Smaka på Värmland, the Taste of Värmland festival, is where local producers (and their biggest fans) from throughout Värmland come together over a weekend in Autumn to celebrate the culinary culture of this Swedish region. This was the first year I’d been to the event in the Mariebergsskogen park on the shores of Lake Vänern. The weather also played its part; it was a perfect Autumn day. The sun was out but there was a slight nip in the air, signalling the arrival of the new season.
The festival had local produce from various regions of Värmland and of all different varieties. Värmland is a region with a large amount of forest and having lived here for a few years now, both in rural and urban areas, it seems to me that food from the forest and the lakes plays a large role in culinary culture here. For example, berries and salmon are very popular, and there’s a big emphasis on local sourcing of products. If it’s made in Värmland, then that’s definitely a good thing.
Most stalls offered the chance to sample the produce before buying. Smaka på Värmland offered up plenty of lingonberries and local salmon, even combining the two in some rather interesting salmon and cloudberry pierogi. Then there was also plenty of cheese, including a delicious smoked goat cheese from the Finnskog region close to the Swedish-Norwegian border. In addition to these delicacies there were fruit and vegetables, potato chips, pressed apple juice, freshly baked bread, pralines, cakes and treats, and also some Asian and Middle Eastern delicacies. I bought some Berbere (an Ethiopian spice used for cooking) and tasted some delicious falafel.
There was plenty here both for carnivores and vegetarians. Meat lovers were loving this roasted lamb.
I skipped the lamb and snuck past to Esters Cafe where there were some amazing sweet treats awaiting. Delicious meringues, slices, cupcakes and pies were on display. I picked a blueberry pie with lemon and white chocolate. Incredibly rich, but I managed to finish it!
The fruit and vegetable displays also made for some lovely picture opportunities, like these root vegetables below.
Smaka på Värmland was held 24-25 September this year at Mariebergsskogen. Entry cost 80 SEK per person. Inside, if you made the most of free sampling then you wouldn’t need to pay a thing, but all the sights and smells made it impossible not to grab something! My grand total was 130 SEK (50 SEK + the entry fee). I bought my Berbere (Ethiopian spice) for 15 SEK, as well as my blueberry pie for 35 SEK. Not bad! A full meal here could be purchased for well under 100 SEK.
Most stalls took card payments, and if not then they took Swish (an app that allows you to instantly transfer money to another’s bank account by simply entering their phone number).
Have you been to Smaka på Värmland, or another Autumn food festival in Sweden? What was your experience?