Amalia – The Artisan’s Legacy

Amalia – The Artisan’s Legacy

Born in Jönköping on the 18th of November, 1824, Amalia’s life was soon overshadowed by tragedy. A mere decade into her existence, she endured the profound loss of her parents and all five siblings to the cholera epidemic that devastated Småland. This calamity thrust her into servitude as a maid for the Röding sisters. In 1855, her life took a turn when she relocated to Brahegatan 2, a property that once served as the summer abode of the Röding family.

Amalia’s narrative took a romantic twist when she encountered Anders, a tailor by profession, and with him, she experienced a profound romantic entanglement. Their union was formalized in matrimony two years post their acquaintance. Shortly after their nuptials, they anticipated the arrival of twins. However, this joy was ephemeral; one child was lost to the cruel hands of fate at birth. The tapestry of her sorrow was further woven when Anders succumbed to dysentery a mere four days subsequent to the birth. Bereft of her partner, Amalia found herself in the solitary role of provider for her surviving daughter, Ida, a circumstance that rendered her unable to continue her service as a maid.

Gifted in culinary arts, particularly in the realm of baking various breads and confections, Amalia discerned a new path for her future. Her prowess in crafting confections for nuptials, baptisms, and funerals garnered acclaim in Gränna and its environs. It was in this milieu that she commenced the production of her famed ‘polkagrisar’ – quaintly shaped “dots” of sweetness, crafted in her own kitchen and vended throughout the streets of Gränna. In 1959, she was bestowed the official sanction by the magistrate and the mayor of Gränna, Carl Johan Wennberg, to operate a bakery business.
Ida, her daughter, remained a steadfast assistant in the baking of polkagrisar for numerous years, ensuring the perpetuation of this artisanal legacy beyond Amalia’s demise in 1923, at the venerable age of 99. The construction of the old ‘riks ettan’ in the 1950s catalyzed a burgeoning in the polkagrisar trade in Gränna. This era witnessed numerous housewives crafting these delicacies in their domestic kitchens, selling them along Brahegatan. The 1970s marked the introduction of the first non-traditional polkagris, adorned with blue and yellow stripes, yet maintaining the quintessential peppermint essence. Since that era, the polkagris has undergone a transformative evolution, encompassing a diverse array of flavors and shapes, from the delicate nuances of violet, strawberry, and elderflower to the bold notes of whiskey, mojito, and Champagne.

Each year, on the 20th of April, Polkagris Day is celebrated, a tribute to honor and reminisce about Amalia and her remarkable odyssey. Her final resting place is beside her daughter at the Gränna cemetery, a testament to a life steeped in resilience and culinary artistry.”

Sockerbagaren Amalia Erikson står i en dörröppning med en polkagris i vänster hand. Hon bär en