Let the f(e)asting begin!

So it’s that time of year again: the day to feast before fasting starts. Also known as Fat Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday.

(In honour of the Swedish tendency to mix up the two days, I’m writing about Tuesday on a Thursday. It makes sense, right?)

To celebrate the beginning of Lent, the Swedes eat a Lenten bun called a semla – from the Latin word semilia, which means flour. (Hey – I knew that studying Latin would come in handy one day! Yes, I was the poor klutz who had double Latin every Friday at school.)


Just look at those buns – delicious! (Well, except for the cream, which I don’t like. But apart from that….)

In the olden days, people ate plain wheat buns soaked in milk (called hetvägg – which means …er.. hot wall – don’t ask me why!)

Then about two hundred years ago, the modern day bun took shape: the bun is spiced with cardamon, and the top is cut off. Hollow out the inside of the bun, fill with almond paste, top with whipped cream and put the lid back on. Dust with powdered sugar.

And enjoy!

18 responses

  1. Oooo, it looked so delicious. I too do not like too much cream. It looked like cream puff that were sold here.


    February 18, 2010 at 07:20

  2. I would eat it, cream and all, if it were placed in front of me. This was a delicious post, Lady.


    February 18, 2010 at 07:41

  3. I am drooling as I write my comment! Can I come to Sweden 🙂


    February 18, 2010 at 08:47

  4. I’m glad I had a honkin’ big cinnamon bun before reading this!


    February 18, 2010 at 08:49

  5. Looks wonderful! I could use one right now! 🙂


    February 18, 2010 at 11:52

  6. Oh that looks yummy. It’s the cardamom that does it for me.


    February 18, 2010 at 11:54

  7. Now I’m absolutely famished! Not fair!


    February 18, 2010 at 12:16

  8. I skated over the post to avoid the drooly bits on the keyboard. I also was stuck with Latin at school but – after the mock ‘o’ level with my disastrous results – I had to come clean about copying someone’s homework for the previous few years


    February 18, 2010 at 12:52

  9. yep, sign me up…


    February 18, 2010 at 15:55

  10. Writing about a Tuesday on a Thursday makes absolute sense to me! I’m easy. Do you make these buns?


    February 18, 2010 at 16:33

  11. Those look AMAZING!


    February 18, 2010 at 17:17

  12. They look very appetising but the cream is too rich for me.
    We had pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. This year we bought ready made ones but they didn’t taste as lovely as when they are made at home.

    Nuts in May


    February 18, 2010 at 17:22

  13. You’re making me hungry!!


    February 18, 2010 at 19:03

  14. I’d trade the cream for cream cheese. Because I’m healthy that way.

    I took your advice this morning and posted the call for questions at the top!


    February 18, 2010 at 19:09

  15. Interesting! (I don’t like the cream either!). Our church held a pancake dinner on Tuesday!


    February 18, 2010 at 21:41

  16. The Girl From Cherry Blossom Street

    Dust with powdered sugar!???
    Oh! “Age. Fac ut gaudeam”!

    These are similar to beignets?


    February 18, 2010 at 21:48

  17. Fasting truly allows one to appreciate the food that is before us. It cleanses us of toxins and allows us to face our fears. Looks like a fun food to eat after the fast too. 🙂


    February 19, 2010 at 05:13

  18. I like my bread or bun plain with a little butter..I would scoop all that gunk out:(


    February 22, 2010 at 02:24

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