Poland’s Prince Polo chocolate bars are ‘king of the snacks’ in Iceland
To celebrate their love of Prince Polo chocolate bars, Icelanders have been posting photos of the Polish snack on social media.