Amalia – The woman behind the handcraft

Amalia – The woman behind the handcraft

Amalia was born in Jönköping on November 18, 1824. When she was only 10 years old, she lost her parents and all 5 of her siblings in the cholera epidemic that then ravaged Småland. She then starts working as a maid for the Röding sisters and moves in 1855 to Brahegatan 2, which for a time had been the Röding sisters’ summer residence.

Shortly afterwards, Amalia meets her future husband, the tailor Anders, with whom she fell deeply in love. After two years, they get married and shortly afterwards they expect twins. Amalia’s happiness would be short-lived however, as one of the children was born dead, but the couple had a daughter whom they named Ida. The misery did not end here since Anders, just four days after Idas birth, dies of scarlet fever. Amalia is then alone with her daughter and needs to find a livelihood as she can no longer continue working as a maid.

Since Amalia was good in the kitchen, especially with different kinds of bread and confectionery, she began to see where her future was approaching. Her confectionery for weddings, baptisms and funerals became very well known in Gränna and the surrounding area. At this point she also started making her so-called polka pigs in the form of small “plutters”. She made these herself at home in her own kitchen, which were then sold around the streets of Gränna. In 1959, Amalia received permission from the magistrate and mayor of Gränna, Carl Johan Wennberg, to operate a bakery.

For many years, the daughter Ida helped her mother bake polka pigs and made sure that this craft lived on after Amalia’s death in 1923, then 99 years old. Thanks to the construction of the old national road in the 1950s that passed through Gränna, the production of polka pigs really began to flourish. Many housewives then baked themselves at home in the kitchens and then sold their polka pigs along Brahegatan. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the first non-red/white polka pig, with its blue/yellow stripes, still peppermint flavored, arrived. Since then, the polka pig has evolved to come in all sorts of flavors and shapes. From violet, strawberry and elder to whiskey, mojito and Champagne

Every year on April 20, we celebrate Polka Pig Day, to honor and remember Amalia and her amazing story. She rests today next to her daughter at Gränna cemetery.

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

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