The Swedish Semla
Traditionally eaten only on the day before Lent, (the Christian fasting period), semlor are now eaten on a daily basis by enthusiasts nationwide from Christmas until Easter.
When do you eat semla?
Shrove Tuesday, known as Fettisdagen or ‘Fat Tuesday’ in Sweden. In 2021 Fettisdagen is on 16 February.
Where can you get a semla (or two)?
Every bakery and café worth its salt. Or sugar and fat in this case.
Who eats semlor?
Semla addicts who love them and eat them daily and traditionalists who only eat them on weekends, and the truly traditional who only eat them on Fat Tuesday.
How to eat semla like a local:
Start with the lid. Use it to scoop up some of the gooey contents. Proceed with the rest of the bun. The carnal eat it shamelessly straight from hand-to-mouth. The refined like to fork-it. Bohemians do it with a spoon. Tourists do it with confusion. And traditionalists order it in a bowl of warm milk. All are equally good.
The cream buns known as 'semlor' are historically tied to Shrove Tuesday, as the 'semla' was the last festive food before Lent.
Photo: Susanne Walström/imagebank.sweden.se