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While much of the world gorges on pancakes for Fat Tuesday, the semla is the go-to delicacy of the North, traditionally devoured just before Lent. It takes various forms (and names) throughout Scandinavia. AYImages/Getty Images hide caption

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AYImages/Getty Images

A smörgåsbord at the Christmas party held at the Swedish Embassy in Washington, D.C. this year. The smörgåsbord was introduced to America in 1939 by the Swedish delegation to the World's Fair. The holiday version of the meal, called a julbord, is traditionally served on Dec. 24 and features an endless array of fish, bread and cheese, cold meats, hot dishes and dessert. Jennifer Kerrigan/NPR hide caption

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Jennifer Kerrigan/NPR