Wine & Dine

Are you tempted? How about a great big bun full of cream for tea today?

Indulge yourself these days with this special bun – which you will find in any kind of bakery  until after Fastelavn. A magnificent, and heavy, Danish pastry filled with cream or whipped cream and chocolate icing on the top.

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By Bente D. Knudsen    Pictures: Mayra Navarette

Traditionally you could only buy them a few weeks before the big day, fastelavn, but in recent years bakers have them on display already from the beginning of January.

Also, I noticed new variations from the traditional whipped cream and chocolate icing – you can now find them with pink icing, nougat or fruit cream, and other fancy stuff.

To be honest, I prefer the good old traditional one – but times change and the bakers are doing their best to follow the trends.

In 2018 Fastelavn is celebrated on Sunday 11 February. It used to be a tradition for adults and is linked to all the catholic traditions of lent (the 40 day period before Easter where you only eat fish).

The name actually comes from the old German name Vastelavent, which means the night before lent starts. In modern Germany, Vastelavet has become Fasching and here it is still a big thing, with the schools’ mid-term winter breaks placed in the same week and a lot of wild partying and drinking taking place.

Further south it is the carnival season, with the more famous ones taking place in Italy – amongst other in Venice.

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Not so in the Nordic area, here it’s become mostly a children’s tradition and all Danish schools uphold it with cat bashing taking place on the last school day before Fastelavn.

In the weekend of Fastelavn,  you can find lot’s of public places that also do cat bashing, typically in shopping centres and shopping malls. Some restaurants may also have it on, combined with Sunday brunch and cat bashing for the children.

There is no cat inside -they are only filled with oranges, mandarines and candy – that all get mashed well together and eventually fall out of the Fastelavnstønde – the barrels used can be bought from the BR Legetøj.

Remember to get them in the rigth size, they come in a small size for young children and large for teenagers and adults. They are sold empty – so just fill them up with whatever you feel like.

Children used to sing the song Fastelavn er mit navn, boller vil jeg have, hvis jeg ingen boller får, så laver jeg ballade, which basically means, my name is fastelavn and I want a bun, beware of all the trouble I can make, if I don’t get one.

They would dress up and walk around to their neighbours singing this, hoping to get a coin or some candy for their trouble. This tradition has faded almost completely and been taken over by Halloween.

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For adults the only special treat, is the bun, fastelavnsbolle.

If you haven’t tried them yet, I can certainly recommend them – maybe starting with the traditional ones just with whipped cream, flødeskum and chocolate icing on top.

Enjoy and indulge!