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Title: Kleina  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of fried dough foods
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Kleina (plural kleinur) is an Icelandic fried pastry that has been popular domestically for at least two centuries. It is made from flattened dough cut into small trapezoids with a special cutting wheel called a kleinujárn. (A pizza cutter can also be used.) A slit is cut in the middle and then one end pulled through the slit to form a "knot". The kleina is then deep-fried in oil (traditionally tallow).[1]

They are served at Cafe Paris overlooking the Austurvöllur in Reykjavík,[2] at the Heimabakarí in Húsavik and almost all bakeries, where they are on offer beside other Icelandic treats such as skúffukaka (a type of chocolate cake). They can also be found in stores all around the country.[3] The Swedish equivalent of kleinur is klenäter.

Kleinur are used as part of a Christmas game in Scandinavian culture. They are tied to a string and hung in an open doorway. The game requires two people to play, but a crowd must be present to enjoy. One participant must attempt to bite the kleina off the string, using only his or her mouth (no hands!), while the other participant manipulates the unadorned end of the string.


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