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Kleina (plural kleinur) is an Icelandic fried pastry that has been popular domestically for at least two centuries. It is made from flattened dough cut into small trapezoids with a special cutting wheel called a kleinujárn. (A pizza cutter can also be used.) A slit is cut in the middle and then one end pulled through the slit to form a "knot". The kleina is then deep-fried in oil (traditionally tallow).
Kleinur are used as part of a Christmas game in Scandinavian culture. They are tied to a string and hung in an open doorway. The game requires two people to play, but a crowd must be present to enjoy. One participant must attempt to bite the kleina off the string, using only his or her mouth (no hands!), while the other participant manipulates the unadorned end of the string.
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