History of The Smörgåsbord
The members of the Swedish merchant and upper class in fourteenth-century Sweden and Finland served schnapps table (brännvinsbord), a small buffet presented on a side table offering a variety of hors d'oeuvres served prior to a meal before sitting at the dinner table. The most simple brännvinsbord was bread, butter, cheese, herring and several types of liqueurs, but smoked salmon, sausages and cold cuts were also served. The brännvinsbord was served as an appetizer for a gathering of people and eaten while standing before a dinner or supper, often two to five hours before dinner, sometimes with the men and women in separate rooms. The smörgåsbord became popular in the mid-seventeenth century, when the food moved from the side table to the main table and service began containing both warm and cold dishes. Smörgåsbord was also served as an appetizer in hotels and later at railway stations, before the dining cars time for the guests. Restaurants in Stockholm at the 1912 Olympic Games stopped serving smörgåsbord as an appetizer and started serving them instead as a main course.
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