Annually at around the same time as when the semlor are ubiquitous in the shops and bakeries, there are local competitions on semlor taste testing printed in the newspapers. For a newspaper to declare someone as a winner, is known to be a major boost in sales for the specific bakery or shop. Recently an anonymous blogger, known as the semla man, has gained a reputability for directing consumers to where the best made semlor are in Stockholm. The semla man awards each store with points to guide consumers as to where some of the best prepared semlor are to be bought for a delicious sweet treat.
Traditionally the oldest form of semla was a plain bread bun consumed after being placed in a bowl of warm milk, called hetvägg by the Swedes. Today the semla has evolved into a wheat bun spiced with cardamom. The top is cut away and the bun is filled with milk and an almond paste and topped with whipped cream. The bun top is then placed on top of the whipped cream. The final preparation is to sprinkle powdered sugar over the bun. Other countries may prepare the semlor in a different fashion.
In February 1771 King Adolf Frederick of Sweden is recorded as having a major rich meal and 14 servings of the traditional hetvägg. This was his favourite desert and quite soon afterwards after all that food, he died from digestion related problems.
In 2001, the world’s largest semla was prepared weighing in at 160kgs in Linköping (a city of Sweden).
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