What do you eat on the Fat Tuesday? Semlor of course!

What do you eat on the Fat Tuesday? Semlor of course!

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The traditional Swedish pastry "semla" is eaten once a year on "fat Tuesday". Foto: Siqi Zhao.

Have you noticed that the swedes are queuing on the street outside the bakery on an ordinary Tuesday? Are you sure it’s an ordinary Tuesday? It’s the fat one!

Fettisdagen, or the Fat Tuesday the 28th, is where you eat a sweet bun filled with whipped cream and almond paste in Sweden. In Swedish, this pastery is called “semla”, and its plural form is “semlor”. In some other European countries there are some similar festivals with different names for the day. For instance, in France it is called “Mardi Gras”, “Carnaval” in the Netherlands, “laskiainen” in Finland, and the Pancake Day in the UK. In Sweden, around 4 million of semlor are eaten every year!

At the same time as the swedes were chasing for a semla, the international students were also being excited for getting acquainted to the Swedish culture by creating their own semla. We took a look into the Swedish lounge, an event organized by the International Desk at Lund University, and saw happy faces of international students making semlor.

Andy Lin, an exchange student from the University of Melbourne . Foto: Siqi Zhao.

Andy Lin, an exchange student from the University of Melbourne, says that he really likes the semlor “They are super tasty!”. When being asked what he thinks of such celebrations where the food is the main character Andy Lin said he thinks it’s cool and he feels nice to experience some Swedish culture while he is studying as an exchange student in Sweden.

Some Singaporean students agreed on that this kind of celebrations are very nice, since in the Chinese culture there are also a lot of holidays which are associated with some specific types of food.

For some students, the holiday of Fat Tuesday is something familiar, as Tiago, an international student from Italy, says that there are similar celebrations in Italy where they eat a sweet snack called “bugie” or “chiacchiere” in Italian. “I really like this kind of holidays, my family makes a lot of chiacchiere every year and they are very tasty”, says Tiago, and now he feels good for trying the semlor and feel the Swedish culture.

If you haven’t tried a semla yet – it’s still not late to go to grab one and enjoy the bite of Sweden in your mouth!

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