The Incredible World of International Sweets


Our souvenir mantra is (and always will be) candy gifts over trinkets. Coming back from a trip with a stockpile of sugary goodies for everyone on your list is a pro move, because who needs another refrigerator magnet? No one. Who loves candy? Everyone. Here, find the best international candy—from the coolest to the most downright weird.

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If You Like Wafers, Try Bakeable Kit Kat Bars

Origin: Japan

Why It's Amazing: First, let's start by acknowledging the entire country of Japan for dominating the candy game. Shortly after opening a Kit Kat specialty store in Tokyo, the company gifted Japan with special Kit Kat bars you're supposed to bake. Unbaked, the candy just looks like white chocolate, but once you've given them time in the oven, they come out with the texture of a chocolaty biscuit.

Verdict: We're contemplating flying to Japan for them.

If You Like Ferrara, Try Mozartkugel

Origin: Austria

Why It's Amazing: Austria's signature confections—covered in marzipan, nougat, and dark chocolate—are a sweet tribute to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. You can find these bite-sized chocolate balls throughout Austria, often by different brands and chocolatiers, and you can't go wrong with any of them.

Verdict: Worthy of bearing the name of the great composer.

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If You Like Tootsie Rolls, Try White Rabbit Creamy Candy

Origin: China

Why It's Amazing: White Rabbit Creamy Candy is one of China's most widely recognized treats. The chewy candy is wrapped in a thin layer of rice paper, and inside lies the creamy, vanilla-flavored center.

Verdict: They won't replace Tootsie Rolls, but we wouldn't say no

If You Like Fruity Hard Candies, Try Nin Jiom Ume Plum

Origin: Thailand

Why It's Amazing: These herbal hard candies double as throat lozenges, plus this variety is flavored with the sweet-and-sour taste of umeboshi plums.

Verdict: Ricola may never fully cut it again.

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If You Like Chocolate-Dipped Bananas, Try Krembanan

Origin: Norway

Why It's Amazing: Mostly because the packaging and recipe have remained unchanged since 1957. And, really, there's nothing wrong with a jelly-and-banana cream-filled chocolate.

Verdict: An unusual, but delicious, combination of flavors.

If You Like Nutella, Try EveryBurger

Origin: Japan

Why It's Amazing: One look at EveryBurger and you're almost positive it's going to taste like actual hamburgers (mostly because it's Japan and they're candy masterminds, remember?), but they really taste like nutella biscuits.

Verdict: Five stars all around.

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If You Like Tamarind, Try Salsaghetti

Origin: Mexico

Why It's Amazing: The name for starters, but then the combination of chewy watermelon noodles and sweet tamarind sauce is a winning combo.

Verdict: We have to give a special award to the theatrical element of opening the tamarind sauce packet and pouring it all over the watermelon-flavored strings.

If You Like Haribo, Try Percy Pig

Origin: United Kingdom

Why It's Amazing: The wide and wonderful world of Haribo flavors never ceases to amaze, but Marks & Spencer's cult favorite Percy Pigs bring a lot more personality to the table. These veggie ones use beeswax and pea protein in lieu of an animal-based gelatin. (If you hit the candy store today, also keep your eye out for their new, limited-edition "Percynalities," the British store's take on all your favorite emojis, in piglet form.)

Verdict: We need to stock up on these for our next road trip.

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If You Like Chocolate Cookies, Try Lotte Koalas

Origin: Japan

Why It's Amazing: Clearly we have a Japanese candy bias here, but can you blame us? Just look at these adorable, chocolate-filled koalas. Regular animal crackers should be ashamed.

Verdict: Points for style and substance.

If You Like Candy Corn, Try Creamy Corn Candy

Origin: Malaysia

Why It's Amazing: Because it clearly isn't here to be anyone's favorite, but this Malaysian candy continues to exist—and, yes, tastes like creamed corn. Our theory: this candy was invented by Malaysian parents in an attempt to trick their kids into believing all candy is terrible.

Verdict: The perfect souvenir from your trip to Malaysia. We'll let everyone else try it first.

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