Candy Canes from Gränna - How to make Polkagrisar

We roll the candy canes in ever thinner strands

Candy Canes from Gränna in Sweden


You probably know the red and white mint candies that you can buy wrapped in cellophane, right? Sweden has a very similar specialty. In the small town of Gränna, right on the shore of Lake Vättern, there is one sweet shop after another. Find out more about where you can buy Gränna candy canes. We also learn how to make candy canes ourselves.

History of Gränna candy canes

All of these shops continue the legacy of “Aunt Amalia”, a widow who had to support her child herself after the unexpected death of her husband. Aunt Amalia lived at a time when it was not so easy for women to earn their own money. So she thought for a long time about what she could do to keep her little family afloat. Eventually she came up with the idea of ​​selling the candy canes she regularly made. She took advantage of Gränna's location, as the main road ran through the town along the lake. And so she put up signs on the side of the road advertising her candy canes.

 

Amalia's candy canes
Amalia's candy canes

 

Aunt Amalia's candy canes from Gränna become a hit

Word quickly spread about what was available at Aunt Amalia's, and for many travelers passing through it became a matter of course to stop at Aunt Amalia's on their journey to get a few of the refreshing candy canes. Aunt Amalia mixed mint and red cochineal dye into the sugar mixture, making it a fresh sweet that apparently appealed to many people. Soon people from surrounding towns came just to get supplies of Aunt Amalia's candy canes from Gränna. So word got around and Gränna became known for her sweet mint sticks.

 

Candy canes - processed into mint sweets
Candy canes - processed into mint sweets

 

When Aunt Amalia finally died, clever entrepreneurs from Gränna stepped into the breach and continued their production of candy canes in Gränna. For this reason, the long red and white sticks are still available today in the numerous sweet shops in town.

 

Here the sugar mass for the candy canes seethes
Here the sugar mass for the candy canes seethes

 

Candy canes in Gränna come in different flavors

We are guests in one of them and Isaac, the manager, tells us the story of Aunt Amalie. “We now make many other flavors in addition to the traditional candy canes,” he adds. “There are polkagrisar with raspberry, strawberry or apple flavor. But we also experiment with more exotic ingredients such as herbs, cocoa or coffee.”

Now it's time to make Gränna candy canes myself

Then Isaac laughs at me and says: “So, now it’s your turn! You can make your own candy canes today.” He says and goes into his kitchen, where a thick sugar paste is already boiling on the stove and making bubbles. “I do the preparation. This takes some practice. But afterwards you can carry on,” he says.

 

Isaac pours the sugar mass on the cold plate
Isaac pours the sugar mass on the cold plate
Part of the sugar mass is mixed with red dye and mint
One part of the sugar mass is mixed with red dye, the other with mint
The second part of the mass is kneaded with a spatula until it is white
The second part of the mass is kneaded with a spatula until it is white

 

This is how you make candy canes in Gränna

He finally pours the hot and viscous yellowish mass onto a cold metal plate, which is cooled by cold water that is passed through pipes under the plate. He turns it over and over again with a spatula, slowly turning it white. “This is air that is worked into the sugar mixture through kneading,” he explains. He also adds a red dye to a small part of the mixture, and to the other a few drops of a liquid that smells intensely of mint. “I have to be careful with this,” it says. “Otherwise the candy canes will be too spicy.” He twists both colors into a long strand, which – when it is cool enough – he throws over a heavy hook on the wall and stretches it again and again until it is tough and so cool that I can edit the mass.

