The Swedes might have given us Ikea, Ulrika Jonsson and Fjällräven, but I bet not many of you have ever heard of Snus? This weekend gone I met up with a good friend of mine from Stockholm, he was over in Manchester with his lady friend for a few days, and came bearing gifts in the way of some ace Swedish chocolate, big old bars which you might be able to get a smaller version of in everyone's fave flat pack furniture store along with them dead cheap veggie hotdogs, but these were bigger and tasted better, also in this little haul was some Malaco Djungelvrål which I think might translate as monkey shit, this is a salty licorice which tastes a bit like you are drowning in the sea, but it's incredibly moreish especially for someone who doesn't really do licorice, even my dog likes it.
Anyway, over to Snus, this is a moistened bagged powder tobacco product originated from a variant of dry snuff, to me it smells a bit like stale piss, but this is a bit of a cult in Sweden and quite 'underground' too, created in the early 19th century in Sweden, and consumed by sticking under your top lip for a short period of time. Snus is actually a form of the more familiar snuff that is used in a manner similar to American dipping tobacco, but typically does not result in the need for spitting. Snus is also unique in that it is steam-pasteurised rather than fire-cured, is not fermented and contains no added sugar.
The sale of snus is actually illegal to buy in Europe, but due to exemptions, it is still manufactured and consumed primarily in Sweden and other parts of Scandinavia.