The Kingdom of Sweden is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the third-largest country in the European Union by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million of which 2.4 million has a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi). The highest concentration is in the southern half of the country.
Swedish cuisine, like that of the other Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway and Finland), was traditionally simple. Fish (particularly herring), meat, potatoes and dairy products played prominent roles. Spices were sparse. Famous preparations include Swedish meatballs, traditionally served with gravy, boiled potatoes and lingonberry jam; pancakes; lutfisk; and the smörgåsbord, or lavish buffet. Akvavit is a popular alcoholic distilled beverage, and the drinking of snaps is of cultural importance. The traditional flat and dry crisp bread has developed into several contemporary variants. Regionally important foods are the surströmming (a fermented fish) in northern Sweden and eel in Scania in southern Sweden.
Swedish traditional dishes, some of which are many hundreds of years old, others perhaps a century or less, are still a very important part of Swedish everyday meals, in spite of the fact that modern-day Swedish cuisine adopts many international dishes.
In August, at the traditional feast known as crayfish party, kräftskiva, Swedes eat large amounts of crayfish boiled with dill.