Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Swedish treats: ice cream is a big deal in Sweden

If you're traveling with your kids to Sweden, I really recommend that you try the local ice cream. Even if you go in the winter, when it might be really, really cold, you should try some (just eat it indoors). And if you travel to Sweden in the summer months, you should definitely grab an ice cream from a corner store, or any "glass kiosk" (aka small ice cream vendor) you spot.

I've mentioned before that ice cream is a big deal in Sweden. The range of flavors available at even a simple Swedish corner store is often astonishing, ranging from salted licorice ice creams (yummy! if you like salted licorice...) to chocolatey cones to yogurt bars, lactose-free ice cream pops and more.

In 2002, Swedes ate almost 12 liters of ice cream per person. That's a lot. Canadians only ate 8.7 liters. Sure, Americans did eat more than the Swedes (over 18 liters per person in 2002).

It is my unscientific opinion that Swedes are way more into in individual ice creams, such as ice cream pops, cones, bars, sandwiches and whatever other shape ice-cream can be made into (as opposed to tubs of ice cream) than many other people around the world. (Though soft-serve ice cream cones, as well as hard ice cream scooped into cones or cups is extremely popular in Sweden too.)

One sign of this Swedish interest in ice cream, is that when new ice creams appear on the scene (as they do every spring), it's a big deal. It makes the big newspapers, including Dagens Nyheter. The newspaper recently published a field-test of the new ice cream varieties for 2011, and just look at it: it's enough to give you and your children a severe sugar buzz's just by reading it.

To give you a taste, here's a description of some of the new varieties from the second link:
  • a raspberry-licorice cone
  • a blueberry cone
  • a strawberry yogurt bar covered in sprinkles
  • a chocolate-caramel-pear cone
  • a fruity twirl pop
  • an orange and raspberry pop with smiley face
  • a chocolate and vanilla "push-up" ice cream
  • a vanilla ice cream bar with strawberry jam and a whistle (?)
  • a crunchy, licorice covered bar with licorice fudge inside the vanilla
  • and then a whole range of more fruity, chocolatey, crunchy, icy, nutty concoctions.

And these are just the new varieties! There's still all the classics, like 88:an, GB Sandwich, Glassb├ąten (ice cream boat) and more.

When we visited Sweden last summer, my daughter loved Piggelin, an old-school, green popsicle, while my son ate most types of vanilla ice cream covered in chocolate (as well as lactose-free varieties when I made him eat those). My own favorite? The original Sandwich: dark chocolate and vanilla. Simple and just plain good.

Ice-cream stats from University of Guelph's website.


  1. What a neat post! Looking forward for more post from you. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Thank you! I seem to have ice cream on my mind now when it's spring here outside Vancouver.

  3. I think the boys would quite love that!

  4. Man, I wish I could bring you and the boys over with me to Sweden for a holiday Colleen! Maybe when I win the lottery, right?


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