Fiskekyrka in Goteborg, Sweden

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Street Food By Marcus Samuelsson

I want to tell you about Fiskekyrka in Goteborg. In English, Fiskekyrka translates to Fish Church. With the wild winter weather here in New York, I have been thinking about the hot soup I used to have at this fish market inside a building that looks like a Gothic church. I would buy freshly cut and cleaned fillets from every kind of fish, or a whole crab if I felt like it, to cook at home. The shopping trip always started and ended by nibbling on the sea of offerings from the stalls and restaurants there. Herring on bread, fresh-cooked prawns, creamy lobster, shrimp and roe salad, and butter-fried herring with mashed potatoes. It is like an underwater buffet. If you feel like going fancy, there is also the Michelin-starred Gabriel, a seafood restaurant housed right in the market.

Gothenburg is the second largest city in Sweden, after Stockholm. Because of its coastal location, fish is pretty much available year-round. The Fish Church opened in the heart of the city on November 1, 1874, to house one of the city's oldest trades, fishing. On three days of the week, shortly after sunrise, Sweden's biggest fish auction is held at the church. Arrive early to get the best catch. It is a lively event and one worth watching, even if you are not buying. When purchasing seafood here, pay attention to the green and red signs. The Green list is seafood that is not endangered and you can eat it without feeling guilty about putting the ecosystem out of balance. The red list is all the underwater creatures that are in danger of extinction.

The market is just by the canal, so after a few hours at the church, take your snacks to the edge of the water and enjoy them while sipping a beer. Intrepid travelers can even try out their fishing skills here!

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