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Back in 1822, life in Sweden looked pretty different. Steam locomotives were only just being developed and the electric light was also very new. Raincoats were still to come. This was the moment in history when Mr Jacob Fredrik Ljunglöf put together his own special recipe for Swedish snus – a recipe that would survive over 200 years and still be popular today. The name comes from the Swedish word meaning “The number one”, meaning that Ettan was the very best quality snus produced in the factory.
Ettan snus offers an easy and convenient way to travel back in time – as long as you’re content to travel to the Sweden of 1822. How? Because the recipe for Ettan loose snus has not changed in close to 200 years! The blend is still exactly as it was defined by the snus variety’s inventor - Jacob Fredrik Ljunglöf. Not even the smallest change has been made to the quantities and types of tobaccos used. If you’re a fan of portion snus, bear in mind that this convenient way to enjoy snus did not arrive on the scene until the late 20th century. For those unfamiliar with snus, the method used to make it seems very simple – simply blend tobacco, water and salt. However, true snus fans know that it’s all about the specific blend.
Jacob Fredrik Ljunglöf, the founder of Ettan, started working at one of the biggest tobacco factories in Sweden when he was only 14. His talent helped him to climb the ladder with rapid speed and he become manager of the factory just 10 years later at the age of 24. Thanks to his higher position, Ljunglöf was able to start making snus under his own name, and Ettan was invented the following year.
Methods of tobacco production in the early 19th century generally involved fermenting the tobacco at high temperatures for up to 6 months before starting to make the snus. However, Ljunglöf reasoned that using fresh snus would make a more enjoyable product. He enlisted the help of a friend who was also the renowned chemist and scientist - Jacob Berzelius* to work on this problem with him. They developed the method of producing snus using the mixture of tobacco, water, salt and potash (a source of potassium salts). The new method had the advantage of requiring only a week to prepare – where the fermenting process had previously taken months – and Ljunglöf knew that they had found something really special. To protect the recipe, he kept it secret by writing it down in a code that only he was able to understand.
*If you are ever in Stockholm and visit the Berns nightclub, you will be able to see the Berzelii Park – named after Jacob Berzelius – outside the window. A statue of this father of modern chemistry graces the centre of the park – a testament to his brilliance and fame.
Ljunglöf decided to name his first snus variety – made with the finest tobacco, salt and water after himself. "Ljunglöf's No. 1" signified that this snus was the absolute top of the market and totally awesome. It was common at the time to name products after the level of quality they represented, with No. 1 being the finest that the factory or brand had to offer. There would also have been a No. 2 and No. 3 that would have been consecutively less awesome, but fittingly it was the best of the best that has survived until today. "Ljunglöf's No. 1" was acclaimed as a wonderful snus and later came to be known by consumers simply as “Ettan”. A great history behind a top quality snus.
As we know, the recipe for Ettan was created by Jacob Ljunglöf , but his son Knut Ljunglöf became even more famous and was even called the King of Snus for a while. Of the many stories about the Snus King, here is our favorite: Knut always used his nose to test the quality of snus produced in the factory. He had a daily ritual where a silver bowl of fresh snus would be placed onto his desk and he would take a spoonful of it and hold it under his nose. He inhaled with his eyes closed and was able to tell if the moisture level and quality of the tobacco was as it should be. If the snus met with his approval it would later be packaged ready to be sold. If not, the entire batch would be thrown away. When people asked him about the secret behind the success of the Ettan brand, Knut would simply point at his own nose and say “THIS is the secret.”
The Ettan brand became – and to some extent, still is – a reflection of Knut’s own personality and sense of style. He was obsessed with perfection and sought out the best of everything, whether it was food, clothes or the décor of his home. He lived in the type of house that would nowadays be featured on TV shows such as “The Crib”. However, he also displayed a single-minded dedication towards perfecting the quality of Ettan snus.
Apart from the daily nose inspection test, he was also a regular visitor at the tobacco fields where he carried out his own testing of the soil. He also personally inspected the company’s storage facilities to ensure that the correct temperature and moisture conditions were being maintained. He received many requests to export Ettan snus to other countries, but turned them down because of the problem of slow transportation which would make delivering fresh snus impossible. Although Knut’s amazing nose is no longer in operation at the Ettan factory, the dedication of Swedish Match employees and the top-level technology they employ ensure that the same superior quality levels are still being met in every batch of Ettan. As a company, Swedish Match shares the same passion for quality and are careful to carry on the legacy established by Knut.
Get 24 portions of the classic Ettan snus with its smoky malt and tar taste, bringing hints of chocolate and grass. For fans of Ettan snus who want a more convenient solution on the go.
Experience the authentic flavor of Ettan Snus by Swedish match, here available in a White Portion version. Moistened snus packed into dry-surface portions for a fast and long-lasting flavor hit.