“It tasted really good, actually!” Metin Kizil, owner of the fast food restaurant in central Sweden, told The Local.
The idea came about when a customer asked if he could get a Lucia hot dog in the restaurant. That twist on the traditional Lucia pastry was launched in December by Swedish newsagent Pressbyrån, with a sausage served in a saffron bun and topped optionally with ketchup and mustard.
The company's fast food product manager Fredrik Edin said: “Because the Lucia bun has a very sweet brioche-like taste, it goes very well with sausages.”
But since Kizil's restaurant didn't serve hot dogs, he instead decided to improvise – and offered the customer a Lucia kebab.
“We served it to him, and he then came back and asked for another because he liked it so much!” the chef explained. “I thought 'OK, I need to taste this myself. It's good, you can put sauce on it so it doesn't taste so sweet, and it tasted really good, actually! I was surprised.”
Then he shared the new hybrid food on the restaurant's Facebook side, and since then, they have sold seven of the saffron kebabs, and plan to continue offering the item each December. So far, Kizil says the reaction has been positive.
Though Lucia Day was celebrated on December 13th, Kizil said customers will still be able to buy the treat at Kroppkärrs pizzeria in Karlstad over the coming days if they wish.
It's not the first time Kizil has cooked up an unusual foodie creation. In 2015, he created a special holiday pizza in the style of a Swedish Christmas smörgåsbord ('julbord'), with toppings including meatballs, herrings, and ham.
But perhaps it's unsurprising that a Christmas dinner pizza would go down well in Sweden, a country with a reputation for putting bizarre toppings on the Italian delicacy, and where the most beloved pizza is one covered with kebab meat and sauce. You can even get a Viking kebab pizza, which is a kebab pizza folded before baking to resemble a Viking ship.