Coming to Sweden and want to learn more about national food? Or leaving it soon and are thinking about what to bring back to your beloved ones for christmas? This food souvenirs guide might just be the right thing for you. Whenever I go abroad the thing I bring back for sure from abroad is food. So this time is no difference. These are mostly the things I will bring back to Germany as with me. So let’s see what we got here:
1.Cloudberry Jam (Hjortron)
Actually you don’t have to bring jam in particular. Get yourself some Cloudberry-anything when you can. Because Cloudberries are one of the most sought-after berries in Sweden. They are usually only found growing in the northern wild because it is very difficult to create the right conditions to cultivate them commercially.
Bring some back to your country and add cloudberry jam, to your waffles together with whipped cream and you’ll have a perfect Swedish dessert! Super delicious and a must-try taste of Sweden!
2. Swedish crisp bread (knäckebröd)
Knäckebröd is a flat and dry type of cracker mainly made out of rye bread. It’s one of Sweden’s staple food.
I won’t bring them back because it is fairly common in Germany but to the people who don’t have crispbread in their country: this is a great souvenir because if stored properly this bread can last for a very very long time (at least a year). It’s a great snack.
3. Swedish Creme (Kräm)
I haven’t really understood the concept of “kräm” yet. In my understanding it’s sth. of a compote or creamy pudding mostly made out of berries.
I picked up the blueberry one but I might pick up the rhubarb flavor as well because my friend told me it would taste heavenly with milk.
4. Swedish Tube Condiments
The supermarkets have many sections for condiments in a tube. The most famous one is the Kaviar from Kalles. Get yourself some Swedish “Caviar” if you way back home does not take too long. This Caviar should be cooled but it will survive if your flight does not take that long and you put it into a cooling bag.
The one from the brand Kallas, is the original one. I bought a fake one from Lidl ones because it was on sale and I was roasted by my Swedish housemates for that. I personally don’t taste a difference between the fake and the original one but oh well. And if you don’t have the option to cool it there are dozens of other tubes that that can be kept at room temperature. I got myself the cheese shrimp tube for example with is also very popular here.
5. Rose hip soup (Nyponsoppa)
Nyponsoppa is a Swedish classic made from rose hips. Rose hips serve as a healthy souvenir, since they contain a lot of the vitamins C, D and E, calcium and a load of antioxidants.
The dessert is served with milk, cream or at best with vanilla ice cream. And as a finishing touch you topp it with mandelbiskvier (almond macaroons).
I got the instant package from Williys supermarket in Ersboda, Umea.
Instant Nyponsoppa powder by Ekström
6. Swedish loose candy (Plockgodis)
Swedes love their sweets (lol pun intended). That does not only apply to their pastries but to their loose candies as well. Traditionally saturday is the day for children to buy them. Yes, as a kid in Sweden eating candy was only allowed on Saturdays.
Every supermarket in Sweden is equipped with these loose candy walls. And you’ll see many people from all age selecting candy from here. The selection is broad for everyone to find something: We’ve got every type of flavor and consistency from hardness, soft, or sweetness, saltiness, sour. Soft and chewy gumdrops dusted with sugar, milk chocolate, or even fish candies.
You can devide (Swedish) candy into 3 main categories: vingummi (wine candy), skum (marshmallow), and chocolate. Below are more specific examples on some popular brands here.
7. Swedish “Marshmallow (Skum)”
I’ve specifically been told that the following candies here are neither marshmallow nor are they all called “Skum”. But for a loss of a better description I dare to leave the title as it is with the risk of Sweden’s population being mad at me. But come on, how else should I call them?
So these candies are a kind of marshmallow gummies. They are not as sweet nor fluffy as marshmallows though. They come in different colors and flavors. Swedes really like it. The most popular ones are the Bilar by Ahlgrens and JuleSkum by Cloetta.
From November on leading to Christmas Swedes get especially obsessed with . the marshmallow Santa candy Juleskum . They are flavored with artificial strawberries and shaped like a santa, colored in pink and white. They are THE store bought thing to get during christmas!
Juleskum can be found in any supermarket in Sweden before christmas. I’ve seen them at Ikea as well. And Bilar can be purchased at any time in all supermarkets in Sweden.
