First set in Paris 9th arrondissement, Swedish Agneta ultimately decides to open her Affären on a small street in Paris 17th arrondissement over 6 years ago. From this moment on, this wonderful piece of Sweden in the heart of Paris is set a stone’s throw from the famous Swedish church “Svenska kyrkan”. As it is well known by all Swedish people and other Scandinavians living in Paris, this store is worth the trip. And we are greeted with a warm “välkommen”, of course. The inside of the delicatessen is nicely decorated – not to say Swedish style – with local products (cranberry jam, onion-marinated herrings, Noblesse cookies, cod-egg spread, Swedish beer…), as well as tableware and decoration items.
We are quickly attracted by a mouthwatering smell of spices. Our eyes then meet the kanelbullar, traditional Swedish pastries. Home-made every day in the basement of the delicatessen, these delicious cinnamon buns are highly coveted by customers. We must say that Swedish people do not take the coffee-break – the famous “fika” – lightly. It is a bit like the French and their traditional “apéro”. So, to put it another way, this is a genuine social institution in the country of the Dalecarlian horse. In Sweden, inhabitants have a custom: meeting over coffee or tea and enjoying pastries such as kanelbulle.
To vary their offer, Affären also provides you with buns flavored with blueberries and vanilla cream, or just sugar, or even cardamom, our favorites!
And if you plan to pay a visit to Affären in February, you are likely to enjoy another pastry, the staple semla, or semlor (plural). This exquisite and very tasty brioche flavored with cardamom is stuffed with marzipan and whipped cream and is only to be enjoyed around Shrove Tuesday only.
Back in the days, in Sweden, those selling this specialty before or after the official date were likely to be fined. Traditions are highly sacred there. To enjoy these delicious semlor, head to Affärent now before it is too late. And do not forget to say “tack” when leaving!