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Yep – it’s that time again: time for another of my posts on strange Swedish foods. Today’s food is Semla.

Semla are buns full of whipped cream which are particularly eaten in the run-up to lent. Fat Tuesday ( Shrove Tuesday) is Semla Day. Yep, that’s right – instead of Pancakes they eat Semla on Shrove Tuesday*. However, they’re pretty much available everywhere from January onwards.

(*Just a note here for my Swedish friends: In the UK Shrove Tuesday is often known as Pancake Day – because, funnily enough we eat pancakes then. The traditional accompaniment to pancakes is lemon juice and caster sugar. A note to my English friends: in Sweden Pancakes usually come with Jam and cream. Whipped cream.)

The wonderful Miss Overkill (commonly known as Hanna) sent me a link via facebook which gave me a free Semla from Cederleufs & Svenheimers Bageri out in Gamlestaden. As such, after a nice bit of bowling this afternoon at Strike, Emil and I went to claim it so I could taste my first ever Semla. As he’s allergic to almonds, we had a vanilla one.


Now, it’s vaguely common knowledge that I’m not a huge fan of whipped cream due to incidents long ago (ask if you wish – it’s an interesting tale). Unfortunately, Semla tastes mostly of slightly sweet bread and a LOT of whipped cream. It’s not really offensive, but it’s a bit too creamy for my tastes. As such, I gave Emil the remainder of my one. Without the cream they’re – well… just slightly sweet, slightly Cardamom-flavoured rolls.

In conclusion – I can understand why people love them, but I’ll stick with my Lussekatter and Kanelbullar over Semla any day.



About Lady Octavia

I'm Charlie I spent a year living in Sweden and I'm now a full time librarian in a primary school in the UK. In my spare time I have an allotment, I sew and I bake.

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