“A dash of this and a pinch of that.” Jörgen Lloyd is describing the spices he uses at his restaurant Lyran. Despite his devotion to the seasons — he contacts local farmers every evening to find out what’s fresh and adjusts his menu accordingly — he also sources ingredients from his neighbours in Möllevången, one of Malmö’s most ethnically diverse neighbourhoods. The small bistro’s menu includes pine nuts from Pakistan and pistachios from Iran. And the spices? Lloyd gets them from a local Palestinian bazaar. “They say you have to try this, and the next day it’s on my menu,” he says.
In some ways, Lyran typifies Malmö’s burgeoning food scene. There’s its location in trendy Möllevången — known locally as Möllan. A melting pot of hipsters and migrants, Möllan is renowned for its Middle Eastern food; cafés selling kebabs and falafel abound, some of them owned by Syrian refugees. The main square, Möllevångstorget, has an open-air market on weekends, with dozens of stalls hawking fruit, vegetables and flowers. And Mitt Möllan is a revamped shopping centre with an eclectic food court, where you can find sourdough pizza, locally produced kombucha and exotic ice cream at Köld (go for the turmeric, cardamom and ginger gelato alone).
Then there’s Lyran’s fondness for natural wine — “juice” made with minimal intervention and fermented with naturally existing yeast. The pioneer of the trend in Malmö is Bord 13, a casual bistro founded by former Noma sommelier Pontus Eliasson. Its philosophy is simple: “To deliver food and wine with the smallest amount of steps from soil to the table, nothing added, nothing taken away.” The results are always fun, if not funky.
There’s natural wine on the menu at Mineral, too, while the restaurant’s cuisine is entirely vegetarian. Or, as they put it, “plant-based”. The highlight? A perfectly composed dish of grilled cauliflower, porcini and celeriac mash with almonds and basil. (Also impressive: a platter of dips and roasted vegetables, served with olives and sourdough bread.)
On the menu there’s award-winning “wild cider” from local producer Fruit Stereo. At their harbour-front brewery, founder Karl Sjöström describes how their cider is made entirely from apples that have been fermented with natural yeast, without any additives. Half their fruit comes from private gardens and abandoned farms. The other half is “waste apples” — fruit that local farmers can’t sell.
Sustainability initiatives such as this abound in Malmö today. Take Ola & Ko — a small delicatessen in Triangeln which specialises in local items such as cloudberry jam and Wagyu beef. Its owner, Petra Jarl, says her ambition is “to serve only the best produce, preferably from the surrounding region, Skåne, and always, always, always without containing anything that isn’t food”.
From third-wave coffee to artisanal pastries to eclectic street food, Sweden’s third-largest city ticks all the right boxes. It’s also full of foodies trying to make a difference. Rowan Drury runs Gram — Sweden’s first package-free grocery shop. Among its products: Swedish quinoa, locally made kombucha, honey harvested from the city’s rooftops, and naboulsi — a halloumi-style cheese made by a local Palestinian family. They all typify this exciting, inclusive city — and brings to mind something Jörgen Lloyd has said about the positive effect of food, “It’s one of the few things that actually builds bridges over cultures, religions, and continents and it feels good to be part of this movement right now.”
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