The best cinnamon buns in Sweden are found in Småland’s Kingdom of Crystal
When I arrived at the Persson & Persson glassworks in the tiny village of Ösjöbol I was greeted by the welcoming aroma of freshly baked buns.
I’d expected the smell of molten glass or an oxy-fuelled furnace. Instead I got the enticing scent of cinnamon with a high note of cardamom.
Morgan and Elin Persson, it seems, do things a little differently.
For one thing, their glasshytta (glass cabin) sits in the northern reaches of Småland’s Glasriket (Kingdom of Crystal), a good 50 kilometres away from where most of the other glasbruk (glassworks) are concentrated.
The red barn where Morgan works gives off a rural American vibe, sitting right next to a disused railway crossing and with a big old Chevy pick-up truck parked out front.
More intriguingly, Morgan and Elin are the only glassmakers in the Kingdom who work with recycled glass.
Basically, Morgan takes glass that would otherwise be discarded and reshapes it into useful objects like drinking glasses, vases and decanters.
The lips are dipped into a coloured oxide to give the items a distinctly simple and beautiful rim.
It’s better for the environment too. Re-shaping old glass uses 75 percent less energy than that needed to create new glass. It’s also more durable.
Such is Morgan’s reputation that Swedish Customs approached him to create a special collection of carafes called ‘Smuggled Water”.
The carafes were made from the bottles of contraband liquor Swedish Customs had seized, coming in illegally from Eastern Europe.
They poured out the contents, gave Morgan the bottles and he created stylish glass carafes that Swedish Customs then handed out as Christmas presents.
Morgan is an artist too, famous for expressive pieces created using the graal technique. His distinctive designs are carved, engraved or etched on a parison of coloured glass then reheated and cased in a thick layer of transparent glass. Morgan’s pieces have been exhibited in New York. The Americans love them, he tells me.
And those cinnamon buns?
They were waiting for us in the showroom/café run by Elin, set in Ösjöbol’s old general stores.
The interior is as stylish as Morgan’s glass and steeped in the same recycling philosophy.
Each shelf, each bench had a vintage patina and a story to tell.
Main image: Morgan and Elin Persson (Peter Moore)