TOP NOTCH BUNS!
Sweden gave the world Abba, one of the greatest pop bands of all time. But there is so much more—white nights, northern lights and a perfectly sweet pastry called the kardemummabullar or Cardamom Bun. Our friend Suzanne, a quintessential New Yorker, first introduced us to this delightful pastry at Fabrique, an artisanal stone oven bakery founded in Stockholm by David and Charlotta Zetterström, and opening its NYC outpost in 2019.
Fabrique’s cardamom bun is a cult sensation. It’s somewhat similar to a cinnamon bun— made with flour, yeast, eggs, lots of butter, sugar, and milk-- then sprinkled with flecks of cardamom, an aromatic pod spice in the ginger family. The cardamom adds a complexity that contrasts beautifully with the sugar—a bit sweet with a hint of savory. On first bite, one understands the preciousness of the world’s third most expensive spice (behind saffron and vanilla).
The cardamom bun is the perfect treat to accompany fika (pronounced fee-ka), the Swedish ritual of spending quality time with quality people while enjoying coffee and treats, or what I call 3 o’clock coffee and watching General Hospital. It is, essentially, the art of savoring the moment and the simple things in life.
Speaking of simple pleasures, tomorrow is National Mint Chocolate Day and there are so many ways to mark the occasion. I’ll likely celebrate with a Girl Scouts Thin Mints cookie, a house favorite since the days when I wore a brown dress and sash trying to earn my badges. Note that there will be subtle differences in your Thin Mints Cookie depending on which bakery it comes from. A deep dive by the cookie journalists at the LA Times determined that those made in the ABC Bakery are “crunchier, with more mint than chocolate in each bite,” while those manufactured in the Little Brownie Bakers facility yield cookies that are “richer,” with a “smoother chocolate coating, and a distinct peppermint taste.”
Either way, they’re minty, they’re made of chocolate and they are a certified full- sleeve eating snack in this girl’s cookie jar.