It only seemed right that on All Hallows' Eve I recognize a place that, amongst all the gluten-filled packaged candy mocking me with their tasty-yet-dangerous promises, is an oasis of gluten-free options for sweets in Berlin: Herr Nilsson Godis. I discovered this Scandinavian candy shop, conveniently located right in our neighborhood (with a second location in Friedrichshain), through a fellow Berliner who Instagrammed it's sugary goodness, beckoning me to make a beeline there immediately. The charming Swedish name - 'godis' means candy, adorably close to the word 'goodies' - made me love it even more.
Inside the small shop, one wall is lined with all manner of fruity and sugar-coated treats, while the other is composed of mostly chocolate and liquorice. Then there are all of the jars of larger, sugar-coated tubes, candy necklaces and specialty Scandinavian imports. You can choose your bag, large or small, and fill it up till your heart's content. There are even logo-emblazened goods like tote bags and glass jars to be filled with treats and given as the best gift ever. That smiling, hopped-up-on-sugar monkey logo dares you to make your choices without breaking the bank or falling into a sugar coma before you get to the end of the block. Even adults will have a hard time not feeling like a literal kid in a candy store, resisting the urge to run around as if in Wonka's wonderland, tasting everything on display. Now if only they had a giant gummy bear tree...
The best bit? Not only do they have tons of gluten-free options, but all the candies are labeled for any food allergies or preferences you may have: contains gluten, may contain gluten, contains nuts, vegan, etc. It is a merciful beacon in a landscape of all the places I could no longer enjoy post-celiac diagnosis. It is often hard not to feel left out when seeking out goodies for special food needs, but Herr Nilsson Godis lets everyone get their sugar rush on without relegating us sensitive types to the unsavory world of carob and the like, which really only masquerade as real sweets.
So it is on this sugar-centric holiday that I pack my little bags full of sour watermelons and cinnamon-dusted chocolate-covered almonds, my Herr Nilsson favorites, and head off to my first-ever big-screen viewing of the original classic "Halloween" later tonight. Who says Halloween is just for kids?
Herr Nilsson Godis
Stargarder Strasse 58
10437 Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg
S Prenzlauer Allee / Tram 12 Stargarder Strasse
Tel: 030 604 086 86
Additional location on Wühlischstraße