Tuesday, February 16, 2010

OK snapshot: Fettisdagen (Fat Tuesday)

If you wonder what this mountain of Swedish pastries are, I can tell you. These are SEMLOR (sing. semla), an amazingly good concoction served on Tuesdays starting on Fat Tuesday (=today) and then eaten on Tuesdays every spring from Lent until Easter. It is a very old, and tasty tradition. Of course, nowadays they start selling them in December and heretic people eat them on Wednesdays and even Saturdays, etc..

But we did it right this year. I baked sweet cardamom yeast buns on Saturday, and then filled them with almond paste and whipped cream, and served them floating in warm milk. Ahhh, heaven. Photos of our own will come later, for now you have to look at this snapshot by OK of a store window in Stockholm from today.

Some semla trivia: On February 12, 1771, the Fat Tuesday of that year, the Swedish king Adolf Frederick died after eating 14 semlor at dinner. Other things he had that night was sauerkraut, turnips, lobster, caviar, smoked herring (kippers), and champagne. What a mix, that is what I call overload. He ruled Sweden in the mid to late 1700s and is known as the 'king that ate himself to death', a weak ruler, and for making snuff boxes as a hobby.

More semla trivia: The word semla is related to semolina. Today, 2 million Swedes are having a semla. Considering that there are only 9 million of us, that is a rather large quota. 40 million semlor are sold in Sweden each year.

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