Summer Solstice aka ”midsommar”
Midsummer in Sweden could be argued as the most important Swedish holiday all year. It’s so important to the Swedes that they’ve considered having it as their national day instead of June 6th. Meant to celebrate the Solstice, the longest day of the year, it’s a time for the locals to gather up friends and family and party the not-so-dark night away.
Although it’s originally a pagan celebration mostly from Nordic countries, it’s celebrated by Christians as well and could be called St John’s Day and/or Eve after St John the Baptist. St John’s Eve is the celebration of the birth of John the Martyr and happens each year on June 24th. Conversely, Midsummer is meant as a celebration of the summer solstice and the marking of the longest day of the year and falls on a Friday between the 19th and 25th of June. Like Valborg, bonfires were lit back in the day to ward off evil spirits and witches were believed to have conspired during this time as well.
Today, Midsummer see’s a lot of Swedes beginning their 5 week vacation, so things tend to slow down. Kids are also usually on summer break by this time and smaller town’s can seem quite deserted for the weekend as people flock to the countryside if they’re able. Luckily here in Stockholm there are plenty of big parks and with over 18 hours of daylight and some pretty decent weather in Sweden, this means a full day of outdoor activities like brännboll (similar to baseball), kubb, dancing around maypoles and grilling food. With that being said you can expect to see many of Stockholm’s most popular parks like Rålis, Humlegården and Gärdet jam packed with people.
The food plays a huge role in a Swedish Midsummer, with everything from baby potatoes covered in butter and dill, to copious amounts of flavored pickled fish, eggs, salmon, grilled meat, cakes, wild strawberries and of course schnapps.
Lastly, the two most iconic things about Midsummer are the maypole and the flower wreaths. People of all ages and sizes tend to gather flowers early in the morning of midsummer to weave into wreaths to put as decorations on the maypole and in their hair. The maypole is placed in an open spot like a field or park and stands a few meters tall. There’s usually some ribbons or rope that hangs down which kids hold on to as they dance around the maypole.
Also take note everyone – the Tower will be COMPLETELY closed all day Friday 23rd (Midsummer’s Eve) and the restaurant will be closed on Saturday 24th (Midsummer Day), BUT the Tower (gift shop and café) will be open from 11:00 to 18:00!
An International take on food for the week!
Hey everyone another week has gone by and it’s time for another update on our daily lunches! Sadly this will be the last time for a few weeks that we’ll be serving a different meal each day. For the next few weeks we’ll be doing weekly lunches instead. No worries though, everything is still made to order and includes the usual stuff like water, tea/coffee, bread and our mini salad buffet. The busy season is in full swing so make sure you book your table ASAP to avoid any disappointment when you arrive.
Seeing as it’s the last daily lunch menu for a few weeks we’re doing things a little differently and unconventionally this week so here’s what’s coming out of the kitchen this week!
Monday will see our kitchen cooking up Louisiana fried chicken served together with mashed potatoes and gravy. This is our own take on KFC and we feel that it’ll leave even the Colonel a little jealous – don’t miss out! Alternatively we’ll be serving a South African curry with cod. This Cape-Malay style curry is really popular in South Africa so if you’ve travelled that way before and want to reminisce a little, be sure to order this one.
On Tuesday we’ll have pork schnitzel cordon bleu with fried potatoes and a anchovy/caper infused butter. Schnitzel cordon bleu is schnitzel (which is tenderized, flattened meat that’s breaded) wrapped around a piece of cheese and cooked. Our fish dish for Tuesday will be Cod with bouillabaisse emulsion, served together with in-house pickled cucumber and fennel chips.
Wednesday, or the halfway mark for all the 9 – 5’ers out there will see the Tower dishing out lasagne with our very own home-made tomato sauce and a salad. This salad isn’t your regular salad though. It’s made from chopped and shredded veggies and served without a dressing. In Swedish it’s known as “råkostsallad”. For all you Pescatarians our there we’ll have hand made fish patties with a saffron sauce. Did you know that saffron is the most expensive spice in the world? The price per kilo ranges from $1000 – 11 000 which puts it on average, more expensive than gold! Wow who would have thought? They usually keep it in special containers at grocery stores so no one can just grab one and hid it in their pocket.
Thirsty Thursday see’s our awesome chef’s cooking a Swedish classic – “raggmunk” with pork and lingonberries. A raggmunk is a larger pancake made from potatoes instead of flour and is usually the size of the plate it’s served on. If that’s not your thing then we’re also serving a Spanish inspired paella. Paella is essentially a colorful and aromatic stew served with white rice and is more often than not, served as a seafood paella. There’s usually rice, green and white beans, spices and some form of meat of fish as well. Many non-Spaniards see it as Spain’s national dish and it’s really popular for tourists and locals alike.
On Friday our restaurant will be closed due to the Swedish Midsummer celebrations!
Our veg dish of the week has already shown to be popular with 22 orders already put in since Thursday. It’ll be another South African dish – vegetarian bunny chow. It doesn’t exactly sound vegetarian or PETA friendly but it’s a great tasting and practical dish to both eat and make! It’s a vegetable curry served inside of a hollowed bread loaf, a breadbowl essentially. Eat the curry, eat the serving dish and skip out on washing your plate (not that you wash your plates at the Tower anyways!)
Our salad of the week is another foreign inspired dish, this time from every Swedes favorite sunny destination – Thailand. Papaya salad will be served out of our kitchen all week so if your feeling for it – come give it a try!
New change to our lunch menu and info about Midsummer!
Hey everyone, coming up next week is midsummer or ”midsommar” as its known here in Sweden. Midsummer is celebrated all over Europe and in most cases it’s a public holiday as well. For those of you who read this often enough, then you’ll know it’s one of those famous ”red days” here in Sweden. Sadly for most people it won’t mean much because this year it falls on a Saturday!
With that being said, there’s a few things to note for next week:
- Friday 23rd June – Kaknästornet will be closed, all day.
- Saturday 24th June – Kaknästornet Restaurant will be closed all day, but the gift shop and café will be open from 10 AM to 18 PM.
In addition to this, our lunch menu will have some changes made to it. Instead of having a new dish every day, we’re opting to have a new dish every week. As usual, this will include water, tea/coffee, bread and a small salad spread to take from. Don’t worry, our meals will still be made just as fresh as always and for the same old price of 125 SEK. We’ll still be doing one meat, one fish, one veg and a salad as per usual so no need to stress about that either, there will always be a choice at the Tower of Love!
As we’re in full swing of the busy season, we recommend (as always) to call ahead of time and book your table. Even simpler, book the table online right now while you’re on our site.
Next week we’ll be doing an article on midsummer so if you aren’t in the loop about it then stay tuned!