Nothing says ‘welcome winter, we’re ready for you’ more than a Fika of pepparkakor and hot, sweet Liptons Tea. Little Tyra was unwell the other day with stomach flu, so when I went to the store to stock up on blåbärssoppa (the Swedes drink lots of blåbärssoppa or blueberry soup when they’re unwell) I also picked up 2016’s first packet of pepparkakor or ginger thins. When I was little and ill, my mother used to always give me ginger – mostly in the form of gingerbread – as it worked to combat nausea.
Fortunately, Little Tyra is bouncing around again like usual, and we have plenty of pepparkakor left over. The brand I picked up was Annas Pepparkakor, a company which started as a home bakery run by two sisters in Stockholm in 1929. Nowadays, Annas Pepparkakor still use their original recipe and are sold worldwide.
These thin, fragile biscuits are so crisp yet smooth to eat, and practically melt in the mouth. The distinct, rich, hugely moreish spice flavour created using ginger, cinnamon and cloves brings all of your senses to Christmas morning. As an English woman I naturally had to see how well they would dunk in my tea. Fortunately I had my wits about me when I dunked, and surveyed that two quick dunks were just about all the pepparkakor were able to take. One quick dunk is more than sufficient.
While slowly nibbling my final pepparkakor – I wanted to make it last – I found myself reading about an interesting Swedish custom where you place the pepparkakor in the palm of your hand, then, using the index finger or thumb of your other hand tap it three times and make a wish. If the pepparkakor breaks into three pieces then your wish will come true. Naturally this meant I had to grab one more and try it for myself. Now, I won’t tell you what I wished for, but I will tell you that my pepparkakor did break into three pieces!
If you’re intrigued by Annas Pepparkakor, and would love to develop your knowledge, I strongly recommend you head to their gorgeous website where you’ll find history galore, as well as plenty of inspirational ways to serve and eat your pepparkakor.