February 18, 2012

Mmmmm... the Semla!

If you are travelling to Sweden anytime between now and Easter, you will notice an odd looking pastry in every bakery and café window. This is called a semla (plural: semlor). Originally the semla was eaten on Shrove Tuesday before Lent, but these days semlor abound in the months between now and Easter. Semlor consist of a hallowed out wheat bun, spiced with cardamom, filled with a mixture of bread crumbs, almond paste and milk topped with whipped cream. Quite the calorie bomb! They are either eaten plain with coffee or tea or served in a bowl of warm milk. Swedes generally love their semlor and local newspapers usually come out every year with a list of which bakery/café has the best semlor in town with a panel discussing what makes the perfect semla. Swedes will travel far for a good semla. If you are interested in trying one of these delectable treats while in Stockholm, then you don't have to travel far... they are sold in the Café Rival- made fresh in our bakery!
A bit of semla trivia: King Adolf Fredrik of Sweden ("the king who ate himself to death"- ruled during the 1700's) died of digestive problems after consuming 14 servings of his favorite dessert: a semla in a bowl of warm milk! A case of too much of a good thing... so, be careful of how many you eat!

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