Before breakfast today I assembled the ingredients for limpa, a spicy rye bread that epitomizes Swedish artisanal bread. The sharp fragrance that emerged from the mortar as I crushed the fennel seeds and aniseed brought me back to childhood memories.
My Swedish grandmother served limpa for ceremonial family dinners and special occasions. Limpa is a dense rye bread, enlivened by pungent seeds, and sweetened with molasses and brown sugar to offset the bitterness of the orange peel.
It’s been years since I last tasted limpa. Somehow the fragrance of the crushed seeds and the orange peel put me in a virtual time capsule, transporting me back to my grandmother’s kitchen, and the teasing and storytelling that enlivened our family gatherings there.
Now the bread is rising, aromas wafting throughout our home. I wonder what else will come to mind when my husband and I enjoy our first taste of limpa later today. What stories will we tell each other over lunch? It’s a nice thought to look forward to.