Something Swedish

Allemansrätten and Mushroom Picking


Sweden is known for many things (abba, ikea, h&m, etc.),  but one thing that is more unique and special when you live in Sweden is the nature around you. Sweden is filled with many lush forests, mountains, archipelagos, lakes, and rivers – which are not only a significant part of Sweden as a place, but also the culture and mindset.

Swedes are very in-tune with nature, and respect the nature around them. Allemansrätten (The Everyman’s right)is a constitutional right since 1994 that states: “Everyone shall have access to nature”. This idea and term has been a part of Sweden for much longer (1900’s), but was legally integrated only recently. In Sweden you can walk, run, hike, camp, swim, pick berries or mushrooms anywhere – on both privately owned and public land, as long as you preserve and respect nature. This right is also called “Freedom to Roam” which was once common practice throughout Europe, but is now a public right found strongest within Scandinavian countries. If you are not harming the environment or wildlife by destroying or disturbing plants, picking rare flowers, or messing with bird nests, for example, then you can explore anywhere.

This Allemansrätten is especially important during the beginning of summer and fall because it is very popular to pick berries and hunt for mushrooms. Picking berries and mushrooms means you need to hunt for them – find a favorite spot somewhere out in the forest and scavenge. Allemansrätten allows people to wander around without worrying about trespassing, as long as they are not too close to a residence. So, a Swedes favorite (and secret) kantarella mushroom spot might be right in your “backyard.”

Throughout September Swedes are known to go mushroom picking and come back with baskets of kantarella. These mushrooms are considered to be very Swedish and traditional  with a uniquely strong and distinct flavor. With Allemansrätten by their side, people can hike into any forest and start plucking. Most people keep their favorite spot a secret, not wanting to miss out on their tasty stash (I’ve read about methods of hiding  growing mushroom patches beneath leaves).

While we haven’t gone Kantarella picking yet, we have enjoyed a batch from the supermarket and my husband shared with me the traditional way to eat them (typically directly after you have plucked them). Try a Tasty Kantarella Smorgas!!


7 thoughts on “Allemansrätten and Mushroom Picking

  1. Yes, for sure! What can get you shot in the U.S. of A. is a legal right of every citizen in Sweden. Somewhere along the line Swedes realized they were custodians, not owners, of the land and God bless ’em for that. They seem to be ahead of the rest of the world in many respects.

  2. You must make chanterelle-soup it is completely awesome and quite easy to make. I do not have my favourite recipe (as my mother use to make) memorized but it is something very similar to this:

    It is soo good it is crazy. Watever you do though (with any soup btw) do not mix it with the mixer. Just chop the ingredients, no more. How running soup through the mixer became a thing do to i can not understand. It destroys the soup! imo.

  3. Awesome! When I was little I used to play around in the yards of all the neighbors that lived around me… Unfortunately that’s frowned on here if you’re an adult. 😦

  4. Oh my gosh Meg, you are so right……..I have gotten so hooked up to picking the mushrooms in the forest. My head literally hangs down such that I cant see anything ahead…..they are addictive and tasty……jag tycker mycket om dem….hur går det med din sfi? Ha det bra…..

  5. I think this is one of the most amazing & wonderful things about the Swedes… the idea that no person can or does own land, but that the land on which we live is everyone’s. Or, actually, it is the earth’s and we are blessed to be able to enjoy it and challenged to always take care of it. Beautiful! (and so un-American!)

    • Some of my ancestors are Scandinavian, and our part of the US is predominately Germanic and Scandinavian with some English.We have similar traditions here. People ask permission to hunt mushrooms on our and other people’s land. We pick wild grapes and wild plumes in the fall. Good for the Swedes.

  6. Pingback: How Swedish are you? | Something Swedish

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