Famous for flatpacked furniture, but how did our taste of Sweden compare?
When it comes to Sweden, most people can’t get by without using “meatballs” somewhere in the sentence. While I am certainly a fan of the Swedish furniture giant, Ikea, Sweden actually has a lot more to offer. From great food, Greta Thunberg and fantastic recycling initiatives, Sweden really has got it all going on. For me personally, the appeal to Sweden is not the Scandinavian furniture nor the musical delights of Abba but something completely (and quite literally) out of this world. As something of an astronomical nerd, it’s been a long-standing dream of mine to witness the Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights, which are most visible in Sweden’s night skies.
When it comes to Ikea, I’ve never actually tasted the meatballs. Growing up, trips to IKEA with my parents were always something of a military mission. We went in, found what we were looking for, bought a hotdog and left. Hotdogs and drinks were by the exit and as such, that was the norm. My parents never felt the appeal to divert into the café, IKEA was always a shopping trip, not an afternoon out.
What I do remember is Ikea’s Bridge mix from, I believe, Cloetta. Among the liquorice torpedoes and chocolate-covered puffed rice were these little mint balls. They were like a peanut M&M, but with a tiny ball of mint fondant at the centre. They were just the right amount of mint according to my ideals. Not so minty that they overpowered everything else, and not so mild that you couldn’t detect any mint at all. I used to savour them, they were my favourite part of the bag!
Today, I’m going to share my thoughts on a collection of Swedish snacks that I’ve tried not long ago. Hats off to Sweden, this was a very favourable box! Some of these snacks I’ve had before, most I haven’t and some of the ones that we haven’t had before have been sourced again since!
Trocadero is a lightly fizzy drink flavoured with apple and orange. We imagined that this would have some sort of tropical flavour because of its name but alas that wasn’t the case.
Winner or Binner? Make no mistake, Trocadero is very sweet. Living in the UK, it also reminded me of our drink from Scotland, Irn Bru. It has a lighter colour which raised eyebrows but it is pleasant overall. A Winner to start with!
I’m not sure what it is about these that I found so particularly endearing. Maybe it’s the word “Doodles”? In the UK, a “doodle” is a sort of care-free drawing. Still, these Cheese Doodles are like Cheetos in the US or Wotsits in the UK, but how do they compare?
Winner or Binner? Interestingly, I think Cheese Doodles are paler than Cheetos, but longer, thinner and milder in flavour than Wotsits. There are loads in a bag too, so I should imagine that they’re meant for sharing. Winner!
Dill & Gräslök crisps
In the UK, when you see ridge-cut crisps, you generally take that to mean that good things are coming. McCoy’s crisps are full of incredible flavour and we generally take that to mean the same is true of any others. “Gräslök” translates to chives, and dill & chives isn’t something you wouldn’t normally see in the UK as they’re both very mild flavours.
Winner or Binner? Initially, these have a really great sour cream and herb flavour, but that then gives away to a really awful manufactured taste. I had high hopes for these and they failed to deliver for both of us. A Binner.
Wasa Tomato & Basil Sandwich
Initially, I thought the top of this “sandwich” had been covered in melted cheese, but such was not the case. In the UK, sandwich biscuits are traditionally sweet so it was different to try something savoury. It is flavoured with tomato and basil and filled with cream cheese, so I had high hopes that I would enjoy this.
Winner or Binner? This sandwich biscuit was very hard and dry, but also very tasty. I couldn’t really detect the basil, but the tomato and cream cheese flavour was all there. I’d definitely call this a Winner, but you’ll also definitely want a drink!
Kex Choklad is akin to the conventional chocolate wafer biscuit that you can find in various forms all over the world. They are a fair bit thinner than the Blu Riband we have here in the UK, but they are also wider.
Winner or Binner? I love Blu Riband, so I was sold on these. They’re nice and thin with a perfectly good crisp and a nice chocolate covering, a Winner.
