Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fat Tuesday

As I have written about ever so often on this blog, I have fallen in love with the Swedish pastry, semla. It's a dough ball filled with almond paste and topped with apple butter and whipped cream (and a dough cookie on top). It's traditionally eaten on Tuesdays and it is a seasonal pastry from the end of December/the beginning of January to the day before Lent. Interestingly enough, I have asked several Swedes if this is true and they ask me what Lent is and give me confused looks.

Anyways, the history behind Fat Tuesday (or in Swedish fettisdagen) is that in 1771 King Adolf Frederick died of a heart attack after a luxurious and extravagant dinner of lobster, caviar, saurkraut, smoked herring, and champagne. For desert, he ate fourteen semlor. (Semla is singular; Semlor is plural).

While semla are still traditionally eaten on Tuesdays, February 17 is a special Tuesday because it is the day before Lent. Back in the days, semlor were traditionally given up and Swedish culture still honors the tradition. I wish semlor weren't seasonal, but they sure are good!

I suppose I will have to start trying out other Swedish pastries now. As you know, I spend my days getting fika, lunch, eating pastries, walking around, and hanging out with people. Of course, I also go to class, cook (minimally), and grocery shopping. I'm very much enjoying living the Swedish life. As I wrote on one of my other posts, Americans steryotype Swedes, but those have been dispelled. Even if I never fully understand Swedish culture, at least I'm getting closer.

To read more about Fat Tuesday and Semla check out these web pages here:

Key Facts: http://lundianstudentescapes.tumblr.com/post/111176470810/lets-celebrate-semla-day

The History behind the tradition: https://sweden.se/culture-traditions/the-semla-more-than-just-a-bun/

How to make Semla: http://www.thelocal.se/20150123/how-to-make-the-swedish-semla-bun

Happy Fat Tuesday!

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