Beyond The Swedish Fish: A Guide To The Colorful Candy Of Scandinavia

Photo Tour: Sockerbit, home to the best looking candy in the world

All our candy is imported from Scandinavia, so we have suppliers who are Swedish, Danish, Finnish or Norwegian. What makes the candy unique is the actual taste. In Europe — specifically Scandinavia — candy factories don't use high-fructose corn syrup, which is what is used here for American candy and sodas. When you take away the high-fructose corn syrup, you're going to get the flavor without it being masked by the sugar. Scandinavian candy is not as sweet as American candy, and it's a lot more flavorful. We also use all-natural colors, no trans-fats and no GMOs. It's still candy, but less artificial. If you're going to eat candy, you might as well eat Swedish candy!

What does the name of the store Sockerbit mean?

Sockerbit translates to "sugar lump" in English, and is also a name of a specific kind of Swedish marshmallow. The marshmallow is a small white square with rounded corners, and was the inspiration behind the store's aesthetic. That's why everything in the store is white, and there are no edges. We custom-made all the furniture and candy stands to resemble sockerbit.

Customers pay for candy by weight. How does that work?

You can mix and match the 169 different candies we carry, and it's all one price, $12.99 per pound. All into one bag, one price, one weight. Simple.

Tell us about some candy traditions unique to Sweden and Scandinavia. And do you celebrate Halloween?

Sweden is the country that consumes the most candy, per capita, in the world. We're crazy about our candy, so we don't need Halloween as an excuse to have some sweets! In Sweden we have something called Lördagsgodis, which means "Saturday candy." Every Swede remembers going to the candy store as a kid and picking up a sack full of candies. It's a tradition passed on from generation to generation.

It's like Halloween every Saturday. Sounds awesome! What are your top three favorite candies?

Center, which is a chocolate with creamy, liquid toffee. Stora Suskallar, a peach-flavored sour, skull-shaped gummies. And Hot Lips, which are raspberry-flavored gummies.

Do you bring seasonal items into the store?

Yes, we have ice pops during the summer. During Midsummer we stock up on herring and mustard herring, but they are also available year-round. For winter, we are starting to bring in mulled wine and gingerbread. We carry a few other items all year long that are not candy, such as frozen meatballs, and Kanelbullar, which are Swedish cinnamon buns.

What's the future looking like for Sockerbit?

We started small: it was just my wife and me. Now we've hired four people, operate a web shop where customers can buy candy online and are opening another location in the Upper East Side. We are also looking into opportunities to expand to other states, and possibly internationally.

After our chat, Ernberg kindly loaded a bag of candy for me to the point where I thought it was going to break, and told me to share with everyone back at the FR headquarters. Yeah, right. These babies were all mine, too good to give away. I hoarded all the candy to myself, and felt like I was in a candy-induced acid trip stuck within an ABBA music video (but loving it) for the next several days.

To get your fix visit the New York City shop:


89 Christopher Steet

NYC 10014

Photo contributor: François Vaxelaire