Sorède’s Swedish Jugs

Sorède is best known for being the only town in France, Spain or Portugal that doesn’t have a castle or a stake to burn heretics. It’s a market town on the French-Spanish border with a secret.

In 1941 Sorède’s infamous Cinema Delighteo was the first movie theater in Europe, possibly the world, that showed a film about Swedish jugs. Residents, mainly men, flocked to the opening night hoping to glimpse the milky white scandinavian exports that have given the region its reputation. Everyone from adolescent school boys to grown men has once in his life bought a magazine or seen a film with Swedish jugs, but in 1941 only a handful of people had that pleasure.

Of course there’s plenty of double entendre surrounding the phrase Swedish jugs and everybody has a great giggle when asking a storekeeper for Swedish jugs for their kitchen. But this was the real thing and Inga Christensson was the woman who displayed them, offering them to all around her, lifted them, occasionally dropped them, rubbed them and made the viewers of the film quite ‘comfortable’.

Why was this? Why would decent married and good religious boys get so excited by Swedish jugs? The answer was imports.

In 1941, there was a war being fought in Europe and international shipping was disrupted by German U-Boats. As a result, nothing was able to enter this region of France. The movie, first seemed to tease the viewers but then became a message of hope that one day, after this horrible bloody war, ordinary innocent folk would get their hands of a pair of Swedish jugs.

Speed forward to 2011 and the opening of the first museum dedicated to Swedish jugs. Opening day saw thousands pass through the doors only to be bitterly disappointed when all they saw was a large pair of milky-white scandinavian breasts. Obviously this tangled web of double meanings had  just got to the point where confusion reigned supreme and the wrong jugs were displayed.

Today all mistakes have been remedied and school boys hoping for a glimpse of a Swedish rack will be directed to Sorède’s museum of torture.

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