Shaena, from Canada, gives tips on finding a job in Sweden and minimizing the winter blues by watching Melodifestivalen. We also discuss the greatest pastry ever made – the semla!
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Today is Fat Tuesday. In Sweden, this is known as the day when we EAT ALL THE SEMLA!
What is a semla?
It’s pastry awesomeness. That’s all you need to know.
I actually have to get to a bakery early today to make sure I get enough for our family. Last year I went at 4pm and there was a line a block down the street for the bakery I like to buy mine from. In fact, this bakery made headlines this year because they are selling a special gold semla “covered in edible gold” for 995 SEK (around $120), though we will stick to the regular semlor which costs around 40 SEK (just under $5).
To understand how awesome a semla is, you just need to know that King Adolf Fredrik of Sweden died from eating too many in 1771, and most of us think that must be a great way to go!
I leave you with semla photos. I will be in a semla coma this evening.
It’s here. One of the greatest days of the year! Some call it Fat Tuesday, Shove Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday…. but here in Sweden, it’s SEMMELDAGEN!
The day we are allowed to eat these heavenly treats without guilt. (Yes, we’ve been eating them since January, but WITH guilt….. today is without.)
I hope to write again tomorrow unless I am in a semla coma. A Swedish king died from eating these you know! They’re that good!
Today is Mardi Gras! In Sweden, that means you have to eat one of these – a semla. Believe me, it’s totally equal to partying in New Orleans in terms of how full and exhausted you feel after finishing one. But it’s so worth it.
From visitsweden.com – “Semla is a doughy ball of sin, oozing a slathericious almond and cardamom paste with lashings and lashings of vanilla-whipped cream atop.”
I’ll trade that for plastic beads and hurricane drinks any day.
Sweden has a special pastry for Fat Tuesday called a semla. It is pastry perfection and very hard to resist. They are only sold about 6 weeks before Fat Tuesday each year. You can’t buy them at other times.
There was once a Swedish king who died from eating 16 semlor. If you don’t control yourself, you will look like this:
That’s why many of us make a rule of eating a semla only on a Tuesday until Fat Tuesday. One would not be enough, but it would also be cruel to deny yourself. One a week is about all the body can take.
This week I missed having a semla on Tuesday, so I went to a bakery to order one on Wednesday. Keep in mind, there are about 50 semlor behind the counter. It’s the current seasonal treat.
As soon as I ordered it, another customer in line said, “But it’s not Fat Tuesday! Isn’t that in February?”!
Assuming she was a normal person and only joking, I smiled and said, “Yeah, I know.”
Then she demanded that the girl behind the counter tell her the exact date of Fat Tuesday this year. After that, she turned to me and yelled, “You’re cheating!”
There’s really nothing to say to that except to grab the semla, take a huge bite, and walk off with whipped cream all over your nose.
One of the best things about Sweden is all the pastry-themed holidays. Today is Cinnamon bun day! When I asked why we have a cinnamon bun day, I was told – so they can sell more cinnamon buns. Brilliant! That’s all the reason I need.
We also have Luciadagen, with saffron buns (this lasts through Christmas).
Semlor… ahhhhh….. the Mardi Gras pastry. It’s meant to be eaten at Mardi Gras, but has now been pushed up to every Tuesday starting in January through Mardi Gras. Works for me. I don’t know what’s in it, except that it’s goodness and a king died by eating 16 of them. What a great death!
Waffle day is March 25. I am told this is a mis-translation of Var fru dagen (Our lady’s day) and that over the years it turned into the similar sounded Vafflordagen (waffle day). Whether this story is true or not, it’s a good excuse to eat waffles.
So don’t forget your cinnamon bun today! Remember, if it’s a holiday, it’s good for you!