Monday, 24 December 2007

göteborg's christmas markets

I recently spent the weekend in Sweden’s second largest city Göteborg, visiting Jonas' big sister (Helena) and her Australian fiancé (Christian) as well as Jonas’s mum (Ulla), stepdad (Anders) and little sister (Caroline).

While I was there Helena, Christian and I visited Liseberg, Göteborg’s fun park which during this time of year transforms itself into a pretty Christmas market.

In honour of Christmas Eve, when Jonas and all other Swedes celebrate Christmas, I have posted some of the photos of the Göteborg Christmas Markets. For the full set you can visit my Flickr pages.

All the trees along the main avenue were decorated with thousands of tiny lights which were very pretty but it interested me just how much the Swedish people loved these lights. I guess when you spend most of your winter days in semi-darkness you become moths to a flame . . .

This stall sold cured reindeer and moose meats. The moose sausage was deliciously rich and fatty and the reindeer meat was sweet and salty all at once. This photo is of the semi-dried reindeer meat.

There was a little girl (approx 5yrs old) at this tent who couldn't get enough of the free sill (herring) available to taste test.

Snus is a very common oral tobacco in Sweden. You can buy it with a wide variety of flavours (lychee, eucalyptus, licorice etc) and this particular one was Julsnus (Christmas snus) which I assume involves cinnamon, ginger and other warm spices. It’s not a chewing tobacco though; you roll a tiny amount into a ball and place it under your upper lip where the nicotine is absorbed through the skin and into the blood stream. This one is loose leaf, but you can also buy them packaged like tiny tea bags.

At Christmas time Swedes indulge in an interesting soft drink called Julmust (Christmas Must) which, in my opinion, tastes very similar to Cherry Coke or Dr Pepper. I think this was an alcoholic version since must is actually a by-product of the wine industry.

Mumma is a cardamom flavoured, very potent drink usually made from gin, soft drink and various dark beers. The producers of this particular blend recommend mixing it with porter beer.

This stall was full of soft, pink cured sausages rolled in crushed green peppercorns. Unlike the usual hard salami these sausages seemed rich and fatty, more like devon/baloney but with a more natural flavour. They were so tasty!

We bought this hot, meaty snack called suovas from a Sami tent. They had lightly smoked reindeer meat over an open fire then filled flatbread with iceberg lettuce, the reindeer meat, cream and lingonberries. It was perfect in the cold wet weather.

I admit I’m pretty lame, but the swing carousel is one of my all time favourite rides. As you can see behind the swing carousel, the sky was threatening to pour down on us, and it did later on that evening.

So those are my photos from the Göteborg Christmas Markets. If I have time tomorrow I'll post the photos of Frankfurt's Christmas Markets too. And stay tuned for photos from Göteborg's famous Feskekörka or fish church.



  1. Oh, you're in Sweden!? Great photos indeed :) You HAVE to tell me if you're coming to Stockholm, you know. :)

  2. How pretty! We were just at the Chrismtas market in Strasbourg! It was so much nicer than the ones I've been to on this side of France; more like Germany and similar to the one you were in: lots of pretty lights and decorations and wonderful food. No reindeer though. Someday, I think a Christmas in Scandinavia would be nice!
    Merry Christmas!

  3. anne - i was just in sweden for the weekend in early december. but i'm thinking of visiting stockholm next summer so i'll touch base with you for some foodie tips!

    katie - this year was my first experience at any christmas markets and i managed to visit two: göteborg & frankfurt. in fact this was the first time i'd visited the northern hemisphere during the christmas period so my first taste of "cold xmas".

    merry xmas to you both!


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