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”Polkagris”

The making of the Polkagris:

The clear dough of boiled sugar, water and vineager with a section of it coloured a deep red.
It all started in the year of 1859 when single mother Amalia Erikson got permission to start a sugar bakery in Gränna, to support herself and her daughter, making fine bakery and the so called “polkagris” (peppermint rock). The name of the sweet polkagris is said to originate from the polka dance which was very popular in the 1840´s. In the beginning, smaller peppermint caramels were sold and after some time, Amalia launched the polkagris which became Gränna´s primary signature —and one of Sweden´s most popular souvenirs! Amalia Eriksson was for a long time the only producer, but in time more bakers started working in the small city, manufacturing the peppermint rock to meet the rising demand. Today, over a dozen bakeries in Gränna are making the peppermint rock and you can watch the manufacturing process take place. Boiling, pulling, kneading and twisting is made in the spirit of Amalia. To make the classic red and white peppermint rock, sugar, water and vinegar is mixed and then heated. The candy is made of sugar dough which is boiled, kneaded on a marble baking table, pulled, and twisted by hand to the right size. The candies contain peppermint, sugar, water, and a very small amount of vinegar, and are sold in about 15 stores in the town. The candies come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, but the red and white peppermint flavored sticks are the classic original polkagris.
The warm and sticky sugar dough are added to the pulling machine, to let the dough stretch and fill with air bubbles, which gives it its white color and its unique consistency. This is the one instance when this factory has given in to some modernizations of the process since the 1850s.
The red and white sugar dough, shaped like large bread buns, are now ready to be put together to make a polkagris.
The red part is put on top of the white sugar dough bun as a red strip.
The ends are cut evenly to make the perfect swirl of red and white.
The sugared dough is continually twisted and flipped, to get the right intertwined red and white pattern on it. The sugar dough lengthens and begins to take its form after several minutes of rolling. The dough is then repeatedly halved and reworked until sixty-four polkagris-sticks have been made.
Finished polkagris!