Wednesday, February 6
Yesterday was a day of sweet treats: it was both Shrove Tuesday and the birthday of Johan Ludvig Runeberg, the national poet of Finland (even though he wrote in Swedish!). We have special pastries for both days.
On Shrove Tuesday, we don't pancakes; we eat semlas instead. If you read the blogs of certain Swedes, you've probably already seen them. Filled with whipped cream and almond paste or strawberry/raspberry jam (I like almond paste better). They are delicious but really messy to eat!
I had a couple of hours off this afternoon and went to eat a semla in a delightful café in central Tampere. I think it might be my favourite café at the moment: it is furnished with beautiful old furniture (really old, not just old-looking) and they serve their coffee and delicious cakes from fine old china. It's the kind of place where you should be wearing a dress and old-fashioned lace-up boots and have a gentleman to accompany you.
The pastry related to our national poet is Runeberg's tart, which was supposedly created by his wife Fredrika. In the café they had these tarts too, but I restrained myself. :)