Plus a Year-Round European Christmas Market
Three thousand four hundred and nine Gummy Bears came home from Germany with Us!
7.5 kilgrams of Haribo gummy candies. 16 pounds of squishy candy. That’s about the weight of a six month old child! And that’s how much Haribo my daughter hauled back from Germany earlier this month!
And actually – if she had been the one hauling it that would have been one thing…but it was Mom (me!) who carried the huge bag through the Frankfurt and Toronto airports! I was so miffed about it that I haven’t eaten one of those candies since (and I normally LOVE Haribo!)
They weren't all gummy bears - some were Smurfs (her favorite!) - but if they had all been bears that would have meant about 3,409 Haribo gummy bears had traveled with us from Germany to Canada!
Haribo gummies are everywhere in Germany. And in every shape, flavor and size.
I had traveled to Germany to attend several trade shows and to tour the Niederegger Marzipan factory. I had brought my middle daughter, Signe, along so that she could spend some time with our German exchange students from the past two years. These girls live in Detmold near Bielefeld (between Hanover and Düsseldorf).
Not surprisingly, when we arrived at Laura’s home we were greeted with Haribo and, from the sounds of it, there was always a steady supply of bears, Smurfs and other squishy little gummies around!
In past travels to Germany we have often visited a favorite aunt who lives in Duisburg. I would always cringe when she would hand each of my children a huge bag of gummy bears. The bears were always inhaled in no time and I was left with the mess – hyper, sugar fueled monsters that would descend into crying basket cases!! But boy do my kids love that aunt!
Haribo is a German confectionery that was started in 1920 by a guy named Johannes ("Hans") Riegel, Sr.. The company was and still is headquarted in Bonn. And the name is an abbreviation of Hans Riegel Bonn – HaRiBo.
Haribo gummies are produced in factories all over Europe but Gingerbread World only sells the ones made in Germany with the real German recipes. The Haribo one buys in America is made in Turkey. Check out this interesting blog and taste test about German versus American Haribo!
Here’s a couple of fun facts about Haribo –
- There are 100 million GOLD-BEARS produced every day around the world
- If all of the Haribo licorice wheels produced in one year were unravelled and laid end to end they would stretch from the earth to the moon! They would stretch approximately 239,227 miles (that’s 384,998 km for the metric types!)
- There appears to be 83 different types of Haribo gummies – I counted them personally on the company’s website!
The classic Gummy Bear or Gummibärchen or goldbärchen was created in 1922 and has gained almost cult status worldwide. The inspiration for these bears was the “dancing bears” or the trained bears on chains that were the stars of the traveling circus shows of the late 1800’s. Those first gummy bears were larger than today’s bear but they were also thinner (hmmm…).
Haribo posts their top ten flavors and interestingly the top ten is different in different countries. And it changes fairly often. A couple of weeks ago all of the Haribo flavors that Gingerbread World carries were in the Top Ten – not so this week.
We’ve gotten kind of carried away with Gummy Bears here at Gingerbread World. In our goal to curate a shop of “Beautiful, Delicious and Delightful Things from Europe” we have brought in some Gummy Bear-inspired “stuff” – night lights, key chains and magnets. The key chains and night lights are really cool – they are squishy and when you squeeze their tummies they light up!
We’d love to hear your stories about gummy bears – use the comments section below. What are your favorite Haribo flavors? Which is the weirdest flavor that you have come across?
Hope to hear from you!
Tamara – Owner at Gingerbread World