Klenät (plural: klenäter) or klena (plural: klenor) is a fried pastry common in Sweden, Denmark (where it is called "Klejne"), Iceland (where it is called Kleina) and Norway (where it is called "fattigmann") The name is of Low German origin, which may indicate that the pastry was originally German. It is traditionally eaten around Christmas,[1][2] most commonly in the southern parts of Sweden,[2][3] but also in Northern Germany, Norway and Denmark.[3]

A type of fried dough food, it is made from flour, egg yolks, sugar,[2][4] and margarine or butter.[5] The dough is rolled out and then cut into strips.[3] The uncooked strips are covered with plastic wrap and left to rest for two hours in a cold place.[6] They are then fried in either coconut oil, vegetable oil[5] or sometimes Lard and the dough expands into shape.[2] Once the klenäter have been fried, they are sprinkled with sugar.

Lemon juice,[5] brännvin or cognac are optional ingredients in klenäter. If one does not want to use alcoholic beverages, water mixed with acetic acid can be used instead.[3][5] An alternative type of klenäter is smördegsklenätter (English: puff pastry klenäter).

Klenäter should be kept in a dry place.[3] The non-fried dough can be preserved in a refrigerator for a week. Klenäter are best served medium-warm and newly baked.[7] The word klena comes from a Swedish term for "slender", klen.[8] They are approximately 10 centimetres (3.9 in) long.[5]

Klenäter are an old type of pastry.[3] They are referenced in a poem by Anna Maria Lenngren from 1800, called Grevinnans besök (English: The Countess' Visit). In the poem, a countess is invited to a dinner party at the home of a pastor, where she is served klenäter as part of the entrée.[9][10] Klenäter also frequently appear in Christmas-stories by famous Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1909.[11]



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