Or: sustaining your sugar addiction abroad.
This Saturday, my friend Annmarie and I chose to indulge in the Swedish tradition of eating candy on Saturdays. To most Americans, this sounds strange, but it is common practice in many Swedish households to head to the grocery store on Saturdays and stock up on candies of all varieties.
Most grocery stores have what we would call a “pick-and-mix” section, usually with upwards of 100 types of candies to add to your bag. Naturally, we had to Americanize this taste-testing by trying as many flavors as possible.
In total, we sampled 68 different varieties of candy. We decided against trying some if they seemed to be similar to ones we have in the United States or if there were multiple flavors of the same candy.
I took notes as we tried each sweet and then we revisited the list to categorize the candies as follows:
- Starred: Our favorites out of the bunch
- Checkmarks: Candies we both liked, but did not make the “favorites” cut
- Mehs: Candies that one person liked, but the other one did not
- X’s: Universally despised (by the two of us)
Today I’ll focus on the candies that we really liked and the ones we really didn’t. This is by no means a definitive review of Swedish candy, and everyone has their own tastes. But licorice was not ours.
- Anything licorice: The Swedish word for licorice is “lakrits,” so I highly recommend staying away from candies with that word in the name. Even if you normally like black licorice, beware because the Swedish version is extra salty and the anise flavor is extra strong. Many Swedish candies appear to be fruit-flavored or even chocolate, but have licorice in the middle.
- Plopp: Annmarie liked this candy bar, but it was overly sweet to me and the flavor was not my favorite.
- Choklad Skolkrita: The main problem with this one was the licorice flavor, which managed to permeate the chocolate coating as well. The unfortunate color and shape combination led me to write “poop=bad” in my notes about this candy.
- Ice Cream Sandwich: It had the flavor and texture of an ice cream sandwich that had been sitting out in the sun for some time and had begun to fall apart.
- Sur Patron: Like a mega-lemon drop, this tart candy comes in lemon and lime. Refreshingly sour in a sea of sweet, marshmallow-like chews.
- Coffee-Like: Aptly named. The texture of a Werther’s Original with the flavor of See’s Candies’ Cafe Latte Lollipop.
Overall, this candy excursion was a success. Next time we go candy shopping, we will make sure to avoid the dreaded “lakrits” flavor that Swedes seem to love so much.
I can’t wait until next Saturday’s candy haul!