 

He continues this with a hook on the wall
He continues this with a hook on the wall
As the mass becomes tougher, he leaves the pulling of a machine
As the mass becomes tougher, he leaves the pulling of a machine

 

Then we have to roll it

He cuts off half of the strand and places it on a wooden board in front of me. "Now you roll the strand evenly until it reaches the width of the board." With large scissors, he cuts the strand in half, and I repeat the process until I have a row of about thumb-thick rods in front of me. "Now cut them in half again and wrap them in paper. Et voilá! Here you have your homemade candy canes! "

 

Then he twists the red with the white strand to thick candy canes
Then he twists the red with the white strand to thick candy canes
We roll the candy canes in ever thinner strands
This is how I learn how to make candy canes myself: We roll the polkagrisar into increasingly thinner strands

 

These have now become completely cold and hard, so we can easily take them with us on our trip through Sweden. Petar likes them so much that he eats our entire supply of candy canes - with my occasional help - during our two-week trip to Sweden. He almost got supplies again at the end of our trip in Stockholm when we discover them on our city tour of Stockholm in the window of a candy store. But in the end he gives up on it. “That’s a reason to come back,” he says. And he's right.

 

and pack them to go
and pack them to go

 

Where you can buy candy canes in Gränna and make them yourself

Small shops, craftsmen, restaurants, cafés and the popular candy cane shops await you in the old town of Gränna. There you can buy candy canes in Gränna.

  1. Polkapojkarna: This store is located at Brahegatan 59 and is open every day, at least from 10 a.m. to 17 p.m.
  2. Grenna Polkagriskokeri: This store can be found on Brahegatan 39. They are also usually present at the Liseberg Christmas market in Gothenburg. You can also buy candy canes there.
  3. Manufactories in Gränna: In these manufactories visitors can try out making candy canes themselves. On certain days, those interested can also work on the dough themselves.
  4. Candy cane cookeries in the city center: There are about a dozen candy cane cookeries in Gränna town center. Almost all of them allow you to watch the production.

Conclusion

In Gränna, a small town in Sweden, the production of candy canes, also known as “polkagrisar,” is more than just a local specialty; it is a cultural heritage site and a tourist attraction. The city offers a variety of opportunities to experience this sweet tradition up close. From factories where visitors can get hands-on, to specialized shops like Polkapojkarna and Grenna Polkagriskokeri, which offer the candy canes in different shapes, colors and flavors.

The candy canes are not only a popular souvenir, but also a part of local identity. They are so deeply rooted in the culture that there is even a world championship in candy cane making. Most of these shops are located along the main street Brahegatan and are usually open daily, giving visitors the opportunity to observe the manufacturing process up close.

But Gränna has more to offer than just candy canes. The city is also known for its old town, wooden houses and views of Lake Vättern. It offers a variety of activities and sights, from climbing Gränna Mountain to boat trips to the nearby island of Visingsö.

 


Travel Arrangements:

Parking at the airport

Here you can reserve your parking space at the airport.

Flight:

Arrival by plane, bus or train*. The nearest airport is in Jönköping.

Arrival:

From Jönköping you can reach Gränna in about 30 minutes by car.

Car Rentals:

Cheap car hire - book quickly and easily!

Hotels:

Book hotels in Jonkoping and surroundings * In Sweden, for example, you through our partner booking.com. We stayed in the Vox Hotel *.


 

Polkagrisar from Sweden
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Do you also know:

 

Other Enjoyment travel tips you can also find here.

We would definitely like to thank you Visit Smaland for inviting me to this trip through Smaland in southern Sweden. However, our opinion remains our own.

Text Gränna candy canes: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Buy photos of candy canes: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline

Candy Canes from Gränna - How to make Polkagrisar

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Food and Slow Travel blog  TravelWorldOnline. They have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Their topics are trips to Savor, wine tourism worldwide and slow travel. During her studies Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she - partly together with Petar Fuchs - traveled to the USA and Canada and spent a research year in British Columbia. This intensified her thirst for knowledge, which she satisfied for 6 years as an adventure guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as a tour guide for Studiosus Reisen around the world. She was constantly expanding her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: "What's beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do they eat in this region?" As a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), she is now looking for answers to these questions as a travel writer and travel blogger in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is among Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021. Find more Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs here.