A smorgasbord (smeur-ghes-boord) is a Scandinavian cold table, usually prepared and presented for lunch or a special occa-sion buffet party. There can be as many as seven or eight courses, with a choice of food for each one! Each course is planned to stimulate the palate for the next, and should be eaten on a clean plate.

It is customary to begin a smorgasbord with herring, which is prepared in every conceivable way, then a selection of cheeses and crispbreads follows. Next, cold meats, pates, egg dishes, smoked fish and perhaps shellfish, served with a selection of salads. Although it is general-ly a cold table, smorgasbord usually includes a hot section called the smavarmt. Smavarmt may consist of vegetable casseroles, meatballs, chops and stuffed cabbage leaves, to name but a few. A selection of fruit, rich pastries and gateaux follows, and for those with really hearty appetites, more cheese and crisp- breads. Aquavit, or chilled lager, or both, are traditionally served with the meal and coffee is served at the end of the meal.