Each year, Sweden’s most popular autumn festival, Öland’s Harvest Festival (Ölands Skördefest) attracts thousands of visitors. The festival is for those wanting to be part of the revival of the ancient Michaelmas tradition and enjoy its large feasts. It brings a vibrancy to Öland Island and celebrations are held across the Island, from the Long Erik lighthouse on the Island’s northern tip to the Long Jan lighthouse on the southern tip.

The raggmunk pancakes, a potato pancake for winter, cannot be made using new potatoes, since potatoes that are harvested in early summer don’t contain enough starch to hold the pancake together. The more crispy and buttery the pancake is around the edges, the better it tastes. The trick is not to spread the batter too thickly. And if you mix a little diced onion into the recipe, this Swedish potato pancake can also be called ‘French’.

Swedish meatballs, or ‘köttbullar’, must be prepared, above all, with love. There are many different favourite recipes. Some people feel there should be grated onion in the meatball mixture itself, while others prefer to dice the onion and fry it separately. Some people feel that their meatballs should be served with thick brown gravy, while others prefer it with a thin meat juice. As part of a smorgasbord buffet, it is better to skip the gravy altogether.

Kanelbullar or cinnamon buns are a classic at Swedish coffee parties. During the golden age of home baking, such parties turned into orgies of sweet yeast breads, small cookies, cookies with fillings, pastries and cakes. This tradition lives on in Sweden. If you are invited to someone’s home for coffee, you always get a cinnamon bun, a cookie or a piece of cake with it. And at cafés, dainty little cookies continue to compete with all those supersized American muffins.