Ikea Food to Try
Wilma O./yelp.com

Delicious Foods Worth Buying at Ikea — and Some to Skip

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Ikea Food to Try
Wilma O./yelp.com

MEATBALLS AND BEYOND

When we think of Ikea we think furniture and instruction manuals, but the store also has some amazing and strange foods available to buy. You may not find traditional Swedish delights such as Fiskbullar, which is actually fish balls, or Lutefisk, the country's classic dish of dried cod that's brined with lye, rinsed then boiled or baked and served with cream or butter (it has a notoriously potent smell and a jell0-like consistency), but there are marinated herring varieties, an incredible salmon fillet, and of course, meatballs and lingonberry jam — all quite tasty. There's a nutrition guide for people with allergies to consult when shopping the best and weirdest foods offered at Ikea.

Pannkakor
Courtesy of ikea.com

PANNKAKOR ($8.50)

These are not pancakes like you'd get at IHOP — they're more like French crepes, only slightly chewier, and pretty darn good rolled around whipped cream and strawberries. They can also be paired with Sylt Jorbgubb (or strawberry jam) for a treat, but we like it best with Sylt Hjortron (or cloudberry jam) for a truly Swedish experience. Easy to heat, and a lot easier than making your own crepes.

Allemansratten
Courtesy of ikea.com

ALLEMANSTRATTEN ($12)

Köttbullar or meatballs are a Swedish classic and part of the Allemanstråtten (or Everyman's) series that Ikea created to "make food for everyone." The result is a range of variations on the classic meatball (which are available at the in-store restaurant). This, however, is the beloved original, made of beef and pork and some select all-natural ingredients — onion, breadcrumbs, egg, water, and salt and pepper — and they are delicious. Pair them with mashed potatoes, cream sauce, and Sylt Lingon (or lingonberry jam).

Veggie Balls
Efrain R./yelp.com

CHICKEN BALLS AND PASTA ($6) OR VEGGIE BALLS ($5)

For those who don't eat beef, the Ikea restaurant serves Chicken Balls with mushroom sauce, pasta, and Parmesan cheese. And people who go meatless will appreciate the Veggie Balls served in a spinach and tomato ragout alongside penne pasta and Parmesan cheese. The recipe for these Gronsaksbullar vegetable balls (which are vegan and gluten-free) may vary throughout the year depending on what's in season. It typically includes chickpeas, carrots, corn, kale, red peppers, peas, and pea protein.

Salmon Fillet
Jeannette L./yelp.com

SALMON FILLET ($12)

It's difficult to be Swedish and dislike fish. The salmon served at the restaurant comes with mashed potatoes, cabbage, fennel, capers, and roasted buckwheat, and is a must try. The salmon is flaky and cooked perfectly, and the fennel adds just the right hint of licorice.

Cinnamon Bun
Crista P./yelp.com

CINNAMON BUN WITH ORGANIC COFFEE ($3)

Cinnamon Bun Day is celebrated Oct. 4 in Sweden — but that's a long time to wait to celebrate, so this deal is available from 9:30 to 11 a.m. daily at the restaurant. If you can't make it to the store then, the cinnamon buns are in the frozen section as Kafferep for $7. The only downside is that they are 390 calories each.

Patar
Courtesy of ikea.com

PATAR ($9)

Ikea has a variety of dark roast coffees and beans, including for espresso; this roast is a rich, medium-dark blend with notes of dark chocolate and dried fruit.

Choklad Mork
Courtesy of ikea.com

CHOKLAD MORK ($1.50)

This delicious dark chocolate bar practically melts in the mouth. It's provided to Ikea by Utz, which takes a holistic approach to sustainability, balancing social, environmental, and economic considerations. This means better-quality crops and higher yields and better working conditions, along with protection of the environment. Tastes even better now.

Knackebrod Rag
Courtesy of ikea.com

KNACKEBROD RAG ($4)

Traditional rye crispbread or hardtack has been a Swedish staple for more than 500 years. Original recipes contained a hole in the center so the bread could be hung over the oven to dry. Ikea's Knackebrod comes in rye, multigrain, or rye with dill, and is wonderful paired with smoked salmon, cheese, pates, and dips. Swedish tip: Soften butter so it fills up the nooks and crannies when spread on the crackers.

Skorpor Kardemumma
Courtesy of ikea.com

SKORPOR KARDEMUMMA ($5)

Skorpor is a crostini-like toast (called a crisp roll) originating in southern Sweden. These brittle Ikea cardamom crisp rolls go well with jam or softened butter, but don't limit the choice of toppings. They also pair wonderfully with a dollop of cream cheese topped with chopped scallion, tomato, and avocado, or goat cheese topped with pears and orange peel.

Musli
Courtesy of ikea.com

MUSLI ($6.50)

You really can't go wrong with Ikea's muesli with berries. A blend of oat, wheat, pumpkin seeds, cornflakes, cranberries, blueberries, and raspberries make this a nutritious morning breakfast when combined with milk or a dairy-free beverage.

Godis Lakrits
Courtesy of ikea.com

GODIS LAKRITS ($2)

Licorice is typically sweet, so salty Godis Lakrits can be an acquired taste even for die-hard licorice lovers. Still, there's nothing quite like this licorice, which contains ammonium chloride that gives the licorice a strong, pungent flavor known as salmiak. (Salmiak is also used to flavor vodka and some chocolate, so it can't be all bad.) This treat is available only in stores, not for online purchases.

Sill Senap
Courtesy of ikea.com

SILL SENAP ($4)

There are four types of herring offered at Ikea, but the best is the Sill Senap, which uses a light but tart mustard sauce that balances the strong taste of the herring. The most traditional herring is the version with onions and carrots, usually served during the holidays.

Kraftor
Courtesy of ikea.com

KRAFTOR ($28)

A Swedish smorgasbord wouldn't be complete without some crayfish in dill brine. Until the mid-1990s it was illegal for Swedes to fish for crayfish until the first week of August — which accounts for the timing of their crayfish parties, when they don silly hats under moon-shaped paper lanterns. It's also one of the few festivals that doesn't involve herring.

Gratang Potatis
Courtesy of ikea.com

GRATANG POTATIS ($7.50)

These potatoes au gratin are a little watery and less palatable than some of the other items, making them not the best representation of what Ikea has to offer in frozen foods. Best to add your own cheese and fresh herbs to help thicken it during cooking, making it more typically creamy and delicious.

Sjorapport
Courtesy of ikea.com

SJORAPPORT ($4.50)

This is a strange dish in that it's not caviar, yet looks a lot like it. It contains no animal products but smells fishy. Seafood and caviar lovers who have become vegan recently will love this product, but if you don't like the idea of eating salty seaweed shaped like a pearl, stay away from this item. Sjorapport can be served cold as a topping for deviled eggs or canapés, as a salad or sandwich decoration, or mixed into dips and toppings, and could be used in vegetarian faux sushi rolls.

Pizzabitar
Courtesy of ikea.com

PIZZABITAR ($8)

There are some things you should not look to Ikea to supply — traditional Italian pizza is one. Olives and leeks? And carrots? On pizza? What? Non è buono. If you see this in the store, walk the other way.