Traditions

Toast Skagen / Prawn Toast

Recently the online guide Time Out Sydney together with Google nominated Fika Swedish Kitchen’s Toast Skagen for Sydney’s signature dish worth searching for. But why is this little prawn toast so famous and who came up with this tasty recipe that made the whole Swedish nation eat prawns on toast? 

By Caroline Brandelius 

Toast Skagen – Signature dish worth searching for from Fika Swedish Kitchen on Vimeo.

 

Firstly, it is not just a toast. It is a whole culture served on toast. You can walk into almost any café, restaurant or food shop in Sweden and you will find a form of toast Skagen or Skagen-mix presented. A cold creamy mix of prawns in sour cream flavoured with dill, red onion and lemon. All served on warm crusty toast. It is also associated with summer. When it is warm and sunny you have a toast Skagen at any of the restaurants with table service outside preferably close to the water.  Smiling in the sun, eating your toast, sipping on a beer or a little schnapps. 


A MODERN TOAST SKAGEN

The actual Skagen-mix that is served on toast can be done in a million different ways. You can mix the prawns with sour cream or mayonnaise, chopped red onion, lemon, dill, mustard, caviar, lime, salt, pepper, horseradish and the list goes on. Everyone does it differently. Many Swedes think that toast Skagen is a bit boring and it has been done way too many times, while other people just can’t get enough of it. And if you’re a Swede abroad you have probably almost started crying at some point, craving for a toast Skagen. And to cure that craving and homesickness we’re glad to tell you that we have an awarded Toast Skagen on the Fika-menu. 


CHEER UP SNACK ON A SHIP

What is interesting to know is that the true maker of this classic Swedish toast is the legendary chef Tore Wretman, who started up two very well-known restaurants in Stockholm, “Operakällaren” och “Riche”. He was on board his mahogany boat “Salta Marina 1956” competing in a sailing race north of Denmark, the wind dropped and so did their chances to win. The crew needed to be cheered up so Tore Wretman decided to make a snack with whatever was left in the galley. He fried some white bread in butter, made a mayonnaise that he mixed with some prawns. On top of the prawn mix he placed vendace roe and some fresh dill. And he decide to call it toast Skagen after seeing the North tip of Denmark “Skagen” on the horizon.


THE REST IS HISTORY

After Tore Wretman’s success of feeding a hungry crew of sailors. The toast went up on the menu at his restaurant Riche in Stockholm marking the beginning of the legendary toast that became a whole nation’s favourite dish. And today it has now travelled across the seven seas to Manly beach to cheer up the taste spuds and the hungry bellies of the people down under. Who knows where it’s going to be served next?