At first, I thought Dubbel Nougat would be some kind of fudge bar. It has a cool two-tone appearance a bit like I’d seen in some fudges on the south coasts of Cornwall, but it was advertised as a ‘chocolate & hazelnut’ bar. Maybe it had nuts inside? No, it’s soft and melty. Hmm.. we’ll see.
Winner or Binner? Oh my goodness! I’ve never known a bar of chocolate to shut Mr Wolfie and me up, but the Dubbel Nougat managed it. We both ended up taking ultra-thin slices of this delight and savouring it for all that it is worth! Smooth chocolate and hazelnut praline in a bar, what more can you possibly ask for?! I wrote “HARDCORE W” on my notes, and for a reason! An outstanding Winner!
Don’t mind me, I had to prop this one up so you could read the label 😉 I was a little bit concerned about this bar as it claims to give you energy and after Wolfie and I experienced dizziness, sweats and heart palpitations from consuming all of the energy in a British MRE, I wasn’t really keen on another energy boost just yet. As a Toffee Crisp lover, this bar is essentially a Toffee Crisp in reverse – chocolate and puffed rice over (rather than under) chewy caramel, but was it as good?
Winner or Binner? The Dumle Snacks bar filed in with a slightly synthetic tasting caramel, but I think their chocolate is slightly chocolatier than Nestlé. They do have a tougher chew and more flavour than Toffee Crisp too, a Winner.
Tutti Frutti Original
Okay, so at first glance, I thought these were going to be like the Tutti Fruitti chewing gums I’ve seen here in the UK, but they’re not. These are small, extremely tough, mixed fruit gummies with a slight bubble gum flavour. I liked their cute packaging and the cute small size of the gummies.
Winner or Binner? An unfortunate Binner. These sweets are ridiculously tough to get into. A good flavour but left me with an aching jaw after a few!
Okay, so strictly speaking again, this isn’t the first time that I have tasted Bilar. When I frequented IKEA with my parents, Bilar were always the other one that I used to buy. These chewy foam sweets have an interesting fruity-minty taste that’s both indistinguishable and fun. Strange at first, but it grows on you.
Winner or Binner? You can never have enough Bilar! After this little packet, I had to source some more. We also found the sour ones which were really tasty. A Winner.
Top tip: When reading a description, be sure to understand the difference between “mocha” and “matcha”. When I read that this cake is mocha-flavoured, I was instantly nervous, I’d never tasted matcha before!
Winner or Binner? It’s mocha! It’s a mocha flavour and it’s moreish! It’s an unusual texture and not like cake at all. It’s crumbly but it’s spreadable. It’s grainy and buttery but it’s oaty and floury. It’s odd, but delicious and you know you want more. The coconut coating gets everywhere, but that’s forgivable. There’s something so reminiscent of Sweden and the Nordic lifestyle here too, it’s simplistic in nature yet homely and familiar. A Winner.
Many years ago, my brother introduced me to salmiakki after his trip to The Netherlands. My brother and I both love liquorice and he was keen to see what I thought. The ones he purchased were a little different, diamond-shaped with a crisp shell. These tiny liquorice monkeys are instead dusted in a coating of fine salmiak salt.
Winner or Binner? Bleurgh! The salt would have been fine but these seem to fizz on your tongue. I like fizzy sweets and I like salty liquorice, but the two combined? I’m not so sure. They’re also extremely tough and impossible to get into. Sorry Sweden, it’s a Binner.
What Surprised Us Most Was…
It’s often said that Brits idolise the Swedes, and from this box, I could partly see why. Our palates are pretty similar and there were no flavours that were exactly new to me or that I hadn’t tried before. Brits do like chewy sweets, but it seems that in Sweden, that level of chew is taken to a whole new level! I definitely really enjoyed this box and the Swedish music we listened to. It’s been an adventure for sure!
Alright Twisties, that’s it from me for today. Have you visited Sweden or tried Swedish snacks before? What are some of your favourite memories? Let me know in the comments down below!
Until next time,
Stay Safe & Have Fun,
Helen & Matt xx