A couple of weeks before coming to Sweden, I clicked on a random Facebook suggestion – 5 Swedish words you must know. Just like another bored person, I thought, let’s learn some Swedish. While rest of the words were greetings, one word came up as a bit of mystery: Fika. It caught my attention because of another strange coincidence, in Hindi, Fika means tasteless. I thought, why is this a special word, So I did some googling. Turns out, it’s just the opposite. So “Fika” is a sort of informal coffee break, with something sweet.
During my time in Sweden, I have realised one thing for sure, Swedes love their sweets. Be it candies, chocolates or cinnamon buns or “kanelbullar” as they say. But there is one other sweet, that the rest of the world might be unfamiliar with – Semla.
So this mouth-watering bun, that appears to be wearing a hat, is called Semla. And in Sweden, there’s a special day for this. You might be thinking, so many calories, well, everyone thinks so; that’s why Semla day is also called “Fat Tuesday”.
So now you may ask what so special about Semla? Semla was consumed as a celebration before the Christian fasting period called lent. In modern Sweden since there is no strict adherence to lent, so semlor make their appearance in bakeries from February till Easter.
The semla (semlor-plural) is a traditional Swedish pastry. It consists of cardamom-spiced wheat flour bun with the top cut off and the inside filled with an almond paste whipped cream and a dusting of powdered sugar. In short, a heaven for sweet lovers.
I tried to restrict my Semla consumption to 4 today, but there’s a small problem, there’s a bakery on my way to the bus stop from my apartment, let’s see what will be the count for tomorrow.
Photo Credits: Raibhan Bhosle