Friday, October 4, 2013

Cinnamon bun day and the powerful Swedish baking lobby

Today is Cinnamon bun day, a day when Swedes get together and eat ‘lagom*’ big cinnamon rolls without cream cheese frosting to celebrate this fabulous bun that takes up so much space at many a ‘fika*’.

But is there a dark side to this wonderful tradition?

Why exactly do we celebrate the cinnamon roll on this day, of all days? What is it about October 4th that says ‘let them eat cake? Or buns?’

Well, it seems there is a terribly powerful lobby group in Sweden known as the Home Baking Advisory Board (my own translation of Hembakningsrådet), oh and guess who this innocently named group is actually owned by? Yes, that is right, Big Sugar.

The brains behind Cinnamon Roll day is Big Sugar – or some Swedish sugar company or other.

What does this all mean? Why are Swedes so much more welcoming of a new tradition sponsored by a sugar company, then say, celebrating Halloween? (Oh, I know, no one goes begging for cinnamon rolls, but we are pressured to make or buy them today)

At the end of the day, I am more supportive of Big Sugar, then say, Big Guns, but only to a degree. When you pay for everyone’s health care universally, you don’t want Big Sugar to get too big.

And it seems like every major food group is getting a day or two, and that could get pretty expensive, calorie and wallet wise. Here are just a few:

January 1st – International pizza day (OK this makes sense as big hangover day). If you don’t eat cheese, check out January 29th – Vegan pizza day. I’m sure there will be a gluten free pizza day next year!

March 9 – tomato sauce day

April 9th – Gin and Tonic day (I’m there!)

May 24 – Cheese day (I did not know this, I will never miss it again)

June 6 – Fresh potato day (well timed with Swedish national day)

*Just in case you missed it:

lagom means, approximately, 'just right' ala goldilocks and the three bears
Fika is a traditional Swedish coffee break


  1. There's a new show that might be of interest to you:

    Welcome To Sweden is a fish-out-of-water comedy created by Greg Poehler based on his true life story. It is about a New York accountant, Bruce, played by Poehler in his acting debut, who falls in love with a Swedish girl, Emma (Josephine Bornebusch) and follows his heart to Sweden.

    1. Thanks! I am really excited about this show... don't want to get my expectations too high, but think it could be quite funny!

  2. Of course "cinnamon roll day" is commercial. It would compare to an "apple pie day" in the US. But why is it catching on? Because it's simple, appeals to almost everyone who's not on a diet, and cinnamon rolls feels like traditional Swedish fika, which is as close to religion you get in Sweden.

    As for "carb days" you forgot the most important days: Fettisdagen (semlor) and waffle day for waffles.