The Swedish cream bun (known as a 'semla' or 'semlor' if you're having a few), is a doughy ball that oozes out a sweet almond paste and is topped with oodles of whipped cream.
Traditionally eaten only on the day before Lent, it has become a staple in Sweden's cake-packed bakeries and coffee houses. But unless you want a creamy moustache, it isn't that easy to eat if you're walking along at the same time.
One bakery has come to the rescue of busy Stockholmers and invented a 2015 version of the bun – a tortilla-style paper-wrapped snack, which incorporates the bun's key ingredients, but is designed to be much less messy.
The move has led to long queues outside the store – Tössebageriet – with more than 500 of the new snacks (called 'Semmel-wrappen') sold on Tuesday alone.
“We realized that there was not really an easy way to eat the semla on the go, but now it is a lot easier if you are in a hurry and you don't really have time to sit down,” pastry chef Maria Strandlund told The Local.
“Usually we only sell 20 or 30 ordinary semla buns a day but the new wrap has really taken off.”
Traditional semlor buns. Photo: TT
Swedes have a long love affair with cakes and regular 'fika' coffee breaks are a staple in most people's work and social lives. Asked if the new speedy snack threatened the ritual, Strandland added: “Yes, Swedes do love to take their time over a fika, but there are also a lot of people who are always in a rush, especially in Stockholm.”
Online news stories about the snack were trending on some of Sweden top newspaper websites on Tuesday.
“All the ingredients are the same, the difference is that the dough is rolled out very thin and is then baked very lightly so it can be rolled up, and then we squirt cream and almond paste in it. It tastes a bit different…the bun does not become dry like with the ordinary bun,” inventor Mattias Ljungberg from Tössebageriet told Sweden's Metro newspaper.
“This is a product I believe in. You can eat it on the train, around town or sit in the car and eat it,” he added.
For the moment the bakery has no plans to sell the snack to stores or cafes in any other parts of Sweden.