptured granite rocks, quaint little fishing villages and bustling, boating lifestyle. West Coast fish markets and shops offer a wide range of fish, fresh shrimp, in-season lobster, rope-farmed mussels, crab, an occasional octopus, and perhaps, most delicious of all, langoustine. Supremely juicy flesh and with a multi-layered taste, it is finger-lickingly-good and needs no company on the plate.

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The West Coast (Credits: Henrik Trygg/imagebank.sweden.se)

The islands are one of Europe’s most beautiful archipelagos. They comprise around 10,000 beautiful granite islets, rendered almost smooth during the ice age. Idyllic villages have sprung up all along the coastlines of these fascinating islands. Marstrand Island boasts Carlstens fortress and is also known for its party scene and international sailing events.

Have you ever been on an oyster safari? The round, flat ”Ostrea edulis” was the only oyster species in Europe until the late 1800s, and grows in Sweden from Varberg in the south to Strömstad in the north. In Grebbestad and nearby towns, there are opportunities to go out with the boats and dive for oysters, and of course down your catch.

In Gothenburg – and along the west coast – there’s a great number of destinations for seafood lovers. The Michelin starred restaurant Sjömagasinet on the Gothenburg harbour opened in 1984, presenting a combination of truly traditional seafood servings, as well as a menu of more creative dishes.

At Thörnströms Kök and Kock & Vin, two of Gothenburg’s five Michelin starred restaurants, you will find a modern, Scandinavian and regional cuisine, while the recently opened restaurant Bhoga represents a new generation of innovative kitchen teams that work in intimate cooperation with one of the country’s most responsive cocktail bartenders and sommeliers. At the extremely popular restaurant vRÅ head Chef Frida Ronge, silver medalist at the Sushi World Cup, serves excellent, fresh and beautiful sushi and sashimi using only fish from the North Atlantic.

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Frida Ronge & Team at vRÅ

The success of Sweden as the new culinary nation continues with the naming of Gothenburg as host city for the World Food Travel Summit in September 2013. The theme of this year’s Summit is ”The New Wave in Food Tourism”. The goal of the biennial Summit is to create a forum for dialogue and exchange of knowledge and learn about emerging trends in food tourism.

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