It is time to make Saturdays a little sweeter.
It is no surprise Swedes like their sweets. (But if you are surprised to hear this, read more on Swedish fika here). Perhaps it is because Sweden’s winter runs from about November until March – especially in the north. I mean, when the sun is playing hide-and-seek for five months out of the year, you have to get your dopamine hit somewhere else, right?! Well, lördagsgodis are the perfect thing to do just that.
Lördagsgodis translates to “Saturday’s candy” and are, quite literally, the candies you eat on Saturdays.
Now lördagsgodis are not just any candy. They are typically gummy candies and are often sweet or sour. Expect to find them in many interesting shapes, including cherries, skulls, hearts, race cars, and even the poop emoji. You will also encounter the Swedish favorite saltlakrits, or salty licorice. I personally hate it, but many expats (my partner included) have come to love the salty, star anise flavor. But to be a true Swede, you just might have to put some in your godispåse (candy bag) and give it a try.
If you are trying to be slightly healthier, naturgodis also can work for lördagsgodis. Naturgodis, or “nature candy”, are nuts or dried fruit that are covered in chocolate or yogurt. I particularly love dried strawberries covered in yogurt, dark chocolate cashews, and the classic chocolate-covered raisins.
Many Swedes also opt for miniature candy bars to go in their godispåse. Think mini Snickers like you would get during Halloween. A favorite of the Swedes is KEX, which has been around since 1938. I personally pass on the miniature candy bars because they come individually wrapped and I hate to see all of the waste. Don’t candies taste better when they are package free? I think so!
So where do you find these special candies? Go to any grocery story and you will find a whole wall filled with them! The godisvägg is typically located next to the cashier. The candy wall is a pick-and-mix station with all of the candies visible in clear boxes. Just grab your godispåse (candy bag), a little plastic scooper (or what I like to call “the candy shovel”), and get going! You’ll pay by weight at the end, which can be an embarrassing moment when you realize your bag weighs 2 kg / 4.5 lbs. But what did we learn last week? Adding “cozy” to anything makes it better! A simple reframing and calling your candies “mysgodis” (cozy candy) will take the shame away!
If you want to avoid the barely perceptible eyebrow lift of the cashier at the grocery store when hen (he or she) weighs your godispåse, opt instead to go to a candy store. They are everywhere in Sweden. I never knew there were so many candy options before!
Why only eat candy on Saturdays, you ask? Because of lagom. In case you forgot, lagom is Sweden’s Goldilocks rule of not too much, not too little. Having candies every day would be too much. Never having candies would be too little. Having candies only on Saturday? Now that is just right for the Swedes.
- Sweden actually has the highest consumption of candy in the world. 17 kg / 37 lbs of candy annually to be exact (but that number does include pastries). Take that America!
- Want to give your loved ones a true Swedish experience when they come visit? Bring them to a candy shop! My parents loved it.
- My favorite candy store is Hemmakväll, which means “home evening” or “night at home”.
- Can’t be in Sweden right now? Check to see if your local IKEA has a pick-and-mix candy section. Most do!
Hope you learned some new Swedishness today and I’ll see you in the next post!