On February 21, it’s finally Fat Day. For those of you who can’t get enough of this traditional pastry, we have collected some fun facts to share with your coffee.
Soon it will be time for one of the most anticipated days of the year: Fat Tuesday! For those of you who love bread rolls, we have looked up five extra interesting facts about this beloved pastry.
The word semla comes from the Latin “simila”
The word semla comes from the German “semel” and the Latin “simila”, which means “fine flour”. This is because semla was originally simply a bread made of fine wheat flour. Both white flour, sugar and whipped cream were very unusual in the Swedish farming community, which meant that the fastlag bun was a delicacy that could not be made very often.
In our neighboring countries, almond pulp is not a must
Almond mass is not an obvious element in a semla, at least if you look at our neighboring countries. In both Norway, Denmark and Finland, the almond pulp is often replaced with jam – and the Icelanders like to top the semlan with chocolate.
In the past, it was illegal to bake rolls too early in the year
It may seem harsh, but in the 1950s there was actually a law that regulated during which time of the year you were allowed to eat rolls. This meant that you as a baker could be fined if you started selling buns too early.
The world’s largest semla weighed 300 kilos
In 2020, the world’s largest semla was baked by bakers in Huddinge. The record-breaking semla was almost one and a half meters wide and weighed 300 kilos. After seven hours in the oven, the bun was filled with 30 kilos of almond mass and 100 kilos of whipped cream, and then transported to Sergel’s Square in Stockholm, where passers-by could both look at and taste the enormous pastry.
Swedes eat six million rolls – only on Fat Day
The fact that we Swedes love rolls is hardly news, but did you know that we tuck into around six million rolls annually, on Fat Day alone? The figure comes from the industry organization Sweden’s bakers and confectioners, who have also calculated that we annually consume 132 tons of almond pulp, 211 tons of cream and 2.6 tons of cardamom just to bake rolls.