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DALARNA has many facets – a beautiful, ever-changing landscape, a rich cultural heritage and powerful industry. There are many places worth visiting and tourism is important. But Dalarna also has a dynamic economy, with many examples of entrepreneurship and innovation. This book takes you on a culinary journey, with an insight into the culture of the region, accompanied by good food. You get to meet some of the local artists and learn about the traditions, art and music of the region. Bo Masser tells of this magic landscape. Bruno Ehrs took the wonderful pictures. And Görgen Tidén provided the recipes and the food.

Bo Masser Görgen Tidén Photos Bruno Ehrs

3774-Smak av Dalarna_Omslag.indd 2

2012-03-30 10.16

A Taste of Dalarna Bo Masser Görgen Tidén Photos Bruno Ehrs

Dalarna is Sweden in miniature, with forests, lakes, rivers and mountains. In the south are small towns built around ironworks dating back several hundred years, and the countryside is dotted with cottages painted “falu red” based on iron pigment. It is a beautiful and ever-changing landscape. Those of us living here gladly share what we have with others. We are proud of our region, there are many interesting places to visit, and we respect our traditions. Midsummer is the high point of the summer season, and Vasaloppet, the world’s longest (90 kilometers/56 miles) cross-country skiing race, is one of winter’s big sports festivals, but there are many more interesting experiences awaiting you in Dalarna. Dalarna is one of Sweden’s most dynamic areas, with a wealth of industry that exports to the global market. Raw materials come from the forest and mountains in the area, but the products are sold all over the world. Entrepreneurship and innovation are key words in ­describing Dalarna’s industries. Tourism is also ­important and is another of our main sources of income. The Dala horse – the beloved painted wooden horse from Dalarna – has become synonymous with Sweden and is the symbol of our country around the world. When Carl von Linné (Linnaeus) traveled around Dalarna in 1734, he wrote, “the people of Dalarna eat a lot of bread, but very little meat and cheese”. He also noted that “their meat and food come mostly from the forest and include fish, fowl, reindeer, moose and other wild game.” Much of that is still true today. Crispbread is our most important kind of bread, and the forests in our region provide wonderful raw materials for our local cuisine. In this book, “A Taste of Dalarna”, we are going on a culinary journey through the countryside. We will introduce you to good food made with ingredients from Dalarna’s own pantry and inspired by the land­scape and our rich culture. Just like art and music, the cuisine of the area is based on tradition, but it is under constant development, and new dishes are being created all the time. I hope that you will be inspired to try some of these dishes in your own kitchen. Have a great meal!

Maria Norrfalk County Governor


“the people of Dalarna eat a lot of bread but very little meat and cheese�

Dalarna – a place to return to When you hear the name, you already long to be here. Dalarna. There is something special awaiting beyond the hills. Take route 80 up to the crest and over the hills. Dalarna spreads out before you with its magnificent views – the valleys, the lakes, the glades, the marshes and the meadows in full bloom. Dalarna is casting its spell over you. Dalarna is a plural entity – more than one, and no one knows just how many. Dan Andersson’s ballads tell of Grangärde in the west. There’s char and reindeer in northern Idre. You can hear echos of Tony Rickardsson’s speedway in Avesta, and rockabilly folk gather in the eastern valley of Enviken. Rye and other grain are cultivated here. The crispbread belt meets flatbread country at Lake Siljan. This landscape produces sausages with

­ rotected names, and a record amount of blue­ p berry soup is cooked in winter, while butter is churned in local farms all summer. Visions have been painted here – both of the real and the literary Jerusalem, of the road to ­heaven in the local theater, and of peace and love at the biggest festival in Sweden. The poetry of Erik Axel Karlfeldt belongs here, just like the dance band week in Orrskogen, the fiddler festival in Bingsjö and the joyful sounds of the Borlänge band Mando Diao. People come from far and wide to Classic Car Week and to Dalhalla to listen to Kalle Moraeus play. How do you get to know Dalarna? There’s something beyond the hills.

