Okay, we get it. Sweden would be a cool place to live. Not including the beautiful scenery, Sweden offers universal health care, free college, and paid vacation (usually around five weeks). Sure, taxes are a little high and the weather can be a little cold, but for the lover-of-all-things-sweet, Sweden is the place to be.
Sweden has invented the perfect reason to indulge in scrumptious decadences. With just one word, “Fika,” uttered in a Swedish workroom, among friends or at a family gathering, the coffee is brewed and always accompanied by some sort of delightful pastry.
Following are seven reasons why you need to hop a plane and fly across the pond to Sweden if you are a constant craver of treats.
Pretty similar to the American cinnamon buns, Kanelbullar are sweet, cinnamon and cardamom-filled rolls garnished with nib sugar. A swede cannot possibly drink their morning, mid-morning, afternoon, evening, or nighttime coffee without a kanelbulle. However, if there must be a substitution made (for example, Grandma ran out of flour and there are no more kanelbullar hidden away in the freezer) any of the following treats will suffice.
This unbaked goodie is made up of cocoa,
oatmeal, sugar, vanilla sugar, and butter (and some recipes include a dash of
coffee because frankly, Swedes just cannot get enough of the roasted java).
Chokladbollar, directly translated into “chocolate balls,” are usually rolled in coconut shavings or nib sugar to top off their sweetness. Find them in any-and-all bakeries, grocery stores, or children’s birthday parties.
Here’s a treat that’s only offered around the Lent season, especially on Fat Tuesday, but will leave you wanting them all year long. This cardamom bun has been elevated with a filling of whipped cream mixed with almond paste. The semlor are topped off with powdered sugar, which require lip licking and hand washing after each consumption (there will be plenty of consumptions, so be sure to wet your whistle with a cup of joe).
Another seasonal treat, Pepparkakor are Swedish gingerbread cookies, which are usually only socially acceptable to Fika-with during Christmas. Thin-baked, crispy and usually baked while singing Christmas carols (off-key or with perfect pitch, it doesn’t matter), pepparkakor are made with ginger, ground cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and syrup. Cookie-cutters make the Swedish holiday-cookie’s shape. The more traditional shapes include: stars, pigs, hearts, and the famous gingerbread man or woman.
If the fika-occasion is a little more special (for example, it’s someone’s birthday or it was a spectacular working day of only 6 hours), the Princess Cake is the most delectable, calorie-infested treat. (Sorry I had to mention calories. Don’t worry, you can work these calories off. Just act really Swedish, lose the car keys, and walk everywhere.) Fit for royalty, as its name suggests, the princess cake is layered with sponge cake, custard, jam, (A LOT of) whipped cream, finalized with a layer of green marzipan. Hard to make; easy to devour. Pair it with a black coffee. Trust me on this one. The cake is sweet enough.
Another sweet reason to move to Sweden is the Swede’s own brand of delicious chocolate: Marabou. Their slogan says it all – “mmm, Marabou.” Marabou is a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate that comes in a variety of flavors (including Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Fruit & Almond, etc.). Perfect for a mid-day treat, Marabou comes pre-cut so you can pick out only one, or two, pieces of the chocolate bar. But let’s face it, you’re going to eat the whole thing.
Maybe chocolate isn’t your cup of tea (whoops, I mean cup of coffee). However, candy, sweet and sticky or sour and chewy, is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth’s aching for a sugary treat. I know what you’re thinking, “America has candy, why would I need to fly thousands of miles for regular candy?” The answer is simple: variety. In Sweden, every grocery store is equipped with a candy section that has rows of containers encompassing a surplus of different types of candy. Before any movie night, friend date, party or fika, Swedes purchase lösgodis by grabbing an empty bag and filling it with whichever candies they’re planning on gorging into.
So, now that you’ve got a list-full of yummy reasons to move to, or at least visit, Sweden, enjoy your online search for plane tickets. I’ll meet you at the bakeries.
(Disclaimer: Sweet-tooth's, do not fear, after engulfing all the pastries and sugary treats mentioned above, in Sweden, dentistry is free for all children up to 19-years-old and is covered by that famous, Swedish universal health care for adults.)