Following the news that Schwedenbomben will soon be appearing in shops in neighbouring Germany and Slovenia, here are a few facts for our foreign friends about one of Austria’s best-loved treats.
What are Schwedenbomben?
A Schwedenbombe (Sweden bomb) is made up of marshmallowy egg-white foam that is placed on a wafer base and then coated with chocolate and sometimes sprinkled with coconut flakes. They are cousins to the Schokokuss in Germany or Tunnock's chocolate teacakes in the UK. Despite their sugary content, a single Schwedenbomb is apparently only 65 calories.
Photo: Niemetz Schwedenbomben
What’s their history?
Invented in 1926 by Walter Niemetz and his wife Johanna, the Schwedenbombe is now 90-years-old. The chocolate treat was patented in 1934, when they were originally packaged by hand in gold plated paper. Unfortunately they no longer come in such fancy packaging but with 270,000 Schwedenbomben being produced every day they are nonetheless still very popular.
How did they get their name?
The name Schwedenbombe is a tribute to the Swedish friend of Walter Niemetz who helped him come up with the egg-white foamy filling. To say thanks to their friend, Walter and Johanna decided to name the sweet after his country.
How much does Austria love them?
A lot. So much so, in fact, that when the Schwedenbombe came under threat after its Austrian manufacturers Niemetz risked bankruptcy a few years ago, a social media campaign was started to rescue it.
They managed to get over 40,000 supporters, wrote a song about Schwedenbomben (see below), and reportedly boosted sales to a million a week. In the end a company owned by the Austrian Meinl family stepped up and bought Niemetz for €5 million and the country breathed a collective sigh of relief.
Anything else I should know?
After he won the 2015 Eurovision Song Competition held in Vienna, Swedish singer Måns Zelmerlöw described himself as a Schwedenbombe at the press conference afterwards, which delighted Austrian fans but left international media puzzled.
Credit: Rettet die Niemetz Schwedenbomben.