Gotland’s growing conditions are unique in Sweden thanks to its lime-rich soil, mild maritime climate and many hours of sunshine. Gotland is the perfect place to grow truffles and asparagus, and you’ll easily find unusual ingredients like wild garlic, spring onion and dewberry. The benefit of rich soil also comes through in the flavour of our meat - if you’re looking for the perfect place to eat lamb, it’s here.
Sweet and delicate, spring on Gotland is not complete without crispy whiting with flavours of asparagus, wild garlic, and spring onion. As you might expect, the natural time to pick spring onions is in the spring and it grows wild throughout the island. With a little luck and a good nose you’ll find a meadow full of its grass-like stalks.
Wild garlic also thrives in the rich Gotlandic earth. It starts to appear at the beginning of March, or even in February if the winter has been mild, and it’s a popular flavour in butter, pesto and aioli.
Asparagus may not be unique to Gotland, but it grows particularly well here. The first Swedish asparagus harvest is often on Gotland, along with many other vegetables. Thanks to the many hours of sun here on Gotland, our vegetables can boast extra flavour and sweetness.
Dewberries also grow freely on Gotland and you can find their small thorny bushes all over the island. The dewberry, known as ‘salmbär’ on Gotland, is related to the blackberry and looks very similar. The berries are used primarily for cooking jam and this ‘salmbärssylt’ is a delicious accompaniment to the island's signature dessert - saffron pancakes.
Lamb is synonymous with Gotland and our sheep graze freely on thyme, oregano, rosemary and rocket, which all thrive in the lime-rich soil. They find plenty of these herbs amongst the rich grass in their pastures, which gives Gotlandic lamb its special character.
Gotlandic truffles are a really special delicacy. The price may be high, but a small piece of truffle is enough for a great gastronomic experience and a truly magical taste. If you are a fan, don’t miss the truffle festival in November for truffle hunting, a truffle market and high-class dinners, amongst many other activities.
In the same spirit, special attention is paid to the spring vegetable harvest over ‘Primörpremiärshelgen’ - a weekend to celebrate the first vegetable harvest of the year. Throughout May and June you’ll find special spring vegetable menus, or ‘primörmenyer’, in many restaurants here on Gotland.
Late summer then brings the Gotland Harvest Festival, a truly tasty treat for the whole family, where you can enjoy quality Gotlandic products from forest, sea, meadow and field.
Primörpremiär: 22 to 24 May 2015
Gotland Harvest Festival: 6 to 7 September 2015
Gotland Truffle Festival: 13 to 15 November 2015