Thursday, December 23, 2010

Food Filled Fridays: Christmas (Jul) essential snacks and drinks

Glögg, Julmust and Pepparkakor. Without these three things a Swedish Christmas would just not be  Swedish enough. They are absolutely essential, central requirements. Pepparkakor are the crispy brown ginger cookies that are enjoyed plain or decorated and are often hung on the Christmas tree. They are usually eaten with an accompanying drink of either Glögg or Julmust. Julmust taste akin to Coca-Cola just more malty and not as sweet. It is only available at Christmas time and for one month of the year Coca-Cola is not the top selling soft-drink in Sweden. Glögg is made from red wine and spices and is drunk throughout Christmas time. Nothing warms you up, when you come in from the cold, like a warm cup of glögg. You get different brands, the most popular is probably Blossa, and different varieties: Non-alcoholic, Lättglögg (Light Glögg, 2.2% alcohol), Vinglögg (10% alcohol) and Stärkvinglögg (15%). The non-alcoholic and light glögg can be bought at regular supermarkets but the higher alcohol varieties must be bought at the state-controlled alcohol retailer, Systembolaget. A special visit to the local Systembolaget is advisable because the higher the alcohol content, the better the heating potential of the glögg. Glögg is served warm with raisins and almonds. A mini crisis hit Sweden this Christmas since the glögg supply ran out in certain places. This mini-drama was published in the paper today, click the link to read the story (Glögg shortage threatens Swedish Christmas). The paper also generously supply a recipe as a backup if somebody - horrors of horrors - cannot find glögg for their Christmas.


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