The semla is a small and delicious wheat flour bun, flavoured with cardamom and filled with almond paste and whipped cream. It is normally eaten 47 days before Easter, on Fettisdagen (Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday). However, since Easter changes every year, so does Shrove Tuesday. This year it falls on Tuesday, February 21 (mark your calendars) and we can't wait to start feasting on semlor again
In Denmark and Norway, the celebration is known as Fastelavn and is also marked by eating the ever-so-famous white buns or fastelavnsboller as they're called in Denmark.
Semlan, is a fairly new invention but the tradition of eating pastries for Lent dates back to the Middle Ages. Back in the day, it was only on the third day of Lent, on the actual Fat Tuesday, that it was allowed to feast on pastries but nowadays semlor are sold from Christmas to Easter. Personally, we think January is a bit too early but since it's February now, we're good to go.
There are many different ways of making and eating the semla. Most people eat them as they are but an old tradition that lives on is eating the semla in warm milk, also known as "hetvägg". Milk or no milk, that's up to you to decide. Are you ready to start feasting on semlor again? We definitely are!
"Fun" fact: Did you know that King Adolf Fredrik of Sweden died on the 12th of February 1771 after having eaten....you guessed it, semlor. 14 of them!
Fat Tuesday was almost completely cancelled after this incident and semlor became known as "mördarsemlor" (murder buns). Thankfully Fat Tuesday and the semla survived and here we are in 2023 ready to have them again. Just maybe don't have 14…