Fettisdagen! Semla Semla Semla!

If there’s one thing I absolutely love about Sweden it’s that pastries have holidays and holidays have pastries. Enter “fat tuesday”, or fettisdag – better known in the US as the day that Mardi Gras is celebrated, and/or the day of gluttony before Lent.

In Sweden, this day is the traditional day to eat a semla bun.



Semla buns (or semlor) have been on display for a few weeks now, and they will be for a while still, I think up until around Easter. Traditional semla are these delicious buns, spiced with cardamom, filled with almond paste, topped with whipped cream, then their little “hat” and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

cross-section of a semla bun - minus the hat
cross-section of a semla bun – minus the hat

Rumor/legend has it that King Adolf Frederick died in 1771 after eating 14 semlor, so it’s probably best to not go around eating a bunch of them despite the temptation.

Because I can’t resist a good excuse for a fika, I told Matt that I wanted to get our annual semla on Semla Bun Day. This is the one and only pastry I will share, because it’s more fun that way and then I don’t feel so bad after eating it. Note: this is not the case on any other day with any other pastry.

We decided to get one for dessert, so my darling Husband went to a little local café to pick us up a semla…and a hot chocolate for me 🙂  It was made to order, and super, super good. The one we tried last year (our first semla) was also delicious. I think if you’re selling them, they have to be good or your café would go out of business, right? This is serious tradition! I’d love to do a walk around town and try all the semlor to compare, but it’s not going to happen. Any pastry that carries the weight of murdering a king, and comes before a period of fasting (so it’s gotta be hearty, if you know what I mean), is a pastry better left shared only once a year.


I should probably use that reasoning with every other pastry out there…but when it comes to chocolate balls, or homemade chocolate chip cookies…I just can’t and won’t and you will never make me.


In other news, it’s Valentine’s week! And just like last year, S:t Lars Kyrka is all dressed up!

linköping with love INDEED!
linköping with love INDEED!

Almost exactly one year ago, Matt and I flew in to Linköping City Airport, drove straight to Ikea to pick up house essentials, and then made our way to our new home. Upon driving on the cobblestone pedestrian-only streets by accident, we turned down our street to be greeted with this exact view. That’s when I knew it: Me and Sweden, we were meant to be.

It’s so nice to see the hearts again. Warm fuzzies and all that good stuff 🙂

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