photography by PHUONG NGUYEN
You know IKEA as the one-stop-shop for flat-folding furniture with eternally difficult to pronounce names. But did you know that it also has a pretty great supermarket? We’re not talking about the cafeteria (the cinnamon rolls are truly things of beauty) but the authentic Swedish food market that sells everything from pancakes to seaweed pearls. To save you the cost of an airplane ticket to Sweden, we’ve rounded up the best products you can buy from the market to get a taste of the country’s cuisine.
After gaining notoriety for the addition of a certain unsavoury ingredient in 2013, IKEA’s frozen meatballs are back and enjoying a much less controversial existence these days. They’re ideal for a quick weeknight dinner, just heat them up and serve over mashed potatoes with a cream-based gravy —which you can also purchase at IKEA. Tradition also calls for the addition of Lingonberry jam (see below).
Dryck Flӓder (Elderflower Syrup)
Elderflower syrup is the exotic-sounding addition to your summer beverage menu you didn’t know you needed. It’s made from elderberry bush flowers and is super sweet, so be sure to dilute it. Mix with seltzer water for a spritzer or with a gin and tonic for a quick, no-fuss cocktail.
Sylt Lingon (Lingonberry Jam)
Lingonberry jam is the best thing to come out of Sweden since ABBA. It’s by far one of the most popular things from IKEA’s grocery store, and with good reason. The jam usually accompanies Swedish meatballs, but you can also get creative and spread it on anything from your morning toast to a baked cheese (such as brie or camembert) as a dinner party appetizer.
Sill Matjes (Pickled Herring Fillets)
For those unfamiliar with Scandinavian cuisine, you may be hesitant to try this dish. Rest assured though, it’s a Swedish delicacy and IKEA sells it in several varieties (if the fillets aren’t for you, try the marinated onion and carrot or dill options). As a bonus, the company’s fish products are all sustainably farmed.
As one reviewer succinctly put it, “I could eat my way into a diabetic coma on those Daim bars.” Sold in-store, Daim bars are Swedish candies made from a crunchy almond toffee covered in milk chocolate, and they are amazing.
Müsli (Muesli With Berries)
Switch up your breakfast routine with a healthy mix of oats, pumpkin seeds, cornflakes, and a variety of berries.
Pepparkakor (Ginger Thins)
These traditional Swedish cookies are typically made around Christmas, but try them once and you’ll be hooked year-round. They closely resemble ginger snaps and are the perfect cookie for those who don’t like baked goods that are too sweet.
Marmelad Apelsin & Flӓder (Orange & Elderflower Marmalade)
Allow us to introduce you to your new favorite condiment. This marmalade is made with simple ingredients yet tastes decidedly luxurious. It’ll dress up a dessert or breakfast spread in no time.
Lax Varmrökt (Hot Smoked Salmon, Frozen)
This product is one of IKEA’s US food manager, Gerd Diewald’s, all-time favorites, so you know it has to be good. Serve with a dill sauce like this one for maximum flavor.
IKEA’s breakfast-at-any-time philosophy is definitely one we can get behind. Serve these light and fluffy pancakes warm with jam and a dollop of whipped cream.
Knӓckebröd Råg (Rye Crispbread)
Swap out your usual snack food for this healthier, multigrain option. It doesn’t have much of a flavor, making it the perfect base for your favorite cheese or jam. Honorable mention for best cracker goes to the Skorpor Kardemumma (cardamom crisp rolls).
Ost Herrgård & Ost Prӓst (Semi-hard Cheeses)
When it comes to cheeses, we couldn’t pick just one. Both of these will be excellent additions to your cheeseboards and complements to the aforementioned crispbread. Herrgård is a rich and nutty cheese, while Prӓst is sharper and tangier.