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traditions

Swedes fatten up on "Fat Tuesday"

Published tisdag 8 mars 2011 kl 13.53
The traditional Semla. Photo: Karin Grip/Scanpix

It is not only international women's day today, but also "Fat Tuesday", also known as Mardi Gras in French or Shrove Tuesday in the UK.

In Sweden it is traditionally known as the day of the "semla", a characteristic dish consisting of a cardamon-spiced wheat bun where the top is cut off and the inside is brimming with an marzipan filling, topped with whipped cream. The cut-off top serves as a lid and is dusted with icing sugar.

In the Christian faith "Fat Tuesday" refers to the practice of eating richer, fattier foods on the last day before the ritual fasting that starts on Ash Wednesday, which is tomorrow.

The semla is however so loved in Sweden, you can now buy it in the shops as soon as Christmas celebrations are over. But the real high season is now, with between 6-7 million semlor consumed in Sweden during this week.

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