SCandynavian Part II: Electric Bugaloo/Havana Nights

Today I returned to the Scandinavian candy store, and bought $10 worth of candy, which is kind of a lot of money, but we all know things are more expensive in Scandinavia. As the saying goes, you’ve got to pay to play. And I totally paid $10 for bulk candy. I probably bought, like, $5 worth of the sour cherry dicks alone. You should know that the dicks are a bit stale today. But I guess when the dicks are coming all the way from Sweden, they’re gonna get a little hard. OMG these dick jokes–I’d apologize, but I don’t want you to think I’m gonna stop making them. What I’m trying to say is that I’m eating these stale dicks because I just spent $10 on candy. I’m going to eat the shit out of it and call it lunch.

I got a few new pieces of candy this time and I shall review them. I’m assuming you all want to know the same thing: Are any of these better than the dicks? Probably not, but as my mother used to say, “You got to try.” She would say this when I was learning to read and couldn’t figure out how to read a word. I’d get frustrated and she’d be like, “You got to try” which is TOTALLY FUCKING UNHELPFUL. She wouldn’t help me read it either. She’d just say “You got to try.” Like dude, I’m TRYING but I literally cannot READ this bullshit word with all these stupid vowels that combine to form some DIFFERENT sound. It wasn’t until much, much later that I realized she said that because she couldn’t read the word either. English is so goddamn hard. It’s the worst. Korean is basically what you see is what you get. So is Spanish. But then English is like nooooooooooo gh makes a fff sound as in ffffuck. Anyway, candy. Let’s talk.

OK here’s a question. Is this a gummy ghost? Like from Pac-man?


The answer is NO. It is not. It is a gummy SQUID. How adorably Swedish! Squid! In Asia, if you call something squid, it is actually squid. It was my favorite snack for a long, long time. I’d pull off a tentacle, dip it in some kochu-jang and park my ass in front of some cartoons until my mother turned it off and told me to do my homework, which I had already done, but she wanted me to go forward in the textbook to get ahead. Anyway, I said Ooooohhh gummy ghosts, yay, and the blonde six-foot blonde yeti of a shopkeeper said they are squid. So they are squid. They are covered in some sour dust, which the Scandinavians call “salted.”

Right, right. Salted. NOT sour. So in Sweden, if you say “salted candy” it means “sour.” So I said that was confusing because salt tastes salty and sour tastes sour, which is why we have two words for them. The dude did not care for my argument and just said they taste good.

You know how when you eat Lucky Charms, you spend a lot of time fishing out the marshmallows and eating them because they are the best? And maybe you fish them out before you pour in the milk because it’s easier to find the marshmallows that way? And then after you actually pour the milk to eat the cereal, you get sad because you had eaten all the marshmallows? And remember how you’d confuse marshmallows with mushrooms? Yeah that. So these taste like sour cereal marshmallows. They are sorta fluffy and spongy and chewy at the same time.

Grade: B, aka “Not an A, but pretty good”


These are hard candies. They are covered in some sugary substance and the shopkeeper promised that there was sour powder on the INSIDE. I was like YEAH this is what I want BRING IT ON and loaded up on these. Important to note that they are solid and therefore heavy and contribute greatly to the $10 I spent at this store.


There is NO sour powder on the inside. It’s just a hard candy. Tastes like a Life Saver. Taste like what an old lady would have at the bottom of her purse and upon offering it to “youngsters,” they’d be like uh no thanks. Imma gonna go eat anything else than this.

Grade D: The D stands for Disappointment


This is a gummy apple frog. Doesn’t really look like a frog, and it doesn’t taste like apple either. So I guess it gets 0 out of 2 right. The texture is softer than a gummy bear, though not as soft as Chuckles or Sunkist Fruit Gems. Taste wise, it tastes like nothing. There’s a certain ‘fake apple’ taste that we are accustomed to, the way apple candies all taste the same way even though it tastes nothing like an apple. Call it the apple gestalt, not to get all fancy about it. This bullshit candy does not have that apple gestalt. It tastes like a gummy bear that’s been in your pocket, something you saved for later because it’s tasty. Now imagine you saved it for later and you’re like ew this is gross. Why did I save this? My pockets are ruined! That’s the gummy apple frog.

Grade D-: I’d give it a lower grade, but there’s something that’s worse. Keep reading.


This is a caramel “twist.” It is the texture of a Twizzler, but with a caramel flavor. It is also a bit on the buttery side. It is akin to that buttery flavor a Werther’s Original, except it’s chewy like licorice. But the texture sort of falls apart in your mouth. I don’t like it. It tastes like plastic, which is why I hate Twizzlers. I want candy to taste like candy and not like a bracelet. I hate this. I hate that this is in my mouth right now. (Dick joke!)

Grade F: Need to spit this out


This is half black licorice and half red licorice, covered in mildly sour “salt”, as the Scandinavians would say. Here’s the thing: I love black licorice. I love it more than red licorice. I do understand most people hate the black stuff. So this is the Two-Face of licorice. Good and Bad. Bad and Good. And guess what? It’s delightful! The black licorice is definitely the stronger dominant flavor. So if you hate the black stuff, then move on. Texture wise it’s about the same as a Sour Patch Kid that’s been opened for a day. So not too soft but not too hard. It is nice and chewy and sticks between your molars, like all good candies. Delicious. I wish I had gotten more.

Grade A: If you like black licorice. If you don’t then stick to the dicks.

I realized that I am taking photos of food and putting them on the Internet, something I always make fun of people for doing. I realize I’m being a giant hypocrite. BUT in my defense, I’m not at a restaurant. I’m just in my kitchen eating an unruly amount of candy. But I’d like to show you this, taken from the Findings section of Harper’s Magazine.


  1. JoAnn Doud says: December 18, 20134:01 pm

    As a sugar-aholic, I absolutely adore trying new candies.
    Scandy-candy? I’d do it. Cep’ for those hard candies. Nothing attractive about those at all.
    Have you written about Asian candy? A friend once sent me a load of assorted Chinese and Korean candy from an anime & manga shop in Ohio. Most of it was adorable, but most lacked sweetness. I guess my American palate is used to way too freaking much sugar.

  2. JoAnn Doud says: December 18, 20134:09 pm

    GAAHHH!!!! Must edit out that second “most”!

  3. JoAnn Doud says: December 26, 201310:00 pm

    I just had to come back and ask: what IS that thing on your mat? Is it a flax seed? A sesame seed? Just a bit of plant matter that got stuck in the weave?
    I haven’t slept well since December 18, when I first saw your candy and mat/seed photos.
    That’s a lie.

    • annie says: January 2, 201412:55 pm

      I think it’s a piece of rye from some toast, which is my favorite food. Good eye. It is NOT mouse poop, in case you were wondering, which you weren’t, but just thought I’d tell you anyway.

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