The word 'smörgåsbord' is a composit of two words, 'smörgås' and 'bord'. 'smörgås' in turn is a composit of 'smör', which in swedish means 'butter', and 'gås' which means 'goose'. A 'butter goose' is a slice of buttered bread, usually with some meat, fish or cheese product on top eaten in the morning or as a snack by swedish persons. There is never any actual 'goose' involved in a 'butter goose'. 'bord' just means 'table'. A 'smörgåsbord' is a popular swedish food dish which consists of a large table with various types of food on it. Bread is optional for the 'smörgåsbord' though it is obligatory for the 'smörgås'. On the table one must be able to find at least 13 different types of pickled herring or it is not a 'proper' 'smörgåsbord'. Pickled herring is a very important swedish food, and is made of herring that is first salted and kept in barrels for a month and then soaked in water to make it less salty, and then soaked in a solution of distilled vinegar, sugar and spices, possibly to be left there, but maybe to be removed and covered with some sauce that could be made of mustard or have garlic in it, but if it does contain garlic it is not really swedish so lets hope it doesn't. If you find herring with garlic sauce on your typically swedish 'smörgåsbord' please report to the nearest 'smörgåsbord ombudsman' who will investigate and file a report. Also to be found on the swedish 'smörgåsbord' is smoked salmon and 'gravlax', the latter which means 'salmon of the grave', but is really raw salmon with salt, sugar and a lot of dill and a sauce made out of mustard, vinegar, oil (not olive oil, by god, swedish, not italian, remember!) and dill, and there is no grave involved. Let us not forget the eal which we hope will be on our 'smörgåsbord', it should be smoked and fatty and delicious. This fish section of the 'bord' is what is to be eaten first, in the accompaniment of eggs, and only when it has been conquered may the eater move on to the next section which consists of cold meats. In this section we have various patés, timbales, sausages, and sliced meats. After the cold foods one may move on to hot foods, which will of course include meatballs, but also other things, such as 'jansonsfrestelse' which is a potato gratin with anchovies. If the 'smörgåsbord' is instead a 'julbord' which means that it is eaten before christmas one would also find ham and at least two kinds of cabbage and various other things that the swedes consider christmasy. Like an expanded herring section. There is also sections for deserts and cheeses and probably other things as well. When commencing upon a 'smörgåsbord' experience it is important to have a clear plan of action in mind, lest one becomes confused and disoriented, unable to make a single selection at all. One is meant to approach and fill ones plate from the 'bord' many times and the eater is recommended to take advantage of this by first sampling and then returning for the tastiest things. Avoid bread at all cost during this meal. It is usually on display, but should be considered strictly ornamental as it will fill your belly in a less tasty than optimal manner.