Anna's Swedish Semla Buns - a little taste of heaven
The SEMLA bun plays a big role in the Swedish and Scandinavian *FIKA culture.
The peak of Semla season is Shrove Tuesday. This year, 2017, Shrove Tuesday falls on February 28, and it would be hard to locate a swede that does not indulge in a Semla bun on this day.
Some cafes serves semla buns from January- Easter, other ones are stricter and serves it only the week of Shrove Tuesday or even only on Shrove Tuesday.
Beaches Bakeshop, a swedish cafe in Toronto, serves the famous bun from now until Easter!
The history behind this bun was developed a long time ago…It was when Sweden was a small Kingdom. The King of this Kingdom announced a competition and the prize was the Princess' hand. Whoever baked the best bun would marry the princess of the Kingdom. A young soldier was madly in love with the princess and saw his chance. He found the best quality butter, flour, almond, cream, cardamom and came up with the Semla bun. He baked a sweet yeast bun, cut off the top, hollowed out the bun and filled it with scrumptious almond paste. He then whipped the cream, placed it on top of the almond paste and finally placed the “lid” back on the cream. It makes for a very tasty pastry and so pretty!
The name Semla stems from the latin noun for the finest wheat flour, which is Simila:
Nounsimila f (genitive similae); first declension
*Fika is a word used widely among swedes when describing a sit down coffee or tea break. You ask a friend or co worker to have a fika. Does not have to be very formal just a get together, catch up but always sitting down!
If you have never tried a Semla bun, make the trip to the East End of Toronto to the Beaches Bakeshop & Cafe. You won't be dissapointed!
Anna Tvinnereim, P.H.Ec., is the owner of Beaches Bakeshop & Cafe’ (900 Kingston Road, Toronto, 416- 686- 2391)
For more delicious Swedish treats, follow the Beaches Bakeshop & Cafe on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram