Leif Erikson Day is often (wrongfully) overlooked as a holiday because it’s unclear how to celebrate it and some people don’t even know who this dude was.
First, let’s get the facts: Leif was an 11th century Norse explorer who came to the New World about 500 years before Columbus. And his dad was none other than legendary Viking explorer Erik the Red, hence Leif’s last name “Erik-son.” I see what you did there…To celebrate Leif’s general badassery, feast your eyes on the deliciousness of these Scandinavian foods.
Icelandic Hot Dog
Yup, hot dogs are seriously on this list. But this Icelandic fare is not your typical dawg. It’s mostly lamb mixed with some pork and beef, hence the excellent flavor. The best part is that hot dogs are an all-day thing in Iceland, so shameless snacking is encouraged.
These Norwegian pastries translate as “school buns” because they are often packed as part of school lunches. The buns are baked with caradamom, a key spice in Scandinavian cooking, filled with vanilla custard and topped with sugar, coconut and a jam of your choice.
Raggmunk with Bacon and Lingonberries
Raggmunk are Swedish potato pancakes, and this recipe tops them off with crispy bacon and lingonberries. You can’t get much more Scandinavian than lingonberries (if you’ve ever been to the IKEA food court, you understand), and Swedes consistently vote raggmunk as a favorite among Swedish meals.
Kladdkaka Chocolate Cake
This traditional Swedish dessert translates as “chocolate sticky cake,” or you could just call it ooey gooey perfection. Whatever you call it, we all know chocolate is the international language of love, so no worries there.
Kvikklunsji with Apples and Mascarpone Cream
Kvikklunsji means KitKat, so this apple compote recipe just got super exciting. And you can tell this is obviously Norwegian because the dish is submerged in snow, like all things in Norway. Duh.
This traditional Danish dish means “burning love” — a completely justifiable name given that it’s basically mashed potatoes topped with apples, onions and crispy bacon. Let me repeat: there is bacon.
Swedish semlor are cardamon-infused buns, filled with an almond and cream paste, and topped with powdered sugar. They are known as lent buns because they are usually available from Christmas to Easter.