I was wondering if I would review this, but I got to thinking - a lot of people are going to find this stuff in the store and wonder what it is. Much like stumbling across a General chiller and going to the web to find out what this snus/snuff stuff is. So if you find yourself asking, "What is Ettan Snuff?" or "What are Ettan Pouches?" I hope to help answer that question. About a month ago I wrote about Swedish Match bringing Ettan to America. I think it's a good move on the part of SM because to be honest - a lot of people can't get into General. Granted, bergamot does grow on you and most snusers end up using a snus with the traditional citrus flavor, it isn't a good starter snus. Ettan is great for beginners. It was one of the earliest snuses I tried, and my first non-mint/fruity snus. I reviewed the white portion of Ettan in June of 2009, and I liked it quite a bit. I know Ettan has quite a following because it has a really traditional flavor. For those of you finding this article, if this is your first foray into Swedish Snus, welcome to a brand new world.
Ettan is one of Sweden's oldest snus brands having been around since 1822. It has a really simple recipe, but that's part of what makes it's so good. In Sweden, Ettan is a type of Swedish Snus, a smokeless tobacco that has been proven not to cause any kind of oral cancer. If you're new to snus, don't let those warning labels fool you. They are quite deceitful and not accurate, but it's part of the American FDA and the requirement that they be in place. However, snus has been studied and constantly observed not to cause oral cancer, so you can use this product and not worry! Ettan, as I mentioned, is a type of Swedish Snus. The names "snuff" and "pouches" on the can (I believe) are to help make this product more familiar to American's, but one important thing to remember is that this is not dip, or like any tobacco product sold in America. Swedish Snus is pasteurized (steam cured) and American Dip/moist snuff is fermented (fire cured). The pasteurization is what prevents the rise in TSNA levels which are very abundant in American Dip/moist snuff. American Dip and moist snuff have been proven to cause cancer whereas Swedish Snus has not.
Ettan Snuff is the equivalent of a product in Sweden known as Ettan Los. The Ettan Pouches is the equivalent of a product in Sweden known as Ettan Portion. There are different types of portions - mainly white and original. The white portion is a portion that doesn't go through the extra step at the end of manufacturing to add moisture which makes the white portion more dry. Swedish Match opted to bring Ettan Original Portion to America, which is more moist, and in my opinion much more flavorful. Ettan Snuff isn't like dip - you don't pinch it and put it in your lower lip. Snus is meant to be put in the upper lip, which is one of the reasons it is "spit free". The other is that as snus is pasteurized, it is safe to swallow any juices that you may encounter when trying this. Ettan Snuff can be put in your lip in many ways, you can use an Icetool (my personal preference), or a Prismaster, which I've been told some stores are giving away with purchase of Ettan Snuff. You can also handbake, which means forming a prilla/pris (the mass of snus that you put in your lip). There is a great video on YouTube (link) that shows you how to do this.
As far as a review, I'll just say this. Ettan is a very natural, neutral tasting tobacco with a mellow salt balance and subtle hints of chocolate. In the past I've reviewed the Swedish products - Ettan White Portion and Ettan Los, so if you want in depth reviews, check those out.
One thing I want to mention, and a lot of people who use Swedish Snus have asked about this - the Ettan Snuff container is in paperboard format. It's not a plastic bottom, the bottom of the can is actually like the Swedish equivalent. I for one like the paperboard containers, but that's me. I did get to see them being made in Sweden when I visited the Swedish Match factory, so I think they're pretty legit. Anyways, that's Ettan Snuff and Pouches. If you're new to snus, welcome to a brand new world. If you want more info, there's a lot out there - check out our site, Snubie.com which covers almost everything, and has links to other sites/video pages where you can learn more as well. If you're interested in checking out other types of snus, there are a large variety of webstores that will ship Swedish Snus fresh to your door, so check those out too!