Tacos, characterized by their diverse ingredients and spicy sauces, are one of Mexico’s most iconic dishes. They are popular not only in Japan and the United States, but also surprisingly in Sweden. In fact, in Sweden, every Friday is known as “Taco Friday,” and it is a custom to eat tacos with family and friends. In this article, I will introduce the tradition of Taco Fridays in Sweden and explain why tacos are so popular there.
Every Friday is Taco Day
When you think of Swedish cuisine, you might imagine meatballs and cinnamon rolls. However, one in five Swedes has roots in another country, making the country’s culinary scene more diverse than you might think.
Among these international dishes, Mexican tacos have gained popularity in Sweden, especially among young people, due to their diverse recipes and ease of preparation. Taco Fridays, when tacos are particularly popular, occur every week on Friday. It is customary for Swedish families to eat tacos for dinner on this day.
Incidentally, in neighboring Finland, there is a tradition of eating a bean soup called “hernekeitto” every Thursday. It may be common in Nordic countries for people to eat certain dishes on specific days of the week. I have previously written about hernekeitto, so please read that article as well.
Tacos are a national dish of Mexico
In Japan, tacos may not be as well-known as hamburgers, but they are a popular food. To explain tacos to those who are unfamiliar, they can be described as Mexican hand-rolled sushi.
Tacos are a Mexican dish made by placing meat and vegetables on a tortilla made from corn and then wrapping it up with salsa sauce or other seasonings. The ingredients for tacos are highly versatile, and you can enjoy them with chicken, shredded cabbage, minced meat, and avocado-based guacamole dip.
The origin of tacos dates back to 6000 years ago when the indigenous people of Mexico first ate them. Tacos are also popular in the neighboring United States, where they are enjoyed as a casual fast food.
In the U.S., every Tuesday is considered Taco Day, called “Taco Tuesday.” On Taco Tuesdays, many Mexican restaurants in the U.S. offer tacos at discounted prices.
Why tacos became popular in Sweden
The reason why tacos, which originated in Mexico, became popular in Nordic Sweden is their ease of preparation. First, Sweden has a well-balanced work-life culture, so many families prefer to spend their Friday evenings with their families rather than going out for drinks or working overtime.
This lifestyle is reflected in the Swedish term “Fredagsmys” (cozy Friday). This word combines “Fredag,” meaning Friday in Swedish, and “mys,” meaning cozy or comfortable. In other words, “Fredagsmys” translates to “cozy Friday,” and for Swedes, Friday nights are meant for spending quiet, quality time with family and friends.
Tacos, with their simplicity of just wrapping ingredients in tortilla, are a perfect fit for such occasions. Especially on Fredagsmys, many Swedes prioritize time with their families over cooking dinner, making easy-to-prepare tacos a highly valued dish.
In Sweden, every Friday is Taco Day, and it is customary to eat tacos for dinner. It is surprising that tacos, Mexico’s national dish, are popular in Sweden, but it makes sense considering that Swedes don’t want to spend too much time preparing dinner after work.