So I’m in Gothenburg at the moment.
It was 3pm, and the team and I were locked in a serious discussion. A guy knocks on the door, and starts talking to my boss in Swedish, “fdhsufhduigfdsi” he says and shuts the door.
We resume our discussion. My boss starts to give his input, as if he were adding on to the discussion and goes “So in Scandinavia, we have this thing called Fettisdagen, otherwise known as Fat Tuesday”. He turns to me, the only non-Scandinavian in the room. “This is an excuse to eat FAT FOOD. And to celebrate, the office has bought some fat food for everyone. Let’s go into the kitchen!” Whaaat? Fat Tuesday?
I rushed out in excitement, not knowing what to expect. I was really really excited. Fat Tuesday? Fat Tuesday!!
A table full of Semla pastry greeted me. So what is Semla? It looks like a hamburger on that picture, but it’s really a bun filled with almond paste, and topped with whipped cream. Nico explained that traditionally, you dip the whole thing in a bowl of milk, and eat the mix with a spoon. I nod respectfully, but then he goes “Gross!”.
Fat Tuesday really is Shrove Tuesday, otherwise known as Pancake Day in United Kingdom.
It is in fact the first day of Lent and it is wonderful how each country has its own tradition. (Madeira for example, has a tradition of eating fried doughnuts!)
That Semla was filling and delicious, but there’s a very good reason why it is eaten once a year!