The fine crystal What is the limit of our deepest longing? Some might say Avesta – others stretch as far as Grövel­ sjön. Mine extends to the mines and cairns of Kallmora. That’s where Grandma Olga lived during the summer, and old lady Brändin, who walked while she knitted, and sang as she led her cows through the town on their way home for the evening milking. When you saw smoke rising from the baking shed down at Ors – then you knew that Amanda’s delicious sweet buns would soon be ready. Aunt Amanda’s buns spread with butter just beginning to melt are a culinary delight that can be compared only to the soft, very chewy Orsa flatbread, made from bitter barley flour and starchy potatoes. Trout fishing with Papa and his brothers. As the sun sank slowly into the brown-black waters of the lake, the gnats were biting and our boots slid about in the mud. You’re supposed to take a freshly caught trout, gut it, sprinkle it with salt, roll it in wet newspaper and place it right on the fire. When the paper turns to charcoal, it’s time to open it and eat the fish straight from the packet! In the mid-1970s, when Uncle Lasse asked me if I wanted to move up to Orsa and work with him professionally making grindstones, I didn’t dare, even though I had learned the craft, as my father and uncles had after Grandfather Masser-Erik. If I moved up there, what would I then long for? Now every summer I sit in the middle of the town of Kallmora, not far from Orsa. The people have the same last names as their farms: Jugas, Difslova, Holting, Erkapers, Masser, Lofs, Rustas,


Orfs and Brändin. One man sticks out as different – his name is Johansson. He came from Småland, and everyone called him “the new guy”. When I was little, I was called Masser-Bo by all the old folks in town. According to the old naming custom, I should be called Masser-Bo Holgersson. And now it is midsummer. My mother-in-law is in a hurry to start celebrating. It is important to get the best benches, otherwise you have to sit far up on the hillside to be able to see anything at all. Midsummer in Skattungbyn. As an American who sat beside us a few years ago said (as he shoved his Stetson back on his neck): “This is awesome!” The youth chorus is tuning up. Clear clean voices mix with cracking teen-age throats as they sing, “The fine crystal”.

And if I journey to the end of the world my heart will call for you. Everyone has longings. Dalarna. The ox dance, as performed by Våmhus folk dance group, isn’t child’s play – it’s a duel, with groaning and moaning and tempo. From above Ollars in Skattungbyn, you can see to the north for miles around. Beyond the maypole, there’s an endless, billowing inland sea of pine forest. Ingmar Bergman liked places like this. In black and white. The fine crystal – we can just catch a glimpse of Lake Skattungen.

Salt herring and wild raspberries We lay fat, whole salt herring directly onto the grill – they’ve been only lightly soaked after their stay in the barrel. Grandmother Olga cooks them on a rack over the coals at the bottom of her woodburning stove. The herring skin is charcoaled, and the salt in the flesh has been drawn out and turned into white crystals. Take a piece of soft flatbread, spread it with butter, mash a hot boiled potato on it and top it with herring. Then roll it up and enjoy! It’s called different things in different dialects, but everyone understands delicious! Dialects used to be so different from one town to another that people living in relatively close proximity did not always understand one another. When artist Anders Zorn was 12, he went to Enköping to attend school, and he had to learn proper Swedish. No one understood the Mora dialect. Nothing tastes like wild raspberries still warm from the sun eaten with only a splash of rich milk. Flavor nostalgia – a yearning for flavors and aromas. Researchers who have studied reactions to food aromas say that smell is our strongest, earliest and perhaps least understood sense, and it belongs to the most primitive part of the brain. We remember the tantalizing aromas of Grandma’s sweet rolls, of sausages cooking over an open fire, and of creamy vanilla ice cream. There is an entire industry that is aware of this and makes good money from our cravings. But that is another story.

A journeyman returns home Our story tells of an artist with longings. For many years, chef Görgen Tidén was a kind of journeyman, working at many different restaurants. He felt limited all the time – hampered by commercial and technical constraints, or just silly trends that he had to adapt to. Finally, he realized that he needed to listen to his inner voice and return to his roots. His childhood summers in Jämtland had given him a feeling of closeness to nature and its purity. And he wanted to create his own palette – to paint with his spectrum of flavors. Eventually Görgen started working at Hotel Lerdals­höjden in Rättvik and became chef at the hotel restaurant. Görgen doesn’t care about the food industry’s flavor research room and innovative triumphs. Others will have to build their international reputations on technical jellies, froths and aromatic


gases. Görgen is an artist who knows his own flavor map and expects his guests to do the same, or at least be capable of something in that direction. And he respects us. So Görgen moved to Vikarbyn and began riding his moped to his job in Rättvik. The detours got longer and longer. Elinor in the kitchen was always angry that he never showed up in time for lunch. His longings and a moped take him on a voyage of discovery that has only just begun.

