Herring used to be considered as food for the poor in Sweden. But when the resort culture flourished in the late 1800s it became fashionable to serve herring and vodka together. The combination has survived and is now a Swedish classic. In fact, today Swedish pickled herring of different kinds have a prominent place on the dining table in Sweden. Especially at festivals such as Christmas, Easter and Midsummer. It was mainly in Bohuslän herring fishery used to play an important economic role. Even today many large and small herring canneries still exist there. Like Klädesholmen, a small fishing village on two islands, where herring has been handled since the late 1500s. There is one herring factory left that manufactures canned herring based on tradition. In the early 1800s the herring disappeared suddenly and was gone for over half a century the industry collapsed. But one winter day in 1877 it turned it up again, the herrings were larger than before and pickled herrings preserved in vinegar have been a favourite food of the nation ever since.


Serves four:
  • 500 grams (1.1 pounds) Herring Fillets
  • 2 dl (0.8 cups) Caster Sugar
  • 1 dl (0.4 cups) Vinegar
  • 2.5 dl (1 cup) Water
  • 1 Bayleaf
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 5 Allspice-peppercorns
  • 1 Carrot
  • 5 White peppercorns
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 dl (0.4 cups) Fresh Dill


  1. Rinse and clean the fillets, also remove the skin.
  2. Cut the herring in small pieces and then crush the peppercorns.
  3. Mix water, sugar, the bayleaf, vinegar, salt, allspice, white pepper, finely chopped dill and sliced carrots and sliced onion.
  4. Pour the marinade over the herring, let cool in refrigerator for about 6 hours. You can put the inlagd sill into clean jars and keep them in the fridge for up to a week.
Serve with boiled potatoes, sour cream and hard boiled eggs.