Since Sweden is next door to Denmark, probably about 150 years. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, then the small town of Gränna, Sweden, may be your idea of heaven. Tucked away on the eastern shore of Vättern, the country’s second-largest lake, Gränna (population approximately 2,600) is known primarily for one thing: the polkagris, a striped candy cane (or peppermint stick) that has been made here for more than 150 years.
It all began in 1859 when Amalia Eriksson, an impoverished local widow, began making polkagrisar to support herself and her daughter. Eventually others followed suit, and today there are a dozen or so polkagris bakeries lining the main street of the town. Visitors can watch the candies being made, try a hand at the baking, and, of course, sample some of the finished product.