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  • Milk Shed Cafe

Smørrebrød vs Smörgåsbord

Updated: Aug 3, 2022

Opening a Scandinavian cafe in the heart of Suffolk means we need to know our 'Danish open sandwiches' from our 'Swedish array of small dishes' which is exactly what the two words in the title of this article mean in a nutshell (mmm... 'nutshell' may have just confused the issue!?)

Pic features (foreground) Tarragon pesto smørrebrød and (background) Carrot gravadlax smørrebrød

With Scandinavia often referred to for the similarities across its countries: Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, as well as Finland and Iceland are all considered to be cooperative, happy, minimalistic and balanced (see our previous article) that talks about the World Happiness Report), it's also important to remember that there are differences in languages, in traditions and food:

Smörgåsbord is a Swedish meal; quite a lavish spread of cold dishes, served buffet-style.
Smørrebrød is a Danish open-faced sandwich usually eaten daily with a knife and fork.

Interestingly, The Danish word smørrebrød and Swedish smörgås both have the same meaning 'buttered bread' - an important component of any Scandinavian cuisine - but that's where the similarities end. The Danes have been eating smørrebrød since ancient times, but in the late 1800s they began to develop into more sophisticated culinary delights!

Our new summer menu features a whole host of open sandwiches and there's something for everyone with bases of:

  • roast beef,

  • prawns and egg,

  • smoked salmon,

  • gammon and cheese,

  • tarragon pesto and

  • carrot gravadlax.

Each one generously piled with the most delicious seasonal ingredients - you'll definitely need your knife and fork!

Pic features roast beef

So, if you fancy a change from your cheese and pickle, why not join us, slow things down and lunch Scandi-style. Pick up your knife and fork and tuck into a delicious smørrebrød of your choice and enjoy those fika feels?

New Recipe feature

We're going to be sharing a recipe or two, straight from Surrey, our amazing chef! Our roast beef smørrebrød features pickled beetroot as one of its elements - here's how it's done:


• 2kg beets

• olive oil

• salt

• 1/2 cup sugar (granulated or caster is fine)

• about 4/5 cups distilled white vinegar

• tsp peppercorns

• 5/6 all spice berries

• tbsp fennel seeds

• 2 star anise

• 2 bay leaves

• a large glass jar, like a mason jar or a big old gherkin jar - whatever you’ve got around - thoroughly washed and dried so it’s sterilised


• top & tail beets then roast in oil & salt, covered tightly with tin foil for about 1.5 hours (until you can fairly easily stick a knife through them)

• peel all the skin off ya beets

• in a pan add the vinegar, sugar and all the spices and bring to a boil, making sure all the sugar has dissolved

• slice up the beets however you like - we’ve used a mandoline to get little strips but you can slice dice or whatever you like

• stick all your beets in the sterilised jar and pour over the hot pickling liquor

• seal it up and leave for at least a day before eating! Well, you can eat them before but they won’t be quite as tasty

Open Wednesday to Sunday, 9am to 3pm, the Milk Shed Cafe offers a fresh, seasonal menu of hot and cold food, speciality locally-roasted coffee and a range of teas and fresh pastries. There is also a Scandi Pantry offering a range of Scandinavian food and homewares to take away and enjoy between visits. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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