Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Christmas Time!

Ok, so you may be thinking that it seems a bit early for Christmas. But in Sweden, Christmas comes early. How is this possible, you ask? Well, it starts with the fact that there is no celebration for Halloween or Thanksgiving. As soon as the days get colder and longer, everyone starts looking forward to the coziness of Christmas. There are no other pesky holidays to get in the way or distract them through the fall.

For over two weeks now Julmust has been available in all stores. The holiday lights are all aglow on the trees downtown. This week, more and more Christmas food items are becoming available in my local grocery shops. I realized that I am a sucker for holiday/seasonal foods. I love the fact that you can only get them for a limited time. I love how each season is special. I love food. These things combined make seasonal food and drink irresistible for me. I've decided that it's my job, as an unemployed American living in Sweden for my first Christmas, to sample all holiday related food items.
This week I went with a beverage theme:
Zoégas Julkaffe och Julmust
One thing I miss from home is flavored coffee. Swedes like their coffee like many other Europeans - small, black and strong. I like my coffee like many other Americans - large, milky white and flavored. Imagine my excitement when I saw Christmas coffee with hints of nouget and orange. To make this even more exciting, it seems that every year their Christmas coffee has a different flavor. What will it be next year? Oh, the anticipation!

Opening the package this morning, I realized I was going into it with certain expectations. I really enjoy Starbucks Christmas blend. I'm not a coffee connoisseur - as I said, I enjoy a large hazelnut coffee with milk and sugar from Dunkin' Donuts - so upon opening the coffee I simply noticed that it smelled like... coffee. Coffee is a fantastic smell, especially in the morning, but it didn't smell extra Christmasy to me. I made my coffee, frothed my milk and poured it into my piggy mug. It was good coffee, but my untrained taste buds could not find that hint of orange and nouget. Maybe the secret is to drink it black? I'll try another experiment tomorrow morning, but so far, this coffee does not rank high on my Christmas Must Have Food and Drinks list.

On to the Julmust. It looks just like Coke or Pepsi in the bottle. It smells.... like Captain Morgan and Coke. Which, for me, isn't a good thing. I drank rum and Cokes in college because that's what there were, not because I actually liked the taste of them. Julmust tastes... like I let my gummi bears sit in Coke overnight. I love gummies and I enjoy Coke, but combined? Way too sweet. It ranks low on my Christmas Must Have Food and Drink list. It at least made the list, as it appears to be an important staple for. Swedes judging by the mass quantities in stores. It's not so bad that I can't drink it. I'm drinking the one we have in the fridge - it's good after a long run when you need a sugary drink.

I'm taking a training break for a bit because I have a pain in my knee that just won't go away. I always take a break towards the end of the year and since the year ends earlier in Sweden, I'm taking it earlier than usual ;)

Also, Ross and I bought tickets to come back to the States for Christmas! We'll be there from December 20th to January 8th. Who's around? :)

Despite this feeling of Yule, the days have been above freezing and sunny, with more beautiful sunsets.


Becky's Maps said...

Me me me! Fancy a Boston local run the morning after Christmas? Cristina might be around too.

Louise said...

Glögg + lussekatter = very tasty...

Anonymous said...

I am working on gathering a collection of pumpkin spice coffees for you and Hill to try when you come home. Will work on the Christmas blends too. Yum!

Alex said...

Yay training break!

I like glögg. You should try that one.

Samantha said...

Becky, we would love to meet up for a run the morning after Christmas. I think we'll be around, but I'll let you know!

Louise, yes I've heard a lot about St. Lucia and lussekattor. I think I'll try to make some myself soon!

Alex, glögg is certainly on our to try list. I've had it at home, but somehow having it here seems more Swedish :) We'll have to find an evening when we can get people over to share it with them.

Mom, yay for flavored coffee! I'm excited to bring some back with me. And I've already had a request from someone for a bag of pumpkin spice!