Inland ice and great potatoes Görgen Tidén stands in the courtyard of his farm in Vikarbyn. Lake Siljan is just below, and the forest extends up the hills surrounding the lake. He notes that almost all the hilltops are worn down to approxi­ mately the same height, around 600 meters above sea level, because of the inland ice. The forests ­surrounding Lake Siljan are punctuated with mead­ ows, fields and pasture. The landscape feels open, with the forest providing the background. Lake Siljan was formed by a meteorite that struck around 360 million years ago, and its crater is one of the largest in Europe. Around it are rocks that rarely see the light of day, including chalk and sandstone from primeval sea floors. You can see sediment layers quite clearly at Styggforsen falls. But the forest is more than just a background. Dalarna consists of up to 70 % barren moraine soil, where the only plants that grow well are fir trees. Since most roads go through Dalarna’s farming district, people think that farms make up a large part of the area. But that is misleading, as only 4 percent of the land is used for farming. There are huge swamps and most people know about them. The biggest is Koppången, and Per-Erik Moraeus wrote a song about it. To the north are mountains with their own special ecosystem. The inland ice created many ridges. Those made up of boulders have a north-south orientation, while moraine ridges were plowed in front of the ice. The massive ice polished the rock and created a mineral-rich moraine layer. For the most part, all of Dalarna is a valley. Almost all water run-off is collected in the two main rivers that meet in Djurås to become the mighty Dala river. Silt with low clay content was deposited along the banks during the ice age, and now this sandy earth is perfect for growing potatoes and root vegetables.

Working as a Dalkulla Leksand native Daniel Grönstedt (1806–76) became Stockholm’s cognac king, and at his shop in the old town, there was a list of employees that included bookkeeper, cashier, Dalkulla (local dialect for a woman from Dalarna), salesclerks and workmen. Who else could be considered so industrious and hard-working that her local identity could be considered her profession? Women from Dalarna tended the rowboats and paddlewheel boats in Stockholm’s waters. These served as water taxis or ferries during the 1800s and were called kullboats after the Dalkulla. Many women also traveled to central Sweden to work in fledgling industries there. An important subject in the paintings of Anders Zorn was the bottle washer at the breweries of the time. His own mother, who came from Uppsala, was one of them. Hair workers migrated from Våmhus to other countries in Europe to make hair jewelry. They couldn’t bring home heavy souvenirs, so they brought with them colorful Ukrainian, ­German and Polish shawls, which you can still see worn with the Våmhus regional costume today. Even now, women from Dalarna are out in the world. Artist Britt-Marie Nilsson in Mora, “Britta in Dalarna” takes the richly decorative floral painting typical of Dalarna to new heights – bold, daring and beautiful, yet still traditional and recognizable as such, but now on pillows, trays and prints. On internet fashion blogs, there’s a lot to read about Nygårds-Anna Bengtsson from Garsås, and you can do it in Japanese, English or German. She creates clothing with details taken from folk


costumes and other traditional dress in a blend of modern and timeless. Textile artist Lina Rickardsson’s business, Pappe­ lina, has been a rocket in the international design field. From the heart of Dalarna, she delivers her appealing plastic rugs woven in Djurås. Plastic rugs – that doesn’t sound very appealing, but they take your breath away with their colors and shapes. They are both pure and playful at the same time, and they have humor!

