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Trying to define the taste of Göteborgs Rapé is like trying to explain the myriad of sensations that you get when drinking a fine wine. “A full-bodied flavor with citrus and juniper notes…” While the association is today one of luxury, the origins of Göteborgs Rapé – established in 1919 – are nevertheless rather humble. And then there’s the special name. At one point, there was an attempt to abbreviate the name to GR, but it was felt that this robbed Göteborgs Rapé of some of its unique character. On the other hand, the snus is thought to be distinctive enough to survive without the added help of a quirky name.
A rather risqué name – as perceived anyone coming from an English-speaking background… But there is of course a story behind the name. Göteborg (pronounced “yuh-tuh-BOR-ee”) is the original Swedish spelling of Gothenburg – the second largest city in Sweden, and Rapé (pronounced – rah-PAY with emphasis on the second syllable) is a French word that literally means “grated” – which of course related to the fine consistency of the tobacco particles that made up the snus. So although there was an effort to condense the name of this famous snus into the abbreviation GR – in our opinion it was a bad move.
Unlike some of the other long-running snuses, the recipe for Göteborgs Rapé was not invented by a patient expert with a wonderful sense of smell. Rather it evolved from simple chance in a process of trial and error. Gothenburg was a busy port, often called Sweden’s gateway to the world, and there were many sailors in town, brought by the merchant ships that traded in the city and came from Asia, the Caribbean, the Americas and many other far-off places.
As a result, the snus-loving seamen had access to a wide variety of flavors and spices and they used to experiment with different combinations to find what worked. Perhaps it was because they could not afford to buy ready-mixed snus, or perhaps because they enjoyed the experimentation. It was common for sailors in the 19th century to each have their own personal favorite blend of tobacco and spices with their signature personal flavor. Swedish Match historians have failed to find out exactly how the Göteborgs Rapé mix came to be made, but it was clear that the fresh and spicy mixture was popular. A description of the mixture of flavors characterizing this snus sounds like it could even be a wine label. This is a great achievement, considering the rough and ready roots of this much-loved snus.
The year of 1915 saw a significant change take place in the tobacco industry in Sweden when the government took over all factories in the interest of putting the wealth of the industry towards maintaining the safety and security of the nation. The entire industry – of which the snus section consisted of 103 different brands, 25 from Gothenburg – suddenly became a state monopoly. It was decided that this overbroad selection of snus brands must be slimmed down, and a jury was gathered to sample the brands and decide which should be retained. The resulting number of brands numbered just a mere five! And Göteborgs Rapé was one of the lucky few to survive and be registered in 1919. From then on, this innovative combination, born of the experimentation of sailors, was produced on a commercial basis in a government-owned factory – where the high tech machinery ensured a consistent grated texture. When the brand was taken over by Swedish Match in 1967, further technological enhancements were introduced, such as the round can, the ocean-blue inspired branding and the first white snus. The latter was a great achievement in the minds of many snus users, as it resulted in a drier portion surface with less of a runny experience. Not a bad story for a snus that started out as a sailors’ recipe.
Most snuses that existed around the time when Göteborgs Rapé was launched had very boring names that invoked the quality of the snus, its inventor or the region where it was developed. As France was a very fashionable place at the time, the inclusion of a French word in Göteborgs Rapé was thought to give the brand more of a classy image.
Göteborgs Rapé White Large Hjortron Portion Snus is a medium strong snus packed with sweet and refreshing flavors. The main focus of this medium strong snus is the wonderful taste of hjortron (cloudberry), making it a fruity treat for your taste buds.
Göteborgs Rapé Lingon White Large Portion Snus by Swedish Match is a flavorsome and medium strong white portion snus that fits nicely under your lip. It combines the classic Göteborgs Rapé flavor with sweet hints of Swedish lingonberries.
Göteborgs Rapé Original Portion Snus by Swedish Match has a superbly balanced tobacco blend complemented with lavender and juniper and fresh hints of cedar and citrus. A timeless masterpiece that comes in humidified and medium strong portions.
This white portions snus is filled to the brim with a well-rounded and traditional snus flavor. Göteborgs Rapé White Large Portion Snus delivers a long lasting flavor of mellow tobacco complemented with hints of lavender and juniper followed by a medium strong and pleasant nicotine kick.