When it comes to equality, Stockholm is ranked highest in the World.. Parents are given 18 months of parental leave, which they typically share – paternity leave is nothing unusual in Sweden’s capital. But how do Stockholmers balance life and cooking without compromising their careers, family life, or a healthy lifestyle?
In Sweden, we are raised eating three cooked meals a day – we start the morning with homemade porridge for breakfast, then enjoy the daily special in the city for lunch, and we cook dinner from scratch at home after work. Everyday food is one thing on which not even stressed out Stockholmers are willing to compromise: on average, they cook more daily meals from scratch than the rest of the country.
Career meets home-cooked food
Dads in Sweden are taking more paternity leave each year, and this has been the trend for fifteen years. Stockholm is no exception. Dads happily go on paternity leave here, which brings with it greater responsibility for daily life in terms of cooking and all that it entails.
Peder Bergstrand is 33 and lives in a 50s-inspired apartment with his two kids, Julian and Selma, his wife Hanna, and two cats. They are a typical Stockholm family of 2014, and having equal choices and piecing together the puzzle of life are nothing unusual. He has been freelancing for the last three years, which has allowed greater freedom to manage daily life while maintaining quality.
“A balanced lifestyle is about problem-solving. Because I work from home, I can take more responsibility at home. I eat breakfast with the kids and drop them off at pre-school every morning. Then we take turns picking them up in the afternoon. And since I like to cook, I’m often the one who makes dinner,” says Peder Bergstrand.
Well-prepared food for everyone
To create balance in their lives, Stockholmers gladly accept help from the experts, and life became simpler for many people in 2008. That was the year that "The recipe bag" (Matkassen) was introduced. Instead of toiling to assemble exciting, varied daily meals yourself, a dietitian plans a five-day menu, and the recipe and ingredients are delivered straight to your doorstep.
The concept was an immediate success, and today, Stockholmers are big consumers of the home-delivered recipe bag, which even won Christmas Gift of the Year. Multiple companies deliver recipe bags today, and there is something for everyone – vegetarians, families with children, options for people with lactose intolerance, and a bag for people just seeking a bit of extra inspiration.
Another easy way to simplify daily life is to buy prepared meals or takeout. One of the latest trends is buying dinner from a restaurant and taking it home. An increasing number of acclaimed restaurants have expanded their offering and now offer takeout.
Restaurang Kött & Fiskbaren, which is run by Bocuse d’Or silver medalist Melker Andersson, offers a three-course takeout dinner. Another example is the restaurant Lux Dag för Dag, which is also run by a former Bocuse d’Or silver medalist. A specialty there is the Friday bag, which is a semi-prepared three-course menu composed by celebrity chef Henrik Norström. Something has to be heated, stirred or mixed before serving. And the food is cooked with care and the day’s best ingredients.
Classics in bulk
Even if Stockholmers love to cook traditional Swedish cuisine themselves, such classics are now also available in a simple way with the best ingredients. For example, trendy Södermalm is home to Meatballs for the People – a delicatessen that specializes in Swedish meatballs. Choose from a variety of meatballs; options range from vegetarian to rooster or moose meatballs. You can even buy meatballs in bulk. Broms, a neighborhood deli, is another option when the motivation to cook is lacking. From their delicatessen, shoppers can buy high-quality prepared food, meat, poultry and vegetables.
Quality over cost
Organic and local ingredients are a given in Stockholm. A record amount of organic goods were sold last year, and Stockholmers are willing to spend more money on food in order to be sure the quality is high. Healthful food is prioritized over cheap food, which Peder and his family also take into consideration.
“I think you should be conscious of what you put in your body, especially when you have kids. Our bodies aren’t built to eat as much meat as we do, or to drink the amount of milk that we do today, even as adults. It’s not good for us,” says Peder.
Peder has been vegetarian for seven years, and he tries to serve his children vegetarian meals as often as possible, although he occasionally includes fish.
· Meatballs for the People, Nytorgsgatan 30, Södermalm: A delicatessen specializing in meatballs. Eat there, choose meatballs and take them home, or buy the prepared dinner bag. Website: http://meatball.se/
· Broms, Karlavägen 76, Östermalm: A popular restaurant, bakery, deli, caterer and flower shop in one. Visitors can save time here by buying everything in one place. Website: http://bromskarlaplan.se/
· Restaurang Jonas, Fleminggatan 39, Kungsholmen: From Tuesday–Saturday, you can buy a three-course dinner to eat at home. Website: http://www.restaurangjonas.se/
· Smörgåstårteriet, Dalagatan 42, Vasastan: A relaxed, friendly restaurant that serves tasty food and delicious sandwich cakes*. Website: http://smorgastarteriet.se/
· Linas Matkasse (Lina’s Recipe Bag): One of the first companies to sell prepared recipe bags to stressed urban parents. Website: http://www.linasmatkasse.se/
For more information contact
Ann-Charlotte Jönsson, PR Manager, Stockholm Business Region, tel: +46(0)8-50828507, firstname.lastname@example.org
* A sandwich cake is a type of sandwich preparation of a certain size and shape. It has so many toppings and fillings that it is more reminiscent of a cake in appearance and consistency than a sandwich. The sandwich cake typically has several layers, alternating bread with various toppings and creamy fillings. Typical ingredients are shrimp, smoked salmon, eggs, tomatoes and cucumber. Crayfish and cold cuts may even be included on occasion. The sandwich cake is served cold and cut like a normal cake.
This is based on an interview with Peder Bergstrand. He is 33 and lives in a 50s-inspired apartment with his two kids, Julian and Selma, his wife Hanna, and two cats. They are a typical Stockholm family of 2014, and having equal choices and piecing together the puzzle of life are nothing unusual. Peder wears many hats. He has been freelancing for the last three years, which has allowed greater freedom to manage daily life while maintaining quality.
Stockholm Business Region, with its subsidiaries Stockholm Business Region Development and Stockholm Visitors Board, is the official investment and tourism promotion agency for the Stockholm region. Stockholm is one of Europe’s most dynamic sustainable regions. Stockholm Business Region is fully owned by the City of Stockholm. Our common brand is Stockholm – The Capital of Scandinavia.