Lussekatter Video Demo (Scroll down for recipe)
Lussekatter, or St. Lucy’s Cats, are a sweet saffron bread from Sweden. Saffransbullar they are called, when not formed into the tight figure 8, reminiscent of a kittycat tail, I suppose. The legend is a little distorted; originally they were called “Devil’s Cats” because it was told that the Devil would arrive in the form of a cat to punish bad children, while a “Christ-like child” would show up with treats for the good kids.
St. Lucy (or Lucia in Italy) came to represent the good and the light (as opposed to the dark and the evil of Satan) and saffron was used to keep the Devil at bay because of its brilliant yellow color that is bright like the sun — and the Devil hates sunlight, right? Over hundreds of years, Lussekatter came to replace the name Dövelskatter (Devil’s cats) though in some parts of Sweden the old name is still used for these buns.
Helen actually explained it better, thusly, “One legend says that the Devil in the shape of a cat used to beat naughty children up, while Jesus Christ in the shape of a child handed out buns or bread flavoured with saffron to kind and well brought up children. This was done to keep the fishy Devil away. To make the bread lighter in colour and more “sun-like” the yellow spice of saffron was added.”
- Prep Time: 3 hours
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
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