Every nation has its unique preferences when it comes to candy. That’s why confectionery companies alter their products for each country according to the specific taste of the people there.
As Iceland imports a lot of international food brands, you can find a lot of foreign candy here. For example, I can buy my beloved Ritter Sport chocolate here in every store. But of course Iceland also produces its own share of candy.
By the way, the Icelandic word for candy is nammi, a cute and onomatopoetic word.
If you want to try typical Icelandic nammi you should have some Tromp, Þristur or Djúpur, which combine chocolate and licorice. Yes, like all the other Scandinavians Icelanders also have a fetish for licorice, which is naturally used in candy production so you can get all sorts of licorice themed goodies. When in Iceland you won’t be able to avoid eating licorice because it is simply everywhere.
The chocolate bar Prins Póló is one of the most popular treats in Iceland although they aren’t made in Iceland and many people are oblivious to that fact.
Then there is Nóakropp, crunchy little malt balls covered with delicious milk chocolate, Æði chocolate bars, Töggur chewy squares or Hlauppúkar, soft jelly bites popular among the little ones, or Hraun bitar (chocolate wafers covered with crispy born puffs and milk chocolate) , Lindu Buff or Nizza. The list is endless and tasty.
The most known candy producers in Iceland are Nói Síríus, Góa Linda and Freyja.
I challenge you to stuff your mouth with kókosbollur, chocolate covered, round treats filled with a fluffy, sugary cream and covered with coconut flakes, followed by a glass of coke. This will give you the ultimate sugar rush. Or diabetes.
Saturday is commonly known as nammi dagur, candy day, where Icelandic children are allowed to buy a bland í poka, a bag of mixed candy. And they really keep that tradition alive.
If you want to stick to candy made in Iceland, your needs will only partly be fulfilled as the Icelandic candy market lacks variety. But then again, I grew up in Germany and therefore I am spoilt.
When it comes to Easter eggs, Icelanders also have their very own way of dealing with those treats. Unlike back in German, they have big chocolate eggs filled with sweets so you actually get two loads of candy in one go. And since the eggs come in different sizes there is a real competition going on among kids: “What size was your Easter egg?” is the question of all questions. So size does matter after all.
In Iceland, a person who loves and eats a lot of sweets is called a nammi grís (“candy piglet”), what a fitting expression.
Don’t get me wrong, I have quite a sweet tooth myself, but not to that extent that I have to dive into the candy bar at every cinema or grocery store or gas station. Icelanders love their nammi so much that they put those candy bars everywhere. A nation of candy piglets.
Katharina Hauptmann – [email protected]