In the Swedish immigrant neighborhood of Andersonville in Chicago, the Swedish American Museum knows how to do tradition.
Here's an opportunity to experience something different whether you're a Swede born after the war or Swedish American. Fried salted herring is no longer part of the common cuisine in Sweden and few younger Swedes may have come across it unless they've visited the Småland glassworks for the so-called Hyttsill. Actually, fresh or salted herring which was considered poor man's food in the 19th century, is no longer the most inexpensive fish — the fileted fresh kind can easily be over $20 a pound.
The Swedish American Museum in Chicago has been hosting the Herring Breakfast with fried salted herring for many years. It’s not necessarily a tradition to have herring for breakfast in Sweden, but many Swedish Americans in the Midwest have been very happy with the variation on a theme that’s become a twice-a-year event in Chicago’s historically Swedish immigrant neighborhood, Andersonville.
On the first Sundays of March and October, Chicago's Swedish restaurant Tre Kronor provides a smörgåsbord with meatballs, potato sausage, fried herring with onions and sour cream, mashed rutabaga, potatoes and more at the museum.ADVERTISEMENT
Herring is prepared and used many different ways, and pickled herring is one way to eat it cold; salted and fried is a way to eat it warm. Both ways were originally used to preserve the fish for long periods of time.
Although it’s called breakfast, the meal is more like a brunch since it’s served at noon. It might be a little easier on the digestive system at that time of day as well — making it possible for all partakers to enjoy all they can eat. Make your reservation now!