Semlan, fettisdagsbullen

fastlagsbulle or, also called “hetvägg” used to have its own debut – last day before the beginning of Lent – in Sweden in earlier years. We were surprised at a recent trip to Stockholm to find that almost every baker and every café were already displaying as early as second week of January.

Make your own semla, find a recipe and a brief history here: Time for a semla

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Nordic Explorers

Explorers and adventurers will be featured at the 12th annual Nordic Spirit Symposium Feb.11 -12 at California Lutheran University. Read more, at Nordstjernan.

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Swedes may be forced to register as Norwegians

Approximately 28,000 Swedish border commuters might be forced

Are you a Swede or a Norwegian? Some 28,000 Swedes who commute to Norway might be forced into becoming Norwegians due to the introduction of stricter rules.

into becoming Norwegians. This after the introduction of new, stricter rules. According to the new rules, those Swedes who live and work in Norway more than 183 days in a year must have a Norwegian social security number and be registered as living in Norway. To be registered by the Norwegian authorities among else means that they no longer have the right to vote in some Swedish election, that they no longer are entitled to Swedish health care and other Swedish social benefits.

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Allsvenskan Notebook

Elfsborg signs David Elm

Elfsborg general manager Stefan Andreasson welcomes David Elm to the team during a press conference Jan. 24 announcing Elm's signing. Bildbyrån photo

Elfsborg lands player from English Premier League and also released three of its players to play for Norrköping… Allsvenskan Notebook

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Ålagillen and äggakaka now also wine!

Wine from Skåne? Yes!Would you like a glass of “Skåne” / Scanian wine? “Absolutely!” Oz Clarke, the British wine expert, exclaims euphorically after a visit to Europe’s northernmost wine district. After having tried some 30 wines, he wrote the following: “If you are used to drinking wines from the New World, or for that matter French, Italian or German wines – yes, any wine at all – then you will find that Swedish wines taste very different. Solaris is probably the most successful white grape in Skåne. It matures fully and give a high alcohol content, sometimes very high. Solaris gives floral, sometimes mineral tastes, often with hints of apples, pears, rosehip and lavender, but always with a steady, green acid that reminds us that the grapes have grown in Scandinavia. The most successful red sort is the rondo. It used to be known as GM6494, but that name was deemed impossible to sell. It is a study variety and gives a lot of color and taste. Southern England is almost too warm for rondo. But Skåne seems, at least for now, perfect for the grape. Enjoy it as long as it lasts. In a generation or so, these Scanian wines will most certainly be mainstream.”

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A Swedish owned California winery with a truly ‘Nobel’ story

A recent success of one of the San Francisco Swedish American Chamber of Commerce’s members caught the eye of the world this December: The Nobel Committee’s wine panel selected California’s Sonoma-based West Wines’ West Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2005 as the official wine for the main course at the Nobel Banquet: A very Nobel wineThe winery itself: West Wines

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‘Medelsvensson’ – The Swedish Average Joe

The state of ‘Medelsvensson’ – Medelsvensson, the Swedish equivalent of Average Joe/Jane, has become a bit overweight, but s/he is better educated than s/he used to be. According to a fresh study from Statistiska Centralbyrån (Swedish Statistics), among the Swedish Medelsvenssons in 2009, 38% have higher education (higher meaning they attended college) compared to Medelsvensson back in 1990, when only 23% had higher education. In 2009, Medelsvensson spent 2 900 SEK ($440.28) a month on food, 2% more than in 2008. 54% of the male Medelsvenssons are overweight (and 37% of the women). During the last 3 decades, Swedes have gained weight because we eat more than we burn in calories (the average Swede consumes 3100 calories a day, compared to the average American who consumes 4270). Medelsvensson also increased his or her alcohol consumption and ‘became more criminal’ – over 1.4 million crimes were reported during 2009, an increase of 2%.

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