Today is Fettisdagen (=Shrove Tuesday/Fat Tuesday), so today us too we have eaten semlor. Homemade, of course!
Semlor are small, wheat flour buns, flavoured with cardamom and filled with almond paste and whipped cream. The traditions of eating semla are rooted in Shrove Tuesday when the buns were eaten at a last celebratory feast before the fasting period of lent, something that developed to eating semlor every Tuesday from Shrove Tuesday until Easter; and nowadays they are commonly available already from the end of the Christmas season!
There are variations of semlor (SEHM-lohr is plural, SEHM-la is singular) throughout Scandinavia and in Sweden they go by several different names; semlor in the north, fastlagsbullar in the south, and hetvägg if it’s eaten with warm milk. The most modern name is semlor which likely developed out of the Latin word semilia referring to the finest wheat flour.