One of my favorite Swedish confections has the unlikely name of “dammsugare.” Translated directly this means “dust sucker,” but it is actually the word for vacuum cleaner. So what, exactly, does a vacuum cleaner have to do with a tasty morsel to be enjoyed with a good cup of coffee? Simply this – they look the same. Perhaps not the same as the the Mieles and Electroluxes of today, but remember the old days when a vacuum cleaner was a cylindrical object, dragged along the floor, often green, with ends of a contrasting colour. A little imagination transforms the green and brown object on the dish in the Konditori into the familiar, if old fashioned, electrical appliance.
A dammsugare consists of chocolate and almond paste and butter and nuts and lots of sugar. It has very little nutritional value, but much emotional value on a cold grey day in the refuge of a warm cafe. This last week billboards have started to appear all over Örebro to remind me of my weakness for this sweet temptation. Garanterat fria från fullkorn, they announce proudly: “Guaranteed free of wholemeal.” Ah, the joys of life in Sweden!