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From Hershey's bars to Dove Silk chocolates, America boasts its fair share of mouthwatering candies. The U.S. isn't the only country known for its chocolate bars and fruity lollipops though. Other countries around the world have special treats that are beloved by sizable populations. Of course, one of the best parts of traveling is sampling delicious foreign sweets, which leaves us wondering why we can't find them in American stores. If you want to broaden your candy horizons, check out our list of five candies to try on your next trip. Don't forget to bring back a few to share.
Chicken Bones, Canada
We admit this candy has an interesting name. At first glance, the flavor combination of cinnamon and bittersweet chocolate seems less than appealing. However, it's actually been a Canadian favorite since 1885 when chocolatier Frank Sparhawk invented the treat in New Brunswick.
According to the candy's original manufacturer, Ganong Brothers, the original recipe is still used today. Chicken Bones candies got their name from their distinctive color and shape. They're supposed to look a little like chicken bones. "CBC" reports that no one really knows where the name came from, but it was probably an attempt to stand out in a crowded hard candy marketplace.
If the name still makes you nervous, Ganong Brothers wants you to know that no chickens are harmed in the process of making the treats. The candy manufacturer forms the sweet by creating a pink hard outer shell of cinnamon and filling it with bittersweet chocolate. It's a treat worth seeking out the next time you're up north. Chicken Bones candies are especially popular at Christmastime.
Japan arguably boasts some of the most interesting flavor combinations when it comes to sweet treats (green tea Kit Kat or wasabi Kit Kat, anyone?). However, if you're looking for something that's going to pack a punch, you'll want to get your hands on Shigekix. Made by manufacturer UHA Mikakuto, these sour treats come in a variety of flavor such as melon cream, plum, lemon, grape, and coke.
The company's website states that its overarching goal is to produce both delicious and innovative treats. Essentially, UHA Mikakuto focuses on creating confections that are as tasty as they're attractive. If this is your first time sampling Shigekix, be careful. These diminutive candies pack an amazingly sour punch. Thankfully, the sourness tapers off into a sweet aftertaste. Texture-wise, Shigekix is just slightly firmer than a gummy candy. If you like sour candies, this is the candy for you.
Violetas are flower-shaped candies flavored with violet essence. You'll find versions of the candies sold all over Italy, but the best place to get them is La Violeta in Madrid. This is an Old-World candy shop that's been around since 1915. Today, the shop is run by the original owner's grandchildren. Candy makers all over the world consider this violet-flavored candy a sweet masterpiece due to the difficulty of its creation.
You might find yourself paying a little more for these delicacies, but they're worth it. These exquisite, flower-shaped candies are superior to regular treats found in the supermarket. You'll get a strong whiff of violets and sweet violet aftertaste as these candies melt in your mouth. If you're looking for a unique gift for that special someone, you can't go wrong with Violetas. They come in decorative tins or gift boxes tied with purple ribbons and make supremely elegant gifts and souvenirs.
Dairy Milk Bar, United Kingdom
If you've sampled chocolate from other parts of the world, watch out. You'll want to approach a Cadbury Dairy Milk bar with caution since it'll ruin your appetite for a drugstore candy bar. To make its signature candy bar, Cadbury combines cocoa, pure chocolate, and milk from the British Isles and Ireland. If pure milk chocolate isn't your thing, you can opt for one of the other Cadbury creations such as Dairy Milk Caramel, Dairy Milk Fruit and Nut, or Dairy Milk Oreo. They are all delicious, so you can't go wrong with any of them.
According to a study by Candy Industry, Dairy Milk bars are the most popular chocolate bars in the United Kingdom and around the world. The chocolates also made the top of the list in India, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates.
Marabou Mjölk Choklad, Sweden
Speaking of delicious chocolate treats, you won't want to ignore this delight from Sweden. Marabou Mjölk Choklad is made using the same recipe created in the 1950s. When you bite into a creamy Marabou bar, you'll find delightful crushed pieces of caramel, hazelnut, or almond toffee inside (depending on the flavor you choose). It's a winning combination that travelers around the world crave once they've had a taste. Did you know that the Marabou brand actually has a connection to our M&M candies?
According to "NPR," Marabou and M&M manufacturer Mars began a historic partnership in the 1950s and launched Marabou "M" chocolates together in Sweden. At the time, Mars agreed that it wouldn't sell its signature M&M candies in the Nordic country. After that agreement expired in 1998, Mars promptly introduced M&Ms into the Swedish market in 2009.
All was well until 2016, when the Swedish courts decided that logos for the two brands were too similar in nature. Fortunately, neither candy manufacturer is asking consumers to take sides, so you should be able to enjoy both chocolate treats in peace as long as you buy both candies on different continents.