Everyone grows up with their favorite candies from childhood, whether chocolate or gummies, but if you’re getting bored of the same sweet treats or just want to try something new, it’s time to go international and sample some of the best candy from around the world.
This list features candies from 17 countries, including gummies, chocolate bars, fruit and chocolate combinations, and even peppermint-coated chocolate from Germany, Romania, Costa Rica, Finland, and more.
Trying a country’s most popular candy can be a great first step to taking a holiday there.
If you’re vegan or gluten-free, don’t worry. There are options for you, too, that are just as sweet and delicious as those containing milk or wheat.
I’ve taste tested and laid out everything so you can learn a little about how these candies came to be, what they’re made of, and how to best enjoy them.
Kinder Schoko Bons
These treats from Poland bear the Kinder name and their signature white and red colored packaging.
The small individually wrapped in foil egg-shaped chocolates and consist of milk chocolate outer coating with a chopped hazelnut and cream filling.
I think these make a great snack for sharing with coworkers, friends, and family or for being a little selfish; keep the package as a small reward for yourself.
They market the treats as gluten-free but always check the packaging to be sure.
Clothed in the reflection of the Romanian national flag, ROM (which means “rum” in Romanian) is Romania’s undisputed chocolate bar champion.
The boozy milk chocolate treat has a rum scent thanks to the liquor blended in, and I adore the wide variety of sizes and shapes you can purchase ROM in.
Thanks to a national campaign ROM even came back from the dead, returning to the height of popularity after a low sales slump.
In 2010, the ROM packaging changed and suddenly had an American flag on its wrapper. Romanians flocked to defend this childhood favorite.
Hailing from Estonia, Kalev is an expansive chocolate and candy line with something for everyone.
Customers can choose from bars of bitter extra-dark chocolate with add-ons like cherry and chili.
If you get tired of chocolate bars, try their sour cherry or sweet blackcurrant jelly candies with a chocolate coating.
Kalev has been in Estonia for over 200 years in different configurations, but Kalev recently sold the chocolate line to the Nordic food group.
The original company still sells pre-made and pre-portioned marzipan and hand-painted marzipan confectionery.
In 1949, Fazer’s of Finland created the Marianne, which brought together Russian dark chocolate filling and wrapped it in a french mint coating to make individually wrapped treats that are both minty and creamy.
The red and white striped candies have become a Finnish favorite, with numerous varieties and configurations, like chocolate bars.
Fazer’s Mariannes are gluten-free and vegan-friendly, thanks to having dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate center, and they use no dairy products when they create the crunchy peppermint shell.
Like the Finns, I like these candies with coffee in the afternoon or after dinner.
Ptasie Mleczko is Polish for “Bird’s Milk,” and the soft chocolate-covered marshmallow bar is a very popular candy in Poland.
Therefore, it’s the only candy allowed to bear the name Ptasie Mleczko on its label in the country.
However, other companies skirt this rule by making similar candies with the same ingredients and giving them names like “Alpine Milk.”
While many other marshmallow candies are too sweet or have no taste at all, Ptasie Mleczko uses a milky and soft vanilla marshmallow, and I think it gives it a center that is like eating cream with a satisfying chocolate snap.
The bars come in a pretty 420-gram tray box for snacking.
Soft and chewy, White Rabbit (大白兔奶糖) milk-based candies are the most popular sweet in China.
I think they have a texture similar to American taffy. These cute rectangular candies were made by Shanghai Guan Sheng Yuan Food, Ltd, in 1943, when a milk candy for the UK sparked a desire for something similar made at home.
The candy has two different wrappers, with the outside branded with a white rabbit and painter’s palette and the inner wrapper being entirely edible and made from edible glutinous rice paper.
While initially only available in vanilla, the company has since widened the brand to include flavors like peanut, coffee, chocolate, butter-plum, maize, lychee, matcha, and more.
Popping Chocolate Bar
One of the best candies from around the world, I offer, from Cadbury UK, the fun named Cadbury Marvellous Creations Jelly Popping Candy Chocolate Bar.
So if you have a sweet tooth and enjoy many different textures in your chocolate bar, this chocolate bar from the Marvellous Creations line is for you.
Cadbury makes the 47-gram bar of well-crafted milk chocolate that they then divide into easy-to-break segments with jelly pieces, crisp candy shells, and crackly popping candy.
I never get tired of hearing the little pops of the popping candy as the chocolate melts on my tongue.
The Mozartkugel or “Mozart ball” comes from Austria, first produced in 1890 by confectioner PAUL FÜRST and named after the famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Today, these handmade treats have plenty of competitors. The small and round balls have dark chocolate covering layers of nougat, pistachio, and marzipan.
However, only the “Original” Mozartkugeln comes wrapped in silver foil with a blue Mozart portrait.
In my opinion, only the Original has the taste the confectioner intended with a balance of the three flavors and just the right amount of chocolate.
The Mozartkugeln are great for sharing with coworkers (if you want to share) or placed in dishes during parties.
A traditional Brazilian dessert, the Brigadeiro is made at home and sold in shops and bakeries.
I found them easy to make, consisting primarily of sweetened condensed milk, cocoa, and butter.
They can be served chilled or at room temperature. I like to eat them warm or hot in a bowl with a spoon, which is called a brigadeiro de colher.
While milk or dark chocolate is traditional, other flavor variations have become famous, like banana, white chocolate, and chocolate with multi-flavored sprinkles.
