pick ‘n’ mix

If you’ve ever been to a Swedish supermarket you will have noticed something: there’s always a huge selection of pick ‘n’ mix – often taking up a whole wall on its own. It’s in all supermarkets and almost all corner-shops. Swedish people love their pick ‘n’ mix. We eat on average 16 kg per person per year, or 1.2 kg per week for a family of four. The European average is 7 kg per year – meaning we eat almost 10 kg more than the average European!

Pick ‘n’ mix was introduced in Sweden in the 1980’s, and since then we’ve doubled our consumption. Before then sweets were sold from behind the till, so you had to point and ask the shop assistant to pick the pieces you wanted and put them in a bag for you. Obviously I wasn’t alive at that time, but when I was little it worked the same way at my riding school.

When I moved to the UK I was shocked at the poor quality, low availability, and high price of pick ‘n’ mix. I knew people abroad don’t really do salty liquorice, but I didn’t know they don’t really do pick ‘n’ mix. So when I went back to Sweden I would always end up buying lots of pick ‘n’ mix to satisfy my cravings after not having had it for months.

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Now everyone has their take on pick ‘n’ mix. I love salty liquorice, but am not too keen on chocolate. So my mix will often look like the one above. Sweet jelly sweets, salty liquorice sweets, and some sour ones. I want a mix of sweet, sour and salty. You need that variation to enjoy it to the max!

However, not everyone is a fan of my mix. S goes mad every time I put salty sweets (which in a way is kind of an oxymoron) in the pick ‘n’ mix bag, because he says it makes all of it salty. So we have to use different bags and different bowls so that I don’t contaminate his sweets, haha.

I really am a sweets and sugar person (not that keen on fatty things) and like my mum says “sweets are never not nice”.

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