Fall used to be my favorite season…
…I say used to because, now that I live in Sweden, summer easily snags the title.
Fall in Sweden is a little different than what I’m used to… and by that I mean that my winter jacket is usually still buried deep in my closet.
Back home in North Carolina, TYPICALLY speaking, fall means perfect weather, football games, eating your way through the state fair, apple picking, pumpkin carving/(pumpkin beer/pumpkin spice lattes), and mountain weekend getaways. You can pair sweaters with shorts, wear cute layers, go outside without sweating your ass off, and force your significant other to participate in a variety of seasonal photo ops. It’s such a beautiful (and still warm) time of year (though, this year summer seems to be havin’ a bit of a hard time letting go).
I haven’t been back home for fall since I first moved overseas four years ago, and I’ve seriously been missing all those classic autumn activities (and outfits), so I was pretty excited to go to Kivik for the annual Apple Market Festival after having it on my radar since this time last year.
The weather wasn’t great… and it was definitely no NC State Fair… but this quirky little fruit festival was still just what this Carolina girl’s fall dreams are made of - Here’s why!
Kivik (pronounced “shivik”…shiv like the weapon + ick like gross…Swedish is weird) is a cute little seaside fishing village located in the heart of Österlen… Emphasis on the little. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it!
This apple producing region is known for its famous Äppelmarnkanden (Apple Market) which takes place each year in late September. Since 1987, the whole town has come together at this festival in celebration of the end of the harvest season.
What to do at the Äppelmarnkanden
Well, in short, all apple everything…
The most noteworthy thing at the market is the apple art displays, particularly the massive “apple board” by artist Emma Carp Lundström. This giant mural is supposedly the largest in Sweden… and likely the biggest display of apples that I’ll ever see again.
Though the displays were really cool and impressive, I couldn’t help but to also find them to be justttt a bit wasteful (and would be curious to know what happens to these apples once the market is over).
There was live entertainment from local high school students, the Österlen Folk Dance Society, and other musical performances. There were also over 100 stands around the festival grounds where local artisans were selling jewelry, clothes, gifts, and other apple related items.
My personal favorite part of the festival was (unsurprisingly) the food. There were lots of unique apple dishes, and even local apple products you could purchase to take home with you.
We didn’t buy any apple things to bring home, but we did get a delicious honey made from Raps, the plant responsible for the beautiful yellow fields that cover Skåne from late spring to early summer. I knew raps made for some pretty fields (and lots of sneezing after frolicking through them)… but I had no idea a HONEY made from the plant could be so dang good.
We also tried a dark chocolate covered apple (delicious), sausages with apple chili (surprisingly tasty), and, for 90sek per person, had a cheeky little midday cider tasting. It was also around this time that it started to POUR down rain… so “heading for cover” was a great way to coax Andrew over to the bar.
To be honest, I was surprised by how great of a deal the tasting was. We had the chance to taste a few different boozy apple beverages from around the region, and to learn a bit about them, too.
My favorite hands down was a sparkling apple wine from Bedstekilde.
In 2018, this small company located near Kivik won the Swedish Wine Maker of the Year Award with this dry sparkling wine in a blind taste test among other grape wines… so it was tough one to top in our tasting. My second favorite was a cider by Pomologik, another local craft cider company. It was much, much sweeter than Bedstekilde’s sparking apple wine… but it tasted like fall, so I was a fan. I imagine it would have been even more delicious as a hot cider… with some cinnamon sticks for extra flavor.
Between the two of us, we could have tried six different things during in our tasting… but Bedstekilde’s famous sparkling apple wine was so delicious that we both decided to use our final tickets for another glass… No regrets!
Miss the festival?
Don’t worry! There’s still time to get in on all the apple action!
This year, from September 28 to October 13, Kivik is hosting an Apple “Aftermarket.”
Learn more: View the Full Aftermarket Program
If you can’t make it to the Aftermarket, head to Kivik’s Musteri for a cider tasting!
There are only three more available dates for tastings in 2019 (Nov 8, Nov 23, and Dec 6), so be sure to get your tickets before they’re gone here!
The two hour tasting costs 675sek per person, and includes small Scania dishes, coffee, and dessert from restaurant Kärnhuset, plus a tour of the grounds, wine house, and cider cellar. This is prettyyyy high on my autumn to do list… soooo, don’t be surprised if you see me there!
…And if you somehow missed ALL of this year’s apple events, you can always head to Systembolaget to get some ciders to try at home instead… which is cheaper… but not as fun.
Spending Fall in Sweden?
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