This Saturday was the first week of Melodifestivalen, the Swedish preliminary competition to see who will represent the country at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. It’s six weeks of over-the-top music and very interesting performances, voting is open to the entire country, and it’s honestly a pretty big deal here (especially in the queer community). Needless to say I was very excited.
Equally as important as melodifestivalen (or perhaps even more important), it was also the day I would finally get to have semla, a traditional pastry seasonal to February. Although they’ve slowly been showing up in more and more cafés and restaurants since I arrived, I knew we would be making our own, so I figured it was worth holding out for the experience. After all, you only get your first semla once.
The process for making them was actually not too complicated (even though I did have to read the recipe in Swedish). It’s starts with a regular yeast dough, the same kind used for cinnamon or cardamom rolls. We rolled them out, and they only took about 10 minutes in the oven. Then we had to cut off the tops and take out the middles for the almond filling, and we topped them with whipped cream and powdered sugar. They were extremely good and definitely worth the wait, and I will hopefully be having many more of them before they disappear in March.