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Swedish Semlor - The Vegan Style

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While visiting Stockholm with a friend this February we spent a lot of time in hip Swedish cafes fleeing the excruciating cold. We were impressed by the numerous cafes on offer. One of the first little cafes we visited was situated in the Old Town called Gamla Stan a few rides away from our hostel. Cafรฉ Schweitzer with its writings on the wall in every language you can possibly think of exposed that the cafรฉ was a big hit with tourists. However this is where we first discovered a small pastry called Semla or fastlagsbulle. After spending a few days in Stockholm Semla turned out to be a Swedish national treasure sold at every corner, in supermarkets and cafes around the City. 

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Coincidently the Swedish also celebrated national Semla day while we were in town.  Selmar is a sweet bun flavoured with cardamom and filled with almond paste and cream and it turns out there is a whole history behind the bun.

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Traditionally eaten on fettisdag which can be translated to Shrove Tuesday or also Fat Tuesday, every February in the year. The buns are therefore eaten before the Christian Lent Period.  The idea was to fill your stomach with as much semlor as possible before the lent period begins. The legend says that the Swedish King Adolf Fredrik died of eating more than 10 servings of Semlors in 1771. So when you try this recipe be aware that it is addictive and think of what happened to King Adolf.

Swedish Semla

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