Women with visions One woman, who really placed Dalarna on the map of the world, was Selma Lagerlöf. During her most productive years, she lived in Falun, which became the setting for many stories. Her big breakthrough work ”Jerusalem” was about farmers from the town of Nås who emigrated to the holy city. While she lived there, Falun was blanketed in sulfur fumes from the mines, and the surroundings were a rocky wilderness. But great artist that she was, she found her inspiration there and in the beautiful changing landscape. She expressed the full range of human emotion in her works, and even if her works were not always so easy to understand, they were eminently readable. Wilhelmina Skogh (1850–1926) saw potential for a hotel, restaurant and tourist industry in Dalarna. In the 1890s, right after the Gävle-FalunRättvik railway was completed, she took over the management of Rättvik’s tourist hotel, as well as hotels in Bollnäs, Storvik and other towns along

Very masculine If the Dalkulla represented the industrious woman, then no man would want to be called a Dalmas as his profession. Mas comes from the Swedish word masa, which means to move slowly or loiter. Both of these terms, mas and kulla, were used almost throughout Sweden generations ago. The former was a term for slowpokes and lazybones, the latter for women and even for hornless female animals. In the middle of the 1800s, calling someone a dalmas was like calling him a clown. Do you think that people might have been a little jealous? In the 1800s, there was a lot of activity in southern Dalarna; the landscape bore evidence of back­breaking work in the mines and on the farms. Much of Sweden’s economic growth and industrialization took place here. For hundreds of years, the Great Copper Mountain mine in Falun was Sweden’s most important source of income. No one knows how long copper has been mined in Falun. As early as 1347, the mining and production of copper was so extensive that King Magnus Eriksson was forced to issue a list of rules for organizing work at the mine. Mountain men and others who worked in what are today called the service industries began to settle down and build a town around the mine. Soon Falun became Sweden’s second largest city and was granted its charter in 1641. Copper was exported all over Europe. Versailles, outside of Paris, is one of many palaces with a roof made of copper sheeting from Falun. The mine is a dangerous workplace, and the ­sulfur fumes emitted in the processing of the ore


killed all vegetation between the mine and the town. Techniques finally improved by the beginning of the 1900s. The enormous piles of slag that resulted have been used to fill in wetlands around the river and as building material. What once may have been Sweden’s oldest bakery, Hammars on Åsgatan, now a pizzeria, was built after the city fires of 1761 in brick made of slag.

World heritage and sausage Such a large and important place of work as Falu mine needed many workers and attracted immi­ grants from abroad, including many Germans. In addition to being able to dig for copper, they could also make sausages. When they saw all the beef that was left over after rope-making at the mine, they developed the falukorv sausage. Ropes were needed for elevators and hoists for both men and ore, and in order to make them strong enough, they were made of beef hide. So much rope was needed that people drove cattle down from Småland to the heart of Dalarna. We can only imagine our beloved falukorv sausage’s fantastic history. In his restaurant, called Görgen på Höjden, the chef uses the falukorv sausage in many ways and speaks with great enthusiasm of all the variations produced by different sausagemakers. He likes to use it in a modern way. While others dry expensive ham to crispy chips, he transforms the sausage into delicious chips and uses them in a lovely salad. But he also likes to serve falukorv sausages in the oldfashioned way – fried with all the trimmings!

Dalarna in shades of white Steelgray! You can’t call the heavens anything else, says Görgen Tidén as he stands in the farmyard, high up in Vikarbyn. Lake Siljan is black as a bottom­less crater, and the surrounding mountains are only a little lighter. A few sparse, wet snowflakes are falling onto the grass as tiny dots of white. There’s a little more activity down on the main road as the odd car passes by early in the morning. The street lamps spread only a weak cone of light into the air. Görgen admits that it’s time to give the moped a rest, but he can still think about all the expeditions he will make next summer. Maybe he should buy a snowscooter? The moped is impossible to use on snowy hills, but a snow­ scooter, yes! And he can ride it almost everywhere, even over the bay to Rättvik, when the ice is thick enough. Now it’s time to get to work, as he has a busy day ahead. A conference with 43 participants and only one vegetarian and two lactose-intolerant. They will be served the menu from the county governor’s residence. Wilhelmina’s vegetable table with different kinds of beautiful cabbages, onions, carrots and some pickled mushrooms. Then Maria Norrfalk’s moose with root vegetables and Selma’s pear dessert. After a few years in Dalarna, Görgen knows what to expect. After the dark days of November, the snow comes and blankets the landscape with a silent white robe that never gets dark. At night,


