Now we’re getting into the candy section! Denmark is flooded with American candies like Skittles and Twix, and with German sweets like Kinder eggs and Haribo gummies, but several Danish sweets are very common — and working hard to earn them a place in the top three happiest countries on the planet. How well are those sweets working?
Pretty darn well.
1. Even the Chokolade Skildpadder are drunk
One candy that I could find in pretty much any 7-Eleven (and believe me, I once saw three 7-Elevens all in a row in the Copenhagen train station) were the chokolade skildpadder (literally “chocolate turtles”). They’re shaped like turtle shells and have a liquor gel filling, and are definitely worth tasting. I wish I could have bought a box, but as far as I could see, they were only sold as individual pieces the size of my palm (warning: author may have small palms). It’s easy to see why the company that makes them, Toms, has been in business for nearly a hundred years.
2. Lakrids is hard to miss
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who like licorice, and those who still have functioning taste-buds. Or so I thought. In Denmark, I discovered that there is a third kind of person: people who buy the “salted fish” flavored licorice, or the licorice-flavored ice-cream. The viking spirit truly has not died, for none but the toughest of Nordic warriors could withstand such an onslaught of unholy flavoring.
The Katjes brand was one that my dad could tolerate, so I would recommend the above package to any Americans planning on visiting the country. Trust me: you’ll have quite the selection of licorice brands and flavors in pretty much any convenience store you find.
3. Chokolader for ever and ever
One of my favorite parts of Lyngby is that there are no fewer than three shops dedicated entirely to chocolate, all within a five minute walk of our apartment building. I wasn’t sure what flavor to get, so I asked for a small chocolate assortment: a colorful mixture of orange, marzipan, caramel, dark, nougat, licorice, and every combination in between. And well…I ate the whole box. In one sitting. Even the licorice ones! They had a Ghirardelli quality taste, and I’ve been craving more chocolate ever since.
4. Pingvin Fruit Snacks
“Pingvin” just means “penguin,” the name of the brand, and above I have pictured the fruit mix (“frugt mix”). As far as I can tell, all Pingvin snacks come as long, colorful cylinders with mushy filling — sort of like if you made straws out of fruit roll-ups and then filled them with meringue. Most of their products seem to be various kinds of licorice (which I tried but couldn’t finish), but I really liked the fruit mix. They’re not quite as tasty as Skittles or Starburst, but I liked them.
5. Danish Danishes for Danes in Danmark
As many of you probably know, danishes do not originally come from Denmark. However, you could have fooled me, because the danishes there are sk*de delicious. Imagine the best cinnamon bun you’ve ever tasted, coated with the best chocolate fudge you’ve ever tasted. That was what a refrigerated danish tasted like. Imagine how a fresh-out-of-the-oven one would taste…
6. Flødeboller ballin’ and Træstammer loggin’
So I’m going to have to admit, I can’t tell flødeboller (“cream balls”) apart from romkugler (“rum balls”), but I’m fairly certain the one I had did not taste like rum. Flødeboller and træstammer (“tree logs”) are omnipresent in bakeries, grocery stores, and (gasp) 7-Elevens. They’re both chocolate pastries stuffed with marshmallows, tasting like a mix between cream-filled donuts and brownies. In other words, they’re pretty good. The flødeboller seem to come in several different varieties of flavors, coconut coats, and nutty toppings, so I know what I’ll be investigating the next time I visit…
7. Muffins masterpieces
Now, the muffins in Denmark are fairly ordinary (they even kept the name “muffin”), but I’m partial to blueberry muffins and can be quite picky about them. That’s why it took me so long to finally try a muffin in Denmark. As far as muffins go, it was one of the best blueberry muffins I’ve had in a long time. I find that many bakeries and coffee shops in the U.S. take taken to coating the top layer of the muffin with sugar, or making the bread itself too soft. Not so in Denmark! This muffin was not only overly sweet or overly soft, but it even had a coating of seeds! I hardly noticed the seeds in the taste at all — and if I can trick my body into consuming a healthy (read: healthier) food, I count that as a plus.
8. A neat Hindbærsnitte
Imagine a pop tart, but good. The Danish bakeries mostly sold chocolate pastries (flødeboller and træstammer, for example) or seeded pastries, but all of them seemed to have one tiny corner deciated to bright pink hindbærsnitter (literally “raspberry cuttings,” but you can call them “raspberry slices”). They’re thick, gram-cracker-like blocks with the consistency of gingerbread and a raspberry-flavored layer of frosting on top. Gram crackers and raspberry frosting, incidentally, are also what these taste like. And can you really go wrong with gram crackers and raspberry frosting?
All in all, a lot of the Danish sweets taste like sweets back here at home (read as: very good). I have to say, it took a lot of self-control to not buy a two more danishes, two dozen more chocolate turtles, and two hundred more Sv. Michelsen chocolates. I’m definitely going to miss the muffins and the three aforementioned chocolate treats, but the licorice I think I’ll be happy without.