Mardis Gras, Punchki’s, and Semlas
It’s that time of year again where everyone is allowed to do whatever they want, as much as they want, want without feeling bad about it. Whether for religious reasons or because of tradition, people celebrate Mardis gras or Fat Tuesday (depending on whether one wants to over indulge in partying or eating) to celebrate for the final time something they enjoy in excess before 40 days of withdrawal begins.
In Canada we’ve always celebrated Lent with jelly-filled punchki’s. It is a polish dessert (Pączki) that is a deep fried donut packed filled with jelly. They are delicious and if you ever get chance to have a punchki, try to eat more than one. It’s almost impossible. Why do we eat a Polish dessert in Canada? No idea, just like anything else we Canadians always like to take everyone else’s good ideas. But now after being in Sweden I’ve had to switch from a punchki to a semla. And I have to say, I think I like this semla as final enjoyment before giving up something for 40 days is worth it.
In Sweden, Lent can be known as Fetis Dagenaka aka. Semla day. Today is the day to find the best Semlas in town. Usually Metro newspaper ranks a couple of the best (and worst) places that one can find a semla. I have to say they haven’t been wrong yet. So far, Tössebageriet had great semlas. The place is small and will probably be packed, so I suggest ordering your Semlas and taking a walk to a park to enjoy them.
The second place was Vetekatten right by Hörtorget. The café is quite large and looks like a quaint tea room where you can sit and enjoy your delicious semla. Again, getting there earlier is always better.
If you are more of the ambitious type, grab your friends and take a couple hours to make a bunch of semlas. You’ll be a hit among your friends and can successfully say you have participated in a Swedish tradition. Nothing like home made semlas to brighten up your day 🙂
Not so duktig in the kitchen? Head over to Coop or any grocery store. There you can buy the semla bread and cream to make your own semla. Easy as 1, 2, 3! Step 1. Open the semla bread. Step.2 Put in as much filling as you please. Step 3. Eat the semla.
In a rush? If last minute style is your thing have no fear you will not miss out! While not as delicate (or expensive) as a bakery, 7/11 can provide you with a semla for just 8kr.
So as you can see, there is no reason to not participate in this delicious activity. Maybe even go out to a few places to judge for yourself which place is best. Happy Semla hunting!