Swedish Language Blog

The thing about ‘pie’ in Sweden Posted by on Aug 9, 2017 in Vocabulary

Pie. Such an ordinary thing, and yet it carries so many secrets. At least, it does in Sweden!

Most people appreciate some sort of pie, whether it be desert pie, food pie, sweet or savory. That goes for all cultures where pie is an established dish. In Sweden, some of the most common pajer (singular en paj) are made of berries such as blåbär (blueberries) or traditional Swedish lingon (lingonberries), a staple in many Swedish homes in some shape or form. You can also easily come across jordgubbspaj (strawberry pie, strawberry = jordgubbe) as well, especially around the Swedish holiday of Midsommar. And who could forget äppelpaj (apple pie)?

Unlike many other pie-eating countries, Sweden is rather big on matpajer, food pies, as well, or as many would rather call them, savory pies. In any Swedish grocery store and in traditional homes, you can find pajer made with lax (salmon), sparris (asparagus), skinka (ham), köttfärs (ground/minced meat), spenat (spinach) or ost (cheese). Or some combination thereof. In fact, one of Sweden’s most popular frozen meals (i.e. that you pop into the microwave for a quick lunch) is the food pie. Many Swedes, especially vegetarian Swedes, also appreciate a good quiche (same name in Swedish).

On the sweeter side of things, the crumble (Swedish: smulpaj from smula = crumb) is also a very common desert at the Swedish dinner party. Apart from the sweet ingredients listed above, you’ll often find crumbles and other pies made of rabarber (rhubarb) or choklad (chocolate).

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About the Author: Stephen Maconi

Stephen Maconi has been writing for the Transparent Swedish Blog since 2010. Wielding a Bachelor's Degree in Swedish and Nordic Linguistics from Uppsala University in Sweden, Stephen is an expert on Swedish language and culture.


  1. Jade:

    Don’t forget tacopaj! 😃😋

  2. Karen:

    I’m so confused about pronouncing, or not, the letter g in Swedish.