the stars and sometimes the moon make the whole area visible. If the clouds hang low, the light from street lamps and cabins is reflected in the snow. Lakes Siljan and Runn are both plowed. Long distance skaters come from Stockholm, the Netherlands and Germany to try out their blades. The quality of the ice is stable and good, so everyone can expect to race with no problems at all. The ­skaters enjoy the cold biting at their cheeks and they find their own rhythm. Balance and harmony with ice, snow and crisp clear air. The white landscape is like a desert in nature. Almost all water is frozen or at least difficult to reach. Reindeer, roedeer and hares have a hard time finding food. Görgen knows that when he goes icefishing, he will catch some fine pike. Pretty soon the ski trails and slopes will open. Skiing in Dalarna attracts people from all over the country, and they come by car, charter bus and train.

The right kind of winter Sälen goes through the most unusual metamorphosis every year. It is a small but well-known town with


652 official residents. The yearly White Guide, which lists the best restaurants in Sweden, features nine places in Sälen. That’s one good restaurant per 72 permanent inhabitants! When the autumn darkness is broken by glisten­ ing snow crystals, telephones begin to ring. Home pages are compared and emails are sent, and the town prepares for an onslaught. Slopes, trails, ski-schools, lifts, coffee shops, a mountain church, ski rentals, snow cannons, afterski places, pizza, movies and cabin rentals. The world’s longest cross-country ski race, Vasaloppet, takes place in Sälen. Almost the same transformation takes place in Romme, Bursås, Gesunda, Idre and many other places. Everything is ready when we get there, including some of Sweden’s best chefs and restaurateurs.

T  he dining room at the home of artist Anders Zorn. With the world as his workplace, Anders Zorn was a shining star in his time. When he and Emma lived and traveled abroad, whether in Paris, America, Turkey or Madrid, they always longed for Mora, Midsummer and Dalarna, where they built the home of their dreams.

Zorn’s three plates with herring and caviar A classic starter that suits most occasions. 4 servings

Pickled herring – basic recipe 8 salt herring fillets 2 red onions 1 carrot 1/2 leek

Brine 1 dl (1/3 cup) 12 % vinegar 2 dl (2/3 cup) sugar 3 dl (1 cup) water 1 tablespoon allspice berries 1 tablespoon cloves

Herring with fresh herbs Half the herring from the above recipe

Herb sauce

1. Soak the herring to remove most of the salt. That should take around 6 hours. 2. W  hile the herring is soaking, make the brine. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat to boiling, stirring to dissolve the sugar. 3. R  emove from the heat. Peel and slice the vegetables. Add to the warm brine and let cool. 4. L ayer herring and vegetables in a jar and pour over the brine. Refrigerate for at least 5 days before serving. 5. R  emove the herring from the brine and save half for the next dish. Cut into 2 cm (3/4 inch) slices and serve on small plates.

1. P  luck the leaves from all the herbs and place them in a blender. Add the crème fraiche. Blend until finely chopped. Fold in the mayonnaise. 2. R  emove half the herring from the brine, cut into 2 cm (3/4 inch) slices and stir into the herb sauce. 3. S  erve on small plates.

1/2 pot chives 1/2 pot flat-leaf parsley 1/2 pot fresh basil 1/2 pot tarragon 2 tablespoons crème fraiche or sour cream 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Whitefish caviar 4 tablespoons whitefish caviar 1 red onion

To serve Fäbod crispbread Gullan or Västerbotten cheese


 lace a tablespoon of caviar on each plate. Cut the 1. P onion into thin slices and place on the caviar. 2. S  erve with a spoonful of the herb-crème fraiche mixture.

Fäbod crispbread and Gullan or Västerbotten cheese are essential accompaniments to herring and whitefish caviar.