Although typically served as a ball rolled in sprinkles, I’ve seen it turned into traditional baked goods like cakes, pies, or other types of dessert.
The Mishka chocolate bar, or Mishka Kosolapiy (“Clumsy bear”) as it’s known in Russia, is a traditional Soviet-era sweet that still evokes very fond memories.
These small, beautifully wrapped bars measure roughly 1 inch by 2 inches in turquoise paper with a drawing of four bears climbing a fallen tree by famous Russian painter Ivan Shishkin.
Inside the cute wrapper is a dark chocolate bar with the almond filling sandwiched between two thin waffle wafers.
Always check the label but most currently manufactured Mishka bars are vegan, thanks to the dark chocolate.
Pascal Pineapple Lumps
Called pineapple lumps or pineapple chunks, these chocolate and pineapple-flavored treats come from New Zealand and remain a popular treat for children and adults alike.
The creation of the soft flavored filling was thanks to the need to use up marshmallow filling that was leftover from one of the other manufactured products.
Although the center is pineapple-flavored, it is made with real pineapple juice and doesn’t use artificial flavors or colors.
Together with the milk chocolate coating, I think each pineapple lump in the 185-gram bag is a sweet and bright candy that proves pineapple and chocolate are a match made in heaven.
For those who aren’t fans of chocolate or looking for a different type of sweet, Haw flakes (山楂餠) from China are sweet flake candy made from the Hawthorn tree fruit, which is believed to have some healing properties.
The pink candies are flat disks about 2 mm thick and anywhere between 20 mm to 40 mm in diameter. The packed disks sit in a stack with a red label.
While the candy is only available in one flavor, it’s also available in a low-sugar variety and a more health-conscious version without additives or artificial substitutes.
I found both to differ and have a more reddish brown or light pink color. Eat one by itself or use it as a sweet treat after taking bitter or distasteful medicine.
I love chocolate-covered Turkish delight, and if you do too, you’ll recognize a similar product in Guayabitas from Costa Rica with a more exotic filling.
The chocolate-covered guava jelly is a favorite national treat; I’ve seen it as an easy-to-eat individually wrapped candy that’s great for crowds at birthday parties, special occasions, and holidays.
They’re also fun and different from many other chocolate and fruit confectionaries. For people who enjoy floral or tropical flavors, the guava-filled Guayabitas is an excellent option.
The milk chocolate doesn’t dampen the guava taste, thanks to an appropriate coating-to-filling ratio.
Haribo World Mix Gummies
Haribo is a German creation, but the Haribo World Mix brings together Haribo from all over the world, including France, Portugal, the USA, the UK, and more.
Each bag has a mix; choose from softer gummies like flowers, jelly babies, raspberries & blackberry gumdrops, or tougher ones like cola bottles and alligators.
Depending on the origin of the gummy you choose, I found some have a different taste than the traditional gummy bear, but that means no two bags are the same.
It’s a great way to explore the Haribo line and to keep things interesting if they’re a favorite.
Truly an international chocolate bar, Kinder, which is German for “children,” and Bueno is Spanish for “good,” is one of the best candies sold around the world in 60 countries by Italian confectioner Ferrero.
Kinder Bueno is a personal favorite made of a wafer with a hazelnut cream filling, covered in milk chocolate and a dark chocolate drizzle.
Created in 1990, Kinder Bueno is relatively new compared to many other candies on this list, but Ferrero has made up for lost time.
The Kinder Bueno chocolate line quickly expanded to eight different Kinder Bueno products, including bars, ice cream, easter eggs, and an advent calendar.
While the Kit Kat is an American chocolate bar made of a wafer and milk chocolate, the Japanese twist (KitKat) on this American classic is a favorite amongst candy lovers.
The Japanese version is out of this world, with flavors you can’t find on most North American shelves, such as soy sauce, apple, wasabi, cheesecake, and banana.
This love for the Kit Kat may be due to the name Kit Kat being close to Kitto Katsu, which translates to “You will surely win,” and is marketed as a good luck charm that parents can send to students in university.
While there are some fascinating versions of the classic Kit Kat in Japan, the ones appearing here, such as matcha and peach, are great too.
My personal favorite is the matcha flavor because it tastes great and has a fun, memorable green color.
Aero Milk Chocolate Bar
A Nestlé product in Canada and the United Kingdom, the Aero Milk Chocolate bar is a rectangular-shaped bar created from aerated chocolate.
Every piece is filled with little air pockets, making it a light and flaky bar that melts on the tongue.
Each scored bar allows you to break off individual pieces. I’ve never been able to make an Aero last; they’re too good.
Aero contains no artificial flavors or colors and uses only 100% sustainably sourced cocoa, intending to strengthen community farms.
Although milk chocolate is the original flavor, Nestlé offers a line that includes dark chocolate, caramel, and peppermint in bar form.
I recommend selecting one of their gourmet “Truffle” flavors like black forest and tiramisu.
These are just some of the best candy from around the world. If you enjoyed any of these, I encourage you to go out and research that country to see what else it offers. Maybe try to match international candy with some of the most popular American candy or invite friends for a tasting party.
Fazer’s Marianne and Thin Mints, anyone? What about a ROM chocolate bar instead of little liquor-filled chocolates at Christmas?
You may find a new favorite combination for movie night or a new holiday tradition without leaving your house.