Icelanders have always had a thing for licorice. To many travelers’ surprise, so much of the sweets contain some kind of licorice. We don‘t really know why except for the fact that it’s just so good! A few decades ago foreign sweets were unavailable due to import restriction which explains why so many of our sweet treats are local products.
So to start, we have Opal and Topas. It’s a rubber-like licorice pill and for some reason, we usually have a pack in our cars. Like gum and sunglasses. They also make strong alcohol with them. To be honest we used to make it ourselves by putting Opal or Topas pills in vodka and let it stand for a few days to get the flavor in. Those were the days – now we can buy it in stores and its very popular to be served as shots.
Draumur (Dream) is a chocolate bar with two licorice pipes in the middle. Appolo licorice is soft and comes in many shapes and sizes but mostly with marzipan. Djúpur is white snowballs filled with chocolate and licorice in the middle. Careful, they are dangerously addictive. Did we mention that we also love licorice with pepper? You can get Djúpur with pepper. It‘s like entering a blackout. You only remember having a few when the bag is finished. Appolo also has marzipan filled licorice with pepper. Last but not least, one of our favorite treats are Þristur (Three). It‘s a kind of chocolate filled with rubber-like chocolate with small pieces of licorice inside and was voted an all-time favorite among Icelanders. If you join our Reykjavik Food Lovers tour you’ll get a taste of some of those licorice based sweets.
Local sweets are such a big part of our eating habits Icelanders living abroad get them sent to where ever they live by family members or friends to not get too homesick. True story.
If you really don‘t like licorice you‘re not completely out of luck. Have a Hraun, a lava shaped chocolate biscuits, chocolate covered raisins (also come with pepper flavor) or möndlur, which are almond shaped caramels.
You can order your Icelandic sweets here