Midsummer is coming and only Swedish strawberries on the table, please! Or? In order to make sure the strawberries sold as Swedish, really are Swedish (and if you’ve ever had them, you know there’s a difference in taste) random analyses will take place.

Strawberries are being harvested right now in Sweden, but also in countries like Germany, Belgium, and Holland – and these strawberries are exported to Sweden, where they are repackaged and sold as Swedish. This is not a new problem, but this summer an isotope analysis will be conducted on selected berries, measuring the water content to ensure where they come from. The analysis project will be fully implemented next season, but already this summer Jordbruksverket (the Swedish Board of Agriculture) will take test samples in different places in the country.


“This method is clear as a bell,” says Magnus Engstedt, berry consultant at county administrative board in Jönköping, “because it will deter fraudsters.” Engstedt explains that the method to trace is so bulletproof, there’s no room for cheating. “This means security for people who want to know where their food comes from, it’s not just about money.” He advices people who want Swedish strawberries for Midsummer to put pressure on the traders, to know from which country their strawberries come. The name and phone numbers of the growers should be posted on a sign, or marked on the outer boxes – this is a legal requirement. And this year has been good for Swedish strawberries. Calle Ericsson, chairman of the joint undertaking “Bärfrämjandet”, grows the red berries and he is optimistic: “The warm period we’ve had now for two to three weeks have made up for the earlier delays,” he says.
How much is a Swede expected to have to shell out then for a liter (a little over 4 cups) of Swedish strawberries for Midsummer? “Around the normal price, 35-40 SEK ($5-6) a liter, but it is difficult to speculate, it depends so much on the weather,” Ericsson says.

Swedish strawberries may be tough to get in the U.S. but, find a Swedish midsummer celebration near you at our events calendar: Events all over Swedish America ..and for a brief introduction to Swedish Midsummer, including a handful of recipes, see 'Svensk Midsommar'

Endast Sverige svenska krusbär har. [Only Sweden has Swedish gooseberries] From "Om svenska rim" 1838 - praise for Scandinavia and Sweden by Swedish author Carl Jonas Love Almqvist (1793 - 1866)