Parties and I get along really well — I like eating, dancing, and fun times and good parties are a source of all those things. So when I found myself with some free time around mid-June, it was only natural that I headed to Sweden for the nationwide party that is Midsommar. Not only is Midsommar the main holiday in Sweden, but also it’s a field day for me because the menu is centered around herring and aquavit, and you haven’t really celebrated until you have your share of both.
Herring haters are are in the majority stateside, so someone like me takes respite in Northern Europe where, from Netherlands to Sweden, the oily little guy is a delicacy. The one-quarter Dutch in me surfaces when herring abounds because, when it’s well made, I find it irresistible. In the Netherlands, I have it in a sandwich or as a rollmop, but in Sweden it’s commonly served with new potatoes, red onions, crème fraiche, and a sauce of some sort. My favorite of the trip was a plate of mixed herring I had as an afternoon snack over at the newly opened Hotel Skeppsholmen. The sherry pickled herring and the tarragon cream were tops and as I dug in, I smiled because I had finally found my herring brethren as my Swedish friends and I fought over the last bites.