Olive ciabatta 30 rolls

4 dl (1 2/3 cups) water, 37 °C (98 °F) 50 g (1 3/4 ounces) fresh yeast 1 dl (1/3 cup) olive oil 2 tablespoons sea salt 600 g (4 cups) bread flour 50 g (around 1/4 cup) pitted black olives 1 pot basil 1. Combine the water, yeast, oil and salt and stir until the yeast dissolves. 2. Add the flour and knead in a mixer equipped with dough hooks until the dough is very elastic (gluten threads appear). 3. Chop the olives and basil and add. Let the machine work the dough for a couple more minutes. The olives must not be chopped too finely. 4. Turn out onto a baking board, sprinkle with flour, cover and let rise for 25 minutes. 5. Preheat the oven to 300°C (600°F). Cut the dough into 5 cm (2 inch) lengths and place on a baking sheet. Let rise for 10 minutes more. 6. Bake for around 5 minutes.

Walnut and raisin rolls 30 rolls

4 1/2 dl (2 cups) water, 37 °C (98 °F) 50 g (1 3/4 ounces) fresh yeast 1/2 dl (3 1/2 tablespoons) olive oil 2 tablespoons sea salt 100 g (3 1/2) ounces sourdough (see page 56) 150 g (1 cup) durum wheat flour 500 g (3 1/3 cups) bread flour 70 g (2/3 cup) chopped walnuts 70 g (1/2 cup) golden raisins 1. Combine the water, yeast, oil and salt and stir until the yeast dissolves, Add the sourdough. 2. Add the flour and knead in a mixer equipped with dough hooks until the dough is very elastic (gluten threads appear). 3. Add the nuts and raisins. 4. Turn out onto a baking board, cover and let rise for 25 minutes. 5. Preheat the oven to 300°C (600°F). Divide the dough into 30 pieces of equal size and place on a baking sheet. Bake for around 8 minutes.


French meringues with cloudberry sorbet and fresh cloudberries This beautiful dessert is sweet, sour and crispy all at the same time. 4 servings

French meringue 50 g (1 3/4 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate 2 1/2 dl (1 cups) confectioner’s sugar 4 egg whites

Cloudberry sorbet

1. Preheat the oven to 130°C (180°F). 2. M  elt the chocolate in a stainless steel bowl over a water bath, stirring often. When it is melted, set the chocolate aside but leave the water bath on the burner. 3. P  lace the sugar in another stainless steel bowl. 4. A  dd the egg whites and place over the water bath. 5. B  eat constantly until the temperature measures 64°C (187°F) on a candy thermometer. 6. R  emove the bowl from the water bath and beat with an electric mixture until the mixture has cooled. 7. F old in the melted chocolate. Do not mix too much, as there should be chocolate streaks in the meringue. 8. L ine a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon the meringue into 4 mounds. Bake for around 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 100°C (210°F) and bake for 8 minutes more. Open the oven for 2 minutes. 9. B  ake for 8 minutes more. Remove from the oven and let cool.

1. B  lend the berries and press through a sieve using the back of a spoon to extract as much juice as possible.  ombine the cloudberry puree with the sugar syrup 500 g (1 1/4 pounds) fresh cloudberries 2. C and the lemon juice. (or orange raspberries, which look 3. F reeze in an ice cream machine. similar) 4. B  reak each meringue into pieces and place on plates. 3 1/2 dl (1 1/2 cups) sugar syrup, Top with sorbet and garnish with berries. see page 104

Juice of 1 lemon

Garnish 100 g (4 ounces) fresh cloudberries (or orange raspberries)





DALARNA has many facets – a beautiful, ever-changing landscape, a rich cultural heritage and powerful industry. There are many places worth visiting and tourism is important. But Dalarna also has a dynamic economy, with many examples of entrepreneurship and innovation. This book takes you on a culinary journey, with an insight into the culture of the region, accompanied by good food. You get to meet some of the local artists and learn about the traditions, art and music of the region. Bo Masser tells of this magic landscape. Bruno Ehrs took the wonderful pictures. And Görgen Tidén provided the recipes and the food.

Bo Masser Görgen Tidén Photos Bruno Ehrs

3774-Smak av Dalarna_Omslag.indd 2

2012-03-30 10.16


THE FOOD, THE PLACE AND THE PEOPLE Bo Masser Görgen Tidén Photos Bruno Ehrs Bo Masser Photos Bruno Ehrs Görgen Tidén I hope that you will be...