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Atlas Obscura The Mother of Polkagris, Sweden’s Iconic Sweet

In 1859, a new confection emerged on the market in the small town of Gränna. It was a hard, minty rock candy with whimsical red and white stripes. Called polkagris, the candy soon became known as a delightful Swedish sweet.

The treat was the work of Amalia Eriksson, a poor woman who became a widow shortly after giving birth to her daughter Ida. Eriksson couldn’t afford proper medicine when her daughter got sick, so she decided to whip up her own. She combined peppermint oil, vinegar, and sugar with the hopes the concoction could cure the child’s ailments.

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