Husmanskost is a direct translation of the German Hausmannskost, which means home-cooked everyday fare. The term was previously used when the prices of inns were regulated. Husmanskost was served to servants accompanying the gentry and was, according to the regulations, to consist of good, cheap and well-prepared peasant fare. 

Of course, everyday fare varied depending on the location in the country, and so it remains, although borders have become blurred. Some dishes have also changed and been modernised.
   Falukorv is a sausage that originated in the province of Dalarna, where it was made from the meat of draught oxen used in the Falu copper mine. Today, falukorv is made from pork meat and is sold throughout the country. The province of Halland once had such an abundance of salmon that there was a special clause guaranteeing that servants need not eat salmon more than four times a week.  A century later, salmon was festive fare; today, almost all salmon is imported from Norway and is once again everyday fare.
   Renskav is a Sami dish. Thin slices of frozen reindeer meat are pan-fried with onion. Glödhoppar, fried salted slices of lamb, are a specialty of the island of Gotland, Öland has its kroppkaka, Småland its ostkaka, or cheesecake, which bears no likeness to the American kind. Äggakaka in Skåne is a kind of pork omelette.
West coast cod is today a luxury, but salt-boiled shrimp are still an affordable delicacy.

Pea soup with pork is said to have existed in Viking times and is traditionally eaten on Thursdays. On festive occasions, warm Swedish punch is drunk with it and the standing dessert is pancakes with jam. Fried pork with Swedish brown beans may not be to the taste of many foreigners, since the beans are boiled with treacle and vinegar. The sweet-sour beans compliment the salted pork nicely, though.
   Pytt-i-panna with fried egg and beetroot was once a practical way of disposing of leftovers. Nowadays it can be bought frozen and ready-to-eat. A posher variant is Biff à la Rydberg, which is made with fillet of beef.
   "Mum's" meatballs with cream gravy, mashed potatoes and lingonberries is a dish most people love. But all mums make them differently and family recipes abound. For Biff à la Lindström, beetroot and capers are mixed in the ground meat. Wallenbergare is a more festive ground beef on veal.
   Before the potato arrived in Europe, roots were very common. The swede was a staple. (The English term is testimony to its significance in our country.) Mashed Swedes is one of our oldest dishes, often served with sugar-salted pork or with beef.

Among the desserts, pancakes have already been mentioned. Plättar is the same thing, only smaller. A more uncommon plain-fare dessert is nyponsoppa, rose hip soup, made from the dried fruit of the wild rose. This soup is served cold, often with a dollop of whipped cream and little macaroons. Apple sauce, stewed rhubarb or berries with milk are also among the everyday desserts. Apple cake with vanilla sauce, lingonberry pears, which are fresh pears boiled with lingonberries, or hovdessert, which consists of meringues, whipped cream and chocolate sauce, are typical Sunday desserts.

©oenoforos. Christine Samuelson.