LearnSwedishwith Us!

Start Learning!

Swedish Language Blog

Three Posts About Fat Tuesday in Sweden Posted by on Feb 28, 2017 in Culture, food, Swedish Language

I started writing for the Transparent Swedish blog back in November of 2009. Since then, I’ve written over 220 posts in 83 months (there were four months that I didn’t post anything… I hope you can forgive me!). That comes out to about 90,000 words. Some of you have been reading for years and I hope you’ve learned a lot along the way. But this is going to be my last post for Transparent. It’s been a good run. A long run. Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t leave you with something sweet to remember me by.

Semla by Frugan. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr.

Luckily, it’s Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras. Shrove Tuesday. Pancake Day. Or, in Swedish, Fettisdagen. And Fettisdagen means a lot of things to a lot of people, but to me, it means just one thing: semlor. A semla is a sweet bun. There’s a hint of cardamom. There’s some almond paste (or sometimes marzipan) in the middle. There’s a topping of whipped cream. There’s a pool of milk to dip it in. It’s amazing. Over the years, we’ve written a few posts about the glory that is semlor. In fact, Swedes are supposedly going to eat six million (6,000,000!) semlor today. Please do your part.

I’ve written a couple times about celebrating fettisdagen and eating semlor:

Celebrating Fat Tuesday Swedish Style

For those of you already in Sweden, you may have noticed a delicious baked good in bakeries and stores everywhere. The semla. Essentially, the semla, or semlor (if you’re really hungry and want more than one) is a wheat bun hollowed out and filled with amazingness. The amazingness consists of an almond paste and plenty of cream. To top it all off, well, is the top of the wheat bun that you just hollowed out. Add a little powdered sugar and you have yourself a delicious treat. If you’re feeling adventurous, put your semla in a bowl of warm milk. Really, there’s no wrong way to enjoy a semla.

Lussekatter and Semlas and Waffles! Oh, My!

The winter season in Sweden is marked by baked goods. From December to the end of March, your local konditori will be filled with some very specific treats. Of course, delicious baked goods can always be found in Sweden, but certain times of the year bring with them certain bakery items. In December, Lucia brings Lussekatter. In February, (or March depending on the calendar) Fettisdagen (or Mardi Gras) brings semlas. And at the end of March, Våffeldagen brings waffles.

And Stephen has even created a short video teaching you how to make semlor!:

SwS Episode 6: Att baka semlor

Aurora and I decided to make semlor today, and we thought you might like to see the process and its result, and even learn some new phrases. So we filmed the entire thing, and here it is for you to drool over!

Ok, ok. I know I said three posts, but here is one more where we briefly mention semlor. I swear, it’s totally worth it because… tongue twisters. And, as a bonus, you get to hear my sultry voice one last time:

Swedish Tongue-Twisters. Part Two.

Have you mastered the tongue-twisters from last week? Personally, I think “sex laxar i en laxask” is the trickiest. If you haven’t had a chance to practice yet, take a look at Swedish Tongue-Twisters. Part One. If you have, get ready for a new set of tongue-twisters. These are a little bit harder and maybe a little bit more challenging.

Alright everyone, that’s it for me. Keep studying, keep reading, keep learning Swedish, and, as always, good luck with your Swedish!


By the way… want more free language learning resources, advice, and news from Transparent Language? Sign up for our newsletter!

Tags: ,
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author:Marcus Cederström

Marcus Cederström has been writing for the Transparent Swedish Blog since 2009. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Oregon, a Master's Degree in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and a PhD in Scandinavian Studies and Folklore from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He has taught Swedish for several years and still spells things wrong. So, if you see something, say something.


  1. Natasha:

    Marcus, I have indeed been reading your posts for years, and have learned a lot from you. You will be missed! I wish you well!

Leave a comment: