Swedish cuisine

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Swedish cuisine tends to be practical and sustaining but due to Sweden's large north-south extent there have been regional differences. Historically, in the far North, meats such as reindeer, and other (semi-) game dishes were eaten, some which have their roots in the Sami culture, while fresh vegetables have played a larger role in the South. Many traditional dishes employ simple, contrasting flavours; such as the traditional dish of hearty meatballs and gravy with tart, pungent lingonberry jam (slightly similar in taste to cranberry sauce). Although many traditional dishes are simple, the cuisine is in large parts similar to many other European cuisines.

Swedes have traditionally been very open to foreign influences, ranging from French cuisine during the 17th and 18th century, to the sushi and cafe latte of today. Many Swedish restaurateurs mix traditional husmanskost (see below) with a modern, gourmet approach. On the fast food side, pizza has been an integral part of Swedish culture since the 1960s. Twenty years later, the same could be said about kebab and falafel, as many small restaurants specialise in such dishes.

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