For a fresh twist on Christmas candy this year, try authentic handmade polkagris, a traditional treat in Sweden that’s available at Solvang’s Swedish Candy Factory (swedishcandyfactory.com), which claims to be the only bakery in the U.S. making the confection.
“Polkagris is the main Swedish candy that we make,” says Rob Taylor, owner of the family business. “Our family is all part Swedish, so it’s kind of a neat thing to do.”
“Peppermint Polkagris is probably the number one seller for the holiday season,” says Taylor’s sister Amy Freedman, who works at the Solvang store. In addition to that red and white–striped traditional flavor, the company’s polkagris sticks come in an array of colors
and cinnamon, licorice, piña colada, and several sour fruit flavors.
Chocolate is also in plentiful supply at the candy factory, with special holiday flavors and wrappings for December, says Taylor, who heads up the family’s Staffords Chocolates Company. The family’s other 805-area stores include Stafford’s Chocolates (opening soon in San Luis Obispo) and Mama Ganache Artisan Chocolates in San Luis Obispo.