24 July 2010


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.


  1. This is similar to the Skoal Bandits that were outlaws in the UK back in the 80s.

    I had a Swedish mate years ago who was into snus, but the stuff he was using wasn't bagged, it came as a slightly moist, sticky powder that you had to compress into a ball then you'd leave it between your gum and lip. It made me feel light headed and sick. It's pretty bad stuff. If you got any on your tongue you'd know about it. It tasted awful.

  2. I would guess that there's more "snusare" than smokers here in sweden, I've always been more keen on cigarettes though. Djungelvrål means "jungle shout", and no it's not a common swedeish word. And never seen those king size chocalate bars, the regular size is 200g, and yes it tastes very good, my favourite choclate is the marabou schweizernöt http://webshop.gottelisa.se/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/5e06319eda06f020e43594a9c230972d/f/i/file_94_27.jpg