Monday, September 17, 2018
We at Must See in Iceland are sort of obsessed with candy. And not only Icelandic candy – just candy in general. That’s why we’ve been exchanging candy with people from all over the world the last months and have been pleasantly surprised with what foreigners send us. But what is the best Icelandic candy?
We know what we think is the best Icelandic candy, but we wondered if locals from all over Iceland would agree with us. So we set up on a mission. For several days we contacted friends and relatives, a Facebook group dedicated to food and people we met along the way to find out, once and for all what Icelandic candy makes people tick. We also asked our fellow Icelanders what is the absolute worst candy produced in Iceland.
We got flooded with answers and comments, almost too many to handle. It seems like everybody has an opinion when it comes to candy in Iceland. We are a big candy nation, which is reflected in the number of candy brands that fill our endless candy stands at grocery stores. This is a topic of heated discussions at dinner tables, at parties, at the work place, and it’s fascinating to see how we fight for our favorite candy with passion and gusto. Mind you, some of our opinionated people insisted that there was no nasty, Icelandic candy. We sort of agree, but still there are always a few rotten apples that we stay clear of.
So, without further ado, here are our results so you can head straight to the store and stock up on candy. And of course we start with the best of the best. You might not be surprised that our top places are filled with licorice treats. After all, we Icelanders are notorious licorice fanatics!
The best Icelandic candy according to locals
The fudgy, chocolate pieces filled with licorice won this unscientific poll by a landslide! We are so not kidding. Þristur destroyed the competition! This candy seems to do that in every single poll ever executed by Icelandic media, so it must be doing something right. The people that we talked to said that Þristur is truly the best of both worlds – ooey, gooey chocolate, sort of reminiscent of a chocolate fudge, filled with the most smooth licorice pieces known to man. I totally agree with this choice, since it’s my favorite too. You just can’t beat a brand new Þristur, melting in your mouth.
This one has been around for it seems forever and is always a hit at gatherings. It’s such a beloved mix of black licorice and marzipan filled licorice pieces and really hits home with the Icelandic candy lover it seems. I for one, can open up a box of assorted licorice and wake up a few moments later and it’s all gone! That’s just how good it is!
In Icelandic we call them lakkrísreimar. You can choose between pure licorice shoelaces, laces filled with marzipan or pepper laces. They are all good and our opinion givers didn’t really discriminate between types. The shoelaces are also so fun to eat, pull apart, smell and drool over. It’s the perfect TV treat, or better yet – cinema indulgence.
So, the translation would be: bingo bullets. Sounds pretty awful, I know. But the candy is far from awful. Or at least I think so, and many, many more that I spoke to. These are round, little balls, filled with a lovely licorice fudge center, coated with dark chocolate. They are a mouthful and if you stuff your face with 2 or 3 at a time you can’t really speak for a few moments. But the taste is like nothing else!
Another high scorer is the milk chocolate bars filled with a smooth, peppermint center. This candy hits home with many Icelanders, and is best served with a hot cup of good coffee. It’s sort of tastes like After Eight, but is much sweeter and lovelier.
The name means lava, since the chocolate, puffed rice chocolate is reminiscent of little bits of lava. Could this candy be any more Icelandic? I think not! A popular camping stable is the box of Hraun, featuring small bits of lava all the family can enjoy. You can also buy a Hraun chocolate bar so you don’t have to share with anyone. This is a really basic candy, but oh, so yummy!
The name means coconut balls, but that name really doesn’t describe the bliss that is Kókosbollur. We’re talking about a whipped meringue like center, coated with a thin layer of chocolate and rolled in shredded coconut. Words cannot fully describe how amazing this candy is, and I for one am surprised it didn’t score higher in our poll. Please try Kókosbollur while in Iceland – you won’t regret it!
Now, you can go for the raisins produced by Nói Siríus which are a bit more creamier and sugary, or you can go for the raisins produced by Góa which are a bit lighter on the palette. Whatever you choose – chocolate covered raisins never go out of style.
The English name of this chocolate bar is Dream. How accurate! A perfect mix of chocolate and licorice, all rolled up into a beautiful piece of chocolate.
This is one of my all time favorite candy. I love it so much that I can’t resist it and if I open up a bag it’s gone in 60 seconds. It’s a licorice ball coated with a thick chocolate shell. It’s simply addictive! It has a spin-off which is coated with pepper that I also like very much. Try them both and be amazed!
The worst Icelandic candy according to locals
1. All jelly candy
Yeah, we Icelanders suck at making jelly candy. I guess we focus too much on the licorice and forget the wonderful world of jelly. You won’t find a lot of Icelandic jelly candy in store, but if you do, just stay away!
Little drops of unpalatable candy! I’m not even sure what it’s made of exactly. All I know is that it’s nasty!
This is definitely a big surprise! I, for one, love Lindu buff, which is a chocolate covered meringue-like candy. But as I made my way through all the comments I received, I realized that almost no-one shared my opinion. Quite shocking actually!
Another meringue-like candy coated in chocolate (wow, I’m noticing a trend here!). People generally don’t like this one. I’m on the fence.
5. Everything coated in pepper
Alright, so, there has been a huge trend in Iceland recently which entails taking beloved candy and coating them in pepper. I’m a big fan of some of the outcome, but generally, locals are tired of it and really don’t like it!
The most controversial Icelandic candy
The vote is split on this puffed rice candy coated with milk chocolate. People either love it or hate it. Either way, it’s an Icelandic classic that has been around for some time and well worth the taste – even though many really can’t stand it’s sweetness.
This is a bizarre candy and I’m not surprised it stirs up so much controversy. It has a crispy shell, filled with a soft center which is sort of caramel, but not really. I really don’t know what it is!
This is a luxury chocolate brand which divides candy lovers into two groups. I really enjoy my Omnom chocolate, but thankfully we are not all the same.
There you have it! The best of the best, the worst of the worst and the candy that makes people get into heated debates about. Do you have a favorite Icelandic candy? Or a funny Icelandic candy experience? Send us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear it!