Curse IKEA

German black bread gave me a profound horizon-broadening experience when I was a high-school kid who traveled to Hamburg, Germany as an exchange student more than 30 years ago.

A native of the land of Wonder Bread, I was astounded by the rich flavor and texture of black bread. I could actually see the whole grains and feel them on my tongue.

On weekends my host family, the Bestgens, would eat dinner as the noon meal, while evening meals would be “Abend Brot.”  That meant the offerings were slices of black bread, condiments and toppings you’d use to make open-face sandwiches, which you ate with a knife and fork.

I ate black bread with mayo and sausage or tomatoes. Or we’d cover the bread with schmaltz, which was basically pork fat.

And this is why I’m pissed off at IKEA.

For several  years, I’ve shopped at the international warehouse of home-improvement and hit their grocery section on the way out to buy Finax Swedish Rye Bread. Whole-grain rye bread is black bread. It’s the same stuff.

In fact, the Finax product is black bread in a box! Just add water, put it in a baking pan and do an hour in the oven. Then you have fresh bread like the kind I used to eat in Hamburg.

But this is now. IKEA has discontinued the product. Why? Because they didn’t sell enough. It got too expensive. It got unfashionable. Whatever.

A week ago my wife went to the San Diego IKEA and spoke to an actual Swede with blond braids who was working in the grocery nook, and she said a customer had just arrived and had bought out the remaining stock of Finax rye.

Anyway… black bread was a treasured part of my upbringing and it was great when I could bake it fresh, myself, after buying the batter at IKEA. But no longer.

I’m sure the Swedish retailing giant is not so sentimental about selling their rye bread dough. But they may regret their decision to discontinue it when I write an angry letter to complain.



Since writing this screed more than a year ago IKEA has replaced its black bread product with a new brand. I describe this development in a new blog post. I feel it’s necessary to mention it here, since so many people who read Cul-De-Sac read this post. Maybe the headline is so riveting it draws people. I don’t know. But do know that this is old news. -TF


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17 Comments on “Curse IKEA”

  1. Marechal Kleber Says:

    This was better than any Vollkornbrot found in or imported from Germany. I bought the last 4 cases (48 cartons) at IKEA Paramus, NJ last November, kept them in a freezer, now down to 4. Was also told by a genu-wine Swede then that it would come back IKEA-branded. Unable to find it, IKEA customer service answers with generic BS. I am ready to buy in bulk again. HELP ! Smoked eel and Akvavit will never be the same again.

    • tomfudge Says:

      I don’t know about New Jersey, but the San Diego IKEA does now have the store-brand black bread. I wrote about in a blog post in which I apologize for still being pissed off about them not having it. Go to the link to look at what the carton looks like and what they call it. I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t be able to get it in Paramus.

      • Kenneth Says:

        As mentioned earlier, it IS back under the IKEA brand, and has been for several months. At least here in Seattle. It is the exact same thing as before, which is great. Good luck.

  2. adina Says:

    IKEA, curses aside for other offences, are selling your beloved bread. It is curiously addictive. For something that comes out of a carton, I was expecting very little. I almost don’t want anyone else to discover it. I plan on finding the recipe to circumvent reliance on IKEA. I understand it has a sourdough base added so making it from scratch may not be that simple…

    • Michele Says:

      Jeffrey Hamelman’s book “Bread, A Baker’s Book Of Techniques And Recipes” has recipes for this type of bread It involves soaking various mixtures overnight. It is not difficult to make, especially if you have some dry or liquid purchased sourdough starter. I order rye chops from a mill in NC.

  3. Gavin Says:

    After I got a box of Ikea’s Brödmix Flerkorn and couldn’t find it again, I used this recipe for Rugbrød – Danish Sourdough Rye Bread which is pretty close.

  4. L Says:

    Today I bought a carton of Brodmix Flerkorn Ikea brand mix. I didn’t try the rye bread but this is pretty good, if you can get over the really unfortunate color and consistency.of the mix when prepared.
    The ingredients are Wheat flour, wheat flakes, rye flakes, coarse rye flour, sunflower kernels, wheat starch, linseed, malt, sourdough powder. It’s nutty, and dense, crunchy and moist, perfect with a little butter, can’t wait to try it with tea tomorrow morning.

    So don’t despair !!

  5. rosasputnik Says:

    It’s back… under the IKEA brand. I just bought 6 boxes at IKEA Round Rock, TX! YAY!!!

  6. Kalle Norrand Says:

    That rye bread mix was wonderful, we only bought 1 carton and cannot find anymore, we love Ikea but why is that rye bread mix so TOP SECRET? We can’t find it or any catalog to purchase it from,maybe someone can help further this cause.
    Finax Swedish Rye Bread lovers unite!

    December 24,2011

  7. Ole Says:

    I agree with your complaint. Very sad move by IKEA.
    I am Facebook illiterate but maybe someone here knows how to start a Facebook group to put more pressure?

  8. LInda Mae Says:

    I’m the person in San Diego who bought out the remaining supply of Finax Swedish Rye Mix at IKEA. I can’t believe they have discontinued this product – it is wonderful!

    • Michele Says:

      Linda Mae, you were smart when you discovered IKEA was discontinuing the mix! We were however told IKEA would have its own brand of bread mix so will be looking for that one in stores. Otherwise I’ll bake my own from Jeffrey Steingarten’s recipe with the mail-ordered rye chops and berries, etc. it is the same principle except without having to leave the soaking components out overnight–you leave them out in separate bowls, covered (with a bit of sourdough added; I use some from a German mix) and let rise and bake the following day. Tastes very like it!

  9. Michele Says:

    I know! They are discontinuing all products not manufactured under IKEA’s name. I just found out about their expanded food product line and bought Swedish cheeses, the bread mixes, frozen crayfish with dill, lumpfish caviar. Surprise! I got in on the very last of it all. I have lived in Sweden and Denmark and my husband is from Germany. I bake my own bread and this is just like homemade. I have to mail order rye chops. So disappointing!

  10. Laura Says:

    you might try contacting IKEA, I just found out about this bread & wanted to try it. so I will contact IKEA, maybe if enough people contact them they will bring it back. can’t hurt!!

  11. Ken Hansen Says:

    I just got home after a very disappointing trip to my local IKEA. No more rye bread mixes!!!! I found this blog post, and thought someone might know where to get equally good rye bread mixes?

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