In Germany I know more people that don’t like these kind of candy than the ones that do though.
8. Candy cane (Polkagris)
In my opinion Polkagris are your average candy canes known to most of us. But my housemates insisted that these Swedish ones from their originated city Gränna in southern-central Sweden are speccial. I haven’t had any from there so I wouldn’t dare to judge yet ;p.
They come in different flavors nowadays, the original one is the peppermint one in red and white though.
The most famous chocolates are Marabou, Aladdin and Fazer. The two later ones are on the higher price end. If you want to get some pralines for christmas I would look at the ones from Aladdin and Fazer.
Another famous chocolate treat is the Swedish instant cocoa powder by O’boy. It’s a Scandinavian childhood favorite and has been around since 1959. Mixes well with hot or cold milk 😉 Thanks Raphaella for the tip!
10. Waffle (Kexchoklad)
Another popular product by Cloetta is their KEXchocolate, a crispy waffle covered in chocolate. I’ve been told that “it’s the essence of Swedish Skiing” because they are sponsored by Cloetta KEXchocolate. I’ve seen them at every supermarket and at the cafeteria at university.
11. Licorice (Lakritz)
Licorice – You either hat it or love it. For Sweden it is the later. There is no doubting its popularity in Sweden, the supermarkets are filled with licorice flavored things like ice cream and candies which means that you will have your choice of what to take back home. The most popular candies brands are shown in the pictures:
12. Wine Gummies
Wine gummies are definitively not the most Swedish thing to get but they are pretty popular in Sweden as well. They are similar to the British wine gummies, my friend loves them!
My Swedish classmate got himself this 1kg bag and devoured it within a day and he used to finish two of these bags back in the old days. If you still have space like me or your country is not used to them I would buy them.
13. Ginger Biscuits (Pepparkakor)
Pepparkakor are thin and very crispy ginger bread cookies you will find during christmas season. In Sweden they are often paired with cheese and fruit, or just taken with a cup of coffee or a glass of cold milk.
I personally am not a fan of super crispy and hard food and I much rather stick to the German version “Spekulatius” but I got myself one batch of Pepparkakor for my friends and family to try.
14. Göteborgs Ballerina
“Ballerina cookies have been considered Sweden’s favorite cookie since 1963. These delicious treats are circular in shape, are made from a shortbread cookie and have a chocolate hazelnut cream filling. “
I think most countries have a variety of these cookies from their own country but if you don’t you might want to pick up one of these. I have often seen these kind of cookies in Turkish and Russian supermarket. I bought a pack with three of these rolls at Willy’s to see if they taste any different to what I imagine them to be just in case.
This are Swedish Punsch-rolls, also known as dammsugare (“vacuum cleaner”). The inside consists of crushed biscuits, butter, and cocoa, flavoured with punsch liqueur. Outside it is covered with green marzipan with the ends dipped in chocolate.
I wasn’t a fan of them at first, when I tried one from Coop supermarket but the packaged ones changed my mind.
16. Swedish Chocolate Balls (Chokladboll)
Chokladbollar are unbaked small treats consisting of oatmeal, sugar, cocoa, vanilla sugar, butter, and sometimes a small amount of coffee.
You can either buy them or make them quickly yourself. They are one of the easiest treats to make you don’t even need to bake them. You just mix all the ingredients together and you can eat it right after.
I won’t even start counting all pastries you could possibly bring with you from Sweden because there are a lot. But this cake is something I will bring back because it is THE Swedish layer cake so I included it into the list.
Again, if your flight/train back doesn’t take too long you might be able to bring a slice of princess cake back. As always it’s a challenge but I’ve managed to do it with cake from Austria and Budapest so this will hopefully behave in my hand luggage as well.
- Eat candy on Saturdays, lördagsgodis – How to be Swedish
- Lördagsgodis: The Swedish Candy Obsession
- Swedish Gift Ideas for Sweden Lovers
- An Introduction to Swedish Candies
- 16 Must-Buy Souvenirs in Sweden
- Shop Swedish Food Souvenirs at the Supermarket in Stockholm