Somods Bolcher, a candy store in Copenhagen, Denmark (near Torvehallerne), is famous for being the Royal Court’s supplier of candy since 1991. This title was given by the Queen of Denmark. Using recipes that have been handed down for 5 generations, Somods Bolcher employs original candy-making techniques from 1891. Visit their shop to taste and purchase hard candies, such as sweet licorice, salty licorice, bismarck, and caramels, or to watch them handcraft the candy.
Plan your visit to Somods Bolcher
Somods Bolcher is conveniently located on Nørregade 24 and 36b in the central district of Norrebro and is very close to Torvehallerne, an excellent market hall. Somods Bolcher is open from Monday through Thursday from 9:15 am until 5:30 pm, Friday from 9:15 am until 6 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 3:30 pm, and 11 am to 3 pm on Sundays, although is frequently closed on Sundays during the summer. Candy is made at selected hours when the shop is opened, so to avoid disappointment, be sure to check their website or Facebook page before you visit for updated production times. Keep in mind that bookings should be made in advance if you are with a large group and plan to watch the candy production.
If you can’t make it to Copenhagen, Somods Bolcher has an excellent online shop and can ship to the US, Canada, EU, Australia, and more.
As I mentioned in the introduction, Somods Bolcher has a very long history and was established in 1891 — it is over 110 years old! Somods Bolcher still uses its original candy recipes and many original processes, although the stove is now run on gas instead of coal and some electricity is used to power a cooling fan (rather than allowing the candy to air cool).
Somods Bolcher is a family run business that is now on its 5th generation, although the original owner had no sons of his own, so he passed the business on to his friend’s son (this is where the candy store gets the name Somods from).
Making the candy
Let’s now take a look at the historical candy-making process that Somods Bolcher still uses today. The first step in making the delicious hard candies is to melt sugar over high heat in a large pot. When the sugar is melted and boiling, it is poured onto a metal table, flavoring is added, and it is stirred with spatulas. As the boiling sugar and flavoring mixture cools, it is continuously mixed and kneaded by hand. It then becomes a stretchy mass of sugar and is pulled using a hook on the wall and hands (and a lot of strength, I’d imagine). The candy is then rolled out into logs and patterns may be made using different flavors and colors. The candy log is pulled into a small and narrow cylinder from the large log shape. It is then rolled some more and cut into the appropriate sized candy pieces. There is an excellent video of the candy making process on Somods Bolcher’s website.
Candy flavors and the store
When you first walk into Somods Bolcher, you will feel as though you’ve been transported back 100 years. You’ll see shelves upon shelves displaying glass jars filled with rainbow colored hard candies. You’ll also see an antique scale (probably an original!) using metal weights to weigh the candy for pricing and sale. If you visit during a production time, you’ll hear Danish chatter among the candy makers and the sound of stirring, rolling, and pulling of the candy during its preparation.
Seventy-four flavors are created by hand, including some of the original flavors produced back when the shop first opened in 1891. Candies are all created using natural flavors and no preservatives. You can also purchase a limited selection of sugar-free candies.
If you’re a fan of licorice, you’re in luck. Looking at all the flavors at Somods Bolcher, you’ll soon realise that you’re in licorice heaven! The selection of flavors really is incredible, a Danish favourite is the licorice with pine, but be warned that this it has an incredibly strong flavor and certainly is a unique taste (it isn’t for everyone). Other flavours include Bismarck, apricot, blackcurrant, chocolate filled peppermint and more. My personal favourite was both the sweet licorice and the licorice with blackcurrant. A mixed bag of candy weighing 500 grams will cost approximately 157 DKK (27.77 USD).
A historic, educational, and sweet visit to Somods Bolcher
If you are visiting Copenhagen, then you should definitely add Somods Bolcher to your itinerary. This historic candy store is the royal candy maker for the Queen of Denmark, so you have got to go and have a taste of what she has! Head back in time and prepare for an informative and tasty visit.
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