Tag Archives: St. Lucia

Arancine for St. Lucia Day in Sicily

December 13 is St. Lucia Day, celebrated in various countries, but perhaps most prominently in Sweden, and Italy, specifically Sicily. In Sicily, the holiday is strongly celebrated in honor of St. Lucia blessing the island with a shipment of wheat after a long famine in the 17th century. Traditionally, the dish eaten on this day in Sicily was cuccia, a sweet or savory boiled wheat berry porridge, which is supposed to be the only form of wheat eaten on the day. However, to current palates, this is perhaps not the most exciting dish. In modern-day Palermo the most popular Saint Lucia food is now arancine! Arancine are delicious deep-fried rice balls filled with cheese and/or meat ragu that are popular year round in Sicily. In Palermo in particular, arancine is eaten with gusto on St. Lucia’s Day, and conveniently these rice-based treats do not contain much wheat (though they are typically breaded). In Palermo, too, the dish is always spelled arancinE in the plural, and arincinA in the singular, as opposed to arancini (pl) and arancino (singular) in Eastern Sicily and in much of Italy. This year we will be making cuccia, but perhaps next year some arancine would be in order.

Arancine at Monteverde Restaurant in Chicago

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Swedish Cake Table for St. Lucia’s Day

sweden_flagWe are pretty fond of the Swedish way of taking coffee, Fika, and we also love their idea of the “cake table” aka kaffebröd or fikabröd which accompanies this traditional Swedish fika coffee break. A cake table typically includes cakes (obviously), cookies, pastries and other sweet treats. We think that a full fika with cakes and cookies is the perfect way to celebrate St. Lucia’s day, a holiday celebrated in Sweden on December 13th. Here are some top picks that we think would be perfect on any holiday table (or just for fun):


Kladdkaka by Andreas Ivarsson

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Carl Larsson and the Swedish Table

sweden_flagCarl Larsson is a Swedish Arts and Crafts painter, who is known for his scenes of everyday turn-of-the-century Swedish life, and especially for depicting his own home and family. His paintings have also become associated with St. Lucia’s Day (December 13th), due to his popular depictions of the Swedish folk festival. His St. Lucia pictures include the traditional treats, but those were not his only paintings of Swedish food culture. As you can see below, the Swedish table was one of his favorite subjects.

St. Lucia by Karl Larsson

“St. Lucia” by Carl Larsson

"A Miner's Home" - Carl Larsson

“A Miner’s Home” – Carl Larsson

"At the Breakfast Table" by Karl Larsson

“At the Breakfast Table” by Carl Larsson

"The Friend from Town" by Karl Larsson

“The Friend from Town” by Carl Larsson

"Martina With Breakfast Tray" by Carl Larsson

“Martina With Breakfast Tray” by Carl Larsson

"Splitting Peas" by Carl Larsson

“Splitting Peas” by Carl Larsson

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Holiday Glögg for St. Lucia Day

sweden_flagSt. Lucia’s Day is a Swedish holiday that occurs on December 13th, marked by feasts and candles. Despite it being pretty dark in Sweden in the weeks leading up the Christmas, St. Lucia’s day and Advent as a whole are a great time of celebration filled with lots of light. We have written about some sweet treats like Lussekatter and pepparkakor that are used to celebrate the holidays in Sweden, but if you need some warming up the best prescription is Glögg, a mulled red wine. Glögg is so integral to the holiday season, there are dedicated “Glögg parties.” While you can buy Glögg at many stores, it is definitely more fun to make your own.


Glogg by Aya Patron


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Sweden: Lussekatter for St. Lucia’s Day

Little known fact: One of the Eaters is partially Swedish – and though we are not particularly keen on Swedish food – there is no denying the appeal of the delicious cookies and pastries served on St. Lucia’s Day. One of the most traditional are the Lussekatter – saffron sweet rolls. The name means “Lucy’s Cats” – but these leavened yeast rolls are figure-8 shaped. And here are even some Gluten-free versions of traditional St. Lucia items – something for everyone.

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Sweden: Sweet treats for St. Lucia’s Day

It’s that time of year again – St. Lucia’s Day. Up here in Madison the weather has been particularly chilly and snowy – no wonder Scandinavian immigrants were able to thrive here! Reading Sweden’s official website – it was quite entertaining to hear Sweden described as “a culture of food storage.” I guess that makes sense, given the generally inclement weather. If you’re house-bound like us, baking some sweet treats for a traditional St. Lucia’s day feast is a fun way to get into the holiday spirit. The Thrifty Fun site has some recipes for Braided St. Lucia’s Day Bread, Pepparkakor and Julglogg. Perhaps the most iconic treat for St. Lucia’s day is Lussekatter, saffron-scented rolls.

Pepparkakor by ProBonoBaker

Pepparkakor by ProBonoBaker


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Sweden: Happy St. Lucia’s Day!

sweden_flagHappy St. Lucia’s Day! St. Lucia’s day is the day dedicated to the Sicilian martyr St. Lucy, and is traditionally celebrated in Sweden on December 13th, and represents the start of the holiday season. Like most other winter holidays, St. Lucia’s Day boasts some unique treats, especially in Sweden: saffron buns (lussekatt) and gingersnap cookies (pepparkakor). On St. Lucia Day in Sweden, a long-running tradition is that girls dress in white with crowns of candles (electric nowadays for kids) and serve their parents lussekatt, as seen in the painting below.Here are recipes to make your own pepparkakor and lussekatt, if you’d like to try.lucialarssonSt. Lucia by Carl Larsson [1908]


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Swedish Pepparkakor for St. Lucia’s Day

It’s St. Lucia day, the kickoff to the holiday season in Sweden, If you’re feeling festive in Chicago, you can get some fresh-baked Pepparkakor at one of the best Swedish bakeries in Chicago, the aptly-named Swedish Bakery (5348 N Clark St # 1, Chicago, IL 60640).


Pepparkakor by ProBonoBaker

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