The Semla

It's that time of the year again, when all the bakeries and cafes in Sweden are filled with the delicious pastry we call a semla (plural: semlor). Today, Shrove Tuesday (Fettisdagen) is when you are traditionally supposed to eat a semla, but these days semlor are sold during most of the month of February. A semla is made from a wheat bun, spiced with cardamom, hallowed out and filled with almond paste mixed with the removed bread.  It is then topped with whipped cream and a "hat" made of the top of the bun. In recent years I have seen an increase in specialty semlor... chocolate, blueberry and so on. Traditionalists consider these to be borderline sacrilegious. According to statistics, the average Swede consumes 5 semlor during these weeks.
Every year most newspapers put together their own "expert" jury of semla-aficionados who rate the semlor sold at popular cafes and bakeries throughout the city. For example, here is Svenska Dagbladet's test. But if you are staying at the Rival Hotel, you don't have to go far to try a semla... our own Café Rival is a popular spot to try these delicious pastries!


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