When I was in Reykjavik, Iceland last year I went to a store down the street from my hotel to pick up a few sweet treats to bring home to my husband. I imagined finding one or two unfamiliar candy or chocolate bars, so imagine my surprise when I found an entire aisle devoted to Icelandic candy, chocolate bars, and other sweets!
Seriously, there were like 50 different things to choose from in that tiny Icelandic grocery store.
I was in heaven!
As it turns out, import restrictions used to make foreign chocolate bars and sweets unavailable in Iceland, so they made their own. Nowadays you’ll find the typical Snickers, Milky Ways, and European chocolate bars, but you’ll also find a huge selection of traditional Icelandic chocolate and other goodies.
I had no idea what was in any of them so I just randomly grabbed a bunch. Well, I grabbed the ones with names I liked. 😉 I was a little embarrassed to check out of the grocery store with a basket full of chocolate, one banana, and a bottle of water but so is the life of a dessert blogger (haha). Then I heard that Icelanders love their sweets, so you know, you do what you’ve gotta do to fit into the local culture.
Once back home, my husband and I taste-tested each chocolate bar. Some were quite a surprise! Here’s a run-down of the 9 icelandic chocolate bars that we tried (a few of them never made it back to the US).
Icelandic Chocolate Review
Icelandic Chocoate Bar #1: Lindu Buff
The Lindau Buff is an Icelandic classic. It had a creamy inside and was covered in milk chocolate. The Buff was light but very sweet and tasted kinda like chocolate covered butter cream. I liked the Buff.
Icelandic Chocolate Bar #2: Hitt
This one was a surprise…I wasn’t expecting the rope of black licorice on top of the caramel-y nougat-y filling! Evidently, licorice makes a frequent appearance in Icelandic chocolate bars. And, evidently, Icelanders find this combination of chocolate and licorice absolutely delicious. I think chocolate covered licorice is an acquired taste!
I liked the licorice, and the nougat filling was ok (kinda tasted like a caramel power bar), but together? Maybe I just need to spend more time Iceland. This was one of the more interesting chocolate bars but my least favorite.
Icelandic Chocolate Bar #3: Bingo
No licorice in this one! I liked the small size of the Bingo candy bar, and it tasted pretty good, too. The soft chocolate inside was dense and tasted of faintly of coconut. Overall, the Bingo was very, very sweet. It wasn’t my favorite but it wasn’t my least favorite.
Icelandic Candy Bar #4: Pristur
I wouldn’t have expected licorice to be in the Pristur Icelandic candy bar but there it is! There’s a layer of chocolate nougat but the bar is mostly comprised of 3 strings of black salty licorice (maybe that’s why the number 3 is all over the package?). When Aaron tried the Pristur, he said it tasted like a Hoho with licorice. Although I actually do like salty licorice (I used to buy bags of it when I lived in Hamburg), I’m just not (yet) a fan of chocolate and salty licorice together.
Icelandic Chocolate Bar #5: Yankie
Since I chose my Icelandic chocolate bars based on name alone, I had to buy the Yankie! There was no licorice in this one (whew). I had a feeling this would be like a Milky Way, given the picture on the wrapper. And yep, it was an Icelandic Milky Way. But less sugary sweet than an American Milky Way. I liked that the Yankie had a strong caramel flavor.
Icelandic Candy Bar #6: Prins Xtra
This crunchy candy bar was just what it looks like in the photo below…layers of creamy chocolate and crunchy wafers covered in dark chocolate. The Prins was very light, not sugary sweet, and you could really taste the dark chocolate. I liked the Prins a lot.
Icelandic Chocolate Bar #7: Ris
Did you guess that this Ris Icelandic candy bar would have some sort of puffed rice in it? I expected rice crispies but it was more like Kixx cereal covered in milk chocolate. I like crispies in my chocolate bars, so I liked Ris.
Icelandic Chocolate Bar #8: Duett
Licorice and chocolate again! Needless to say, we weren’t a fan of this one.
Iceland Chocolate Bar #9: Buffalo
More marshmallow! The Buffalo Icelandic candy bar is mostly vanilla flavored marshmallow covered in milk chocolate with a smattering of rice crispies. The Buffalo was sweeter than most of the other chocolate bars but not as sweet as the typical US candy bar. I don’t usually go for marshmallow anything but I did like the Buffalo.
My favorite chocolate bar? Probably the Buffalo or the Prins Xtra. Least favorite? The ones with licorice. That said, I’m pretty sure I could develop a taste for chocolate and licorice with enough exposure!
I was surprised that there were no nuts in any of the chocolate bars. Maybe I just chose the nut-less ones? Now I’m wondering what all the other Icelandic chocolate bars are like…I should probably go back to Iceland to do more research.
Stay tuned for another article about the awesome desserts and sweet treats I ate in Reykjavik and on the Golden Circle Tour!
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