knäckebröd: traditional Swedish round crispbread

These aren’t Wasa crackers.

Fiberrikt package

During the holiday season I picked up a package of Swedish round cripsbread at my local German deli. The particular brand I located was Roslagsbröd and the product was fiberrikt knäckebröd av fullkornsråg – fibrous crisp bread or hard bread with whole grain rice. The $7.99 package was twelve inches in diameter, weighed about four pounds and held seven lp-shaped crackers.

Obviously, crisp breads from Scandanavia abound. There’s the previously mentioned Wasa cracker, which is light and porous and comes in numerous varieties so as to stay intriguing to the dieting minions. There’s the GG Bran Crispbread, which is so fibrous, it’s like nibbling a dried cow patty. The genius is that it delivers a mere 15 calories – no joke! There’s Leksands, wrapped in charming vernacular packaging; they’ll sell you pieces in wedges so you don’t have to commit to the full discs. You can always find these on the shelves at Swedish bistro AQ Kafé.

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From as far back as 500 BC, the original Swedish round knäckebröd were made to sustain long periods of storage. They’re fitted with that nifty hole in the middle so that they can be stacked on sticks and placed in a cool, dry place. The Roslagsbröd knäckebröd are dense and heavy, with a taste of nutty rye, intended to fill you up on cold winter nights. Made to be a staple at the smörgåsbord, break off a piece and top with cured fish, soft cheese, butter, or salads and schmears.

open package

If you want something light and flakey, something to which you don’t have to make much of a commitment, eat a Wasa – they’re great. But if you want to feel like a paesan, load up on gouda, grab some gravlax, and haul home a big package of knäckebröd.

If you don’t have a local resource, you can order them at igourmet.com for $9.99.

Happy hunting . . . Anne

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