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Semla convert foists buns on expat friends

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Abhinav Goel eats semlor "a lot", a friend ratted. Photo: Private
11:01 CET+01:00
Semla convert and missionary Abhinav Goel tells The Local why he loves the Swedish Shrove Tuesday bun and preaches its cream-covered loveliness to anyone who will listen. But he doesn't want to talk calories.

On Tuesday, employees across Sweden are waiting for their managers to descend with huge cardboard boxes carrying the Shorve Tuesday, or fettisdag, speciality - the semla bun.

Just like with a properly gooey hamburger, the semla puts the neatest eater to the test: How do you get your mouth around the huge bun and the lashing of whipped cream spilling out on top? And how do you bite into it to make sure you get just the right amount of marzipan in your mouth without ending up with a nose covered in cream?

Last year, New Delhi-born Abhinav Goel was introduced to his first semla at work. It was love at first bite.

"l have a very sweet tooth basically and I really miss Indian dishes," he tells The Local. "But the semla has this marzipan and we have a similar dish in India that is made out of almonds."

Goel has since become a connoisseur and recommends Vetekatten or Gateau bakeries for a proper semla. The grocery store variety sometimes has no marzipan, which for Goel is a big no-no. Also, he thinks a proper semla bun should have a hint of cardamom, another key ingredient, as it happens, to much Indian cuisine. 

"I like the authentic ones, they're fresh and have a hint of cardamom," he explains. "I'm regularly having it these days, every alternate day."

That's not all, he regularly foists the semla bun on his friends, especially foreign-born ones who may not yet have tasted them.

"I promote it to everyone I know," he admits. " I just like it every time I eat it, it just melts in my mouth and I love it and I can have two or three in one go." 

But what of the calorie content?

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"Don't make me feel guilty," he responds. 

With Shrove Tuesday in full swing, semla season approaches its end. 

"That will be difficult for me when they take them off the shelves," Goel says. 

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