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Italian Candy: A Taste of La Dolce Vita

What would the sweet life be without sweets? The traditional delights of Italian candy are very distinct from their American and European counterparts and feature unique varieties that you can only find imported directly from Italy. The distinct flavors like anise, licorice, limoncello, and glacial mint set them apart from the rest.

Types of Italian Candy

Italian candies come in several major categories: hard candies, soft candies, and hard candies containing soft fillings. While hard candies are a perennial favorite, soft textured candies are becoming more popular. The soft textured candies come individually wrapped and can have either a caramel-like texture, or a gummy, gel-like texture with delicious fruit flavors. Combining the best of both worlds, the hard textured candy with soft filling gives both a flavorful crunch and a satisfying chewy texture when you get to the center. 

One notable Italian candy that does not fall into these major categories is candied fruit, which is made by soaking small fruit pieces or peels in a sugar syrup. This method of fruit preservation has been in use in Europe since the 16th century and is still popular for making Italian desserts such as panettone and cannoli. 

What are some popular Italian candy brands?

Italian candy brands such as Amarelli, Golia, Sperlari, and Perugina  are immensely popular. Amarelli specializes in licorice candy, with records of their production going as far back as 1500! This Italian candy institution offers licorice mints, soft candies, hard candies, and more with their traditional licorice root recipe. Golia also offers a delectable variety of licorice candy, including Gommose Morbide alla Liquirizia, which are individually wrapped and have the invigorating scent of eucalyptus added. One of Sperlari’s most popular hard candy varieties is  Caramelle all’ Anice, featuring a sweet licorice flavor, but they also offer candies with citrus and fruit flavors. Perugina makes soft candy, hard candy, and filled candy, such as their popular  Perugina Caramelle Rossana that has a delicious eggnog flavored center.