If you’re a sweet and candy lover, Sweden is truly the place to be. Swedes consume more than 18 kilos of candy per person, per year. And in 2016, Sweden was the 3rd highest per capita candy consumer, closely tailing behind Ireland and Germany. Now, that is a lot of candy!
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On Saturdays, many parents will take their children to the pick-n-mix at the local grocery store and the candy you get on Saturdays is known as lördagsgodis, or ‘Saturday Candy. If you grew up in Sweden, stocking up on lördagsgodis is is truly nostalgic; the taste of your favourite childhood candy is something you don’t easily forget.
And if you didn’t grow up in Sweden, don’t despair. Here is a guide of some of the most loved candies and sweets you should try while in Sweden.
A Swedish classic, Prinsesstårta (otherwise known as ‘princess cake’) was invented in the 1930’s in honour of the country’s three Swedish princesses. With a green top layer made of marzipan and a whipped cream, sponge interior, this is not only a delicious accompaniment to an afternoon coffee — it’s also Instagram-friendly!
While pannkakor, or pancakes, are a popular sweet dish around the world, in Sweden it is a weekly meal — Swedish schools are known to serve it for lunch on Thursdays, but only after you’ve finished your pea soup! Pea-soup and pancakes is not just served in schools and ärtsoppa och pannkakor can be found on meny menus on Thursdays. The thin pancakes are often rolled with a jam – or in the summer, fresh berry – filling and topped with whipped cream or ice cream. A real delight for all ages!
Some Swedish sweets are, in fact, salty. Salmiak, or salty liquorice, is a flavour that appears in many different Swedish candies. Salta Bläckfiskar is an octopus-shaped marshmallow with a salty black liquorice flavour — of course, they’re not to everyone’s taste but if you want to eat candy like a Swede, they are a must try!
These chewy, citrus-flavoured candies are popular at Easter time. Moulded in the shape of roosters, they come in lavender green and yellow. You’ll likely to find a few in your Påskägg — an egg-shaped box filled with candies gifted to friends and family at Easter time.
In English, Skumkantareller means “foam chanterelles”. These strawberry-flavoured marshmallows are shaped like mushrooms and are a popular treat across the country. You’ll find them at most local sweet counters in the pick-in-mix.
A common dessert at a dinner party, smulpaj is a crumb pie – with no pastry shell – available in almost every cafe in Sweden. Usually available in blueberry and raspberry flavours, smulpaj is served with cream. It is regularly enjoyed as part of fika; and of course, the perfect addition to a barista-made coffee and good conversation.
There are so many different Swedish sweets and candies available to try. If you want to live like a Swede, take a trip to the pick-n-mix or a cafe, and find your favourite. And if you already have a favourite – let us know in the comments!