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Swedish Ways: Fettisdagen

Shrove Tuesday, you say? Fat Tuesday (fettisdagen) we say! Instead of pancakes, we eat something called a semla. The semla is a cardamom spiced bun (try finding a sweet bun in Sweden that isn’t, I dare you) hollowed out and filled with an almond paste, topped with whipped cream, the lid left from the hollowing out and finished with a dusting of icing sugar. The buns I baked yesterday turned out rather small … so I’m going to pretend it’s deliberate and call them “calorie controlled”.

Today is the “correct day” of eating them, but nowadays, bakeries start making them shortly after Christmas. A little wrong, I think.

The eating of the humble semla dates back centuries – in fact, we once had a king who ate himself to death on them. It even made it on to Horrible Histories! It’s one of the deleted Stupid Deaths on the series two DVD, check it out. 😀 Their buns even looked fairly authentic.

The attached picture are the ones I made today to bring with me to our roleplaying group for people to try.

Also, we had pancakes for breakfast. Lent is not observed in this household, and not in Sweden in general. Unless you’ve caught religion.

P.S. I skipped Valentine’s Day. Partly because I forgot, partly because … well, “same as you guys, really”.

Traxy Thornfield

A Swedish introvert residing in Robin Hood Country (Nottingham, UK) with a husband and two cats. She's an eager participant in tabletop and play-by-post roleplaying, woodworking, photography and European travel, when there's not a plague on. Might get a novel out one of these days, if she doesn't get too distracted along the way.

2 thoughts on “Swedish Ways: Fettisdagen

  1. Lent is seldom observed by Christians either in Sweden…

    Now I’m off to buy my second semla…

  2. Think it depends on how churchy you are. But then again, lent might not be that big within Lutheran Protestantism in general. Perhaps more of a Catholic and Church of England thing.

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