Polka piglets. I am not kidding. That is how the Swedish national candy, also known as peppermint rock, translates into English. Polka was fashionable when the poor widowed mother invented the candy in the 1840 and set up shop in Gränna, terraced above lake Vättern.
Out of all the ways to make ends meet for her and her children, she chose to take a leap into the unknown and become an entrepreneur. Out of all the things to sell, she chose pastries and her very own white, delicious mint candy with red swirls, which she named after a trendy dance. What a lovely, bright, courageous woman she must have been! And how proud she would feel if she knew her legacy has grown into a national symbol and a town making a living on polka piglet tourism.
Gränna with its polkagrisar, blue sky, lake Vättern, and quaint streets, was the perfect stop on our family trips down through Sweden into central Europe. We took a long time choosing one or two bright-colored bars. Oh the luxury of adulthood and own money! Today I failed to choose and ended up with quite a bunch…
(Gränna, Sweden; April 2014)