The Ultimate Guide to Icelandic Candy
Soft, chewy, hard., sour, bitter and sweet. We are talking about candy.
One of my favorite things to do when visiting a new country is exploring supermarkets. There is something fascinating about foreign supermarkets, they are different yet so similar, filled with mysterious products and labels in foreign languages. What is there not to love. There are two particular sections of the supermarket that I enjoy most.
First, the produce aisle where in my case, envy is most often the feeling I come away with. I do after all live in Iceland and even tho selection of fruits and vegetables has increased dramatically, it’s just not the same when everything is imported. Second is the candy aisle, now this is where the fun really begins, shelves and shelves of never before seen candy. But it’s not all fun and games, choosing what candy bars to get can be the cause of some very real anxiety, is this local, does anyone even buy this, is it edible?
Dear traveler, today we are going to do our best to guide you through the candy aisle of an Icelandic supermarket. Hopefully, this will help you in finding your favorite Icelandic candy, while also avoiding things that may not be to your taste.
This chocolate based candy is a must, when I travel I always bring some with me for gifts, it has a crunchy middle covered in milk chocolate, it’s light and delicious. Don’t be fooled tho you’re not going to be able to eat just one, open that bag and it’s gone. Good for: road trips, hanging on the couch, for gifts, for hiking. Notes: this is suitable for everyone, young and old alike.
These taste like Icelandic childhood, simple yet so wonderful, chocolate covered raisins that are a true classic. Available both with dark and milk chocolate, go for the later, this candy is basic and thus works much better with basic chocolate. There will be plenty of other opportunities for fancy dark chocolate. Súkkulaðirúsínur are an excellent source of fuel, especially when mixed with salted peanuts. These are my go to when hiking the Laugavegur Trail, you should never have to reach far for some delicious energy. Good for: Kids, grown-ups, tired hikers, dark winter nights. Notes: try this at your own risk, you may be in for a lifelong addiction.
Milk chocolate with a liquorice center, in what can only be described as the perfect union. They weren’t messing around when they named this bar of chocolate, the dream, available in a couple of different sizes this one is a safe bet unless of course, you are one of those people that don’t like liquorice in which case the whole thing may turn into more of a nightmare. Good for: Scandinavians and all liquorice lovers, packed lunches, the movies. Notes: it has black liquorice.
Hraunbitar e. Lava Bites
These have been around long before tourism became a thing in Iceland, goes to show that we are, and always have been, all about those volcanoes. Composed of vanilla wafers, covered with rice puffs (giving the appearance of lava), drenched in chocolate. These bite size treats are just the right ratio of chocolate to wafer, these won’t leave you feeling stuffed, unless you eat the whole box, which lets be realistic, is not that unlikely. Good for: everyone, paring them with coffee, picnics, stashing in the glove department. Notes: open the box in a crowd and you’ll only have one piece.
Lindu Rís Buff
This bite size candy is something else, if you are craving a quick sugar fix, these will get you there fast. This bite size milk chocolate bar has a chewy marshmallow center covered with rice puffs. Don’t miss out on this sticky goodness.
Good for: long bus rides, sharing, sugar cravings, kids and grownups. Notes: don’t take too long to eat this, it will melt in your hand and things will get very sticky, keep a toothbrush close by.
An honorary member of the icelandic candy selection and the single most popular chocolate bar in Iceland, a title it has held for decades. Prince Polo originates from Poland. It’s light, a chocolate layered wafer covered with a very thin layer of chocolate. Best paired with coca cola in a small glass bottle. Good for: pairing it with coffee or milk, snacks, that afternoon slump, everyone grandparents and toddlers alike. Notes: relatively low in calories.
Chewy chocolate center with a delightful surprise of liquorice. I’m rather sure of myself when I say that there isn’t one icelandic person that does not like this candy. Its texture is smooth and chewy and the liquorice somehow brings it to perfection. Even if liquorice is not your thing, give it a try, you may be pleasantly surprised by how much you’ll enjoy it. Good for: everyone, making friends and bribery. Notes: by a whole bag, it could come in handy.
Little balls of goodness, these toffees come in a couple of different flavours, classic- and liquorice toffee, both covered with chocolate. They are chewy and delicious, but be carefull if you have tooth fillings, these are notorious for pulling them straight out. Good for: snacking on at the movies, getting through the afternoon at work. Notes: don’t tell your dentist.
Our hearts beat for all things liquorice out here on this island, not only figuratively speaking, because too much of this black gold can certainly cause heartbeat irregularities and heightened blood pressure, to name a couple. That being said, if your heart health is good, there is no reason to go without. Lakkrísreimar, or liquorice laces are not only good, but also fun to eat. They come in a few different varieties, plain, filled with marzipan, and with a filling of ammonium chloride (or salmiak). Good for: a quick pick me up, sharing with friends. Notes: in all seriousness, if you do have high blood pressure or heart issues, it’s not worth the try.
Named after the island settlement Kulusuk in Greenland, this candy has been around for a long time. Soft liquorice covered with chocolate, an Icelandic classic. Good for: eating the whole bag and remembering the good old days. Note: Yes it’s true we put liquorice in everything.
Have a friend with a sweet tooth, know someone that has strong feelings about liquorice, you don’t have to share your candy but I’d be very grateful if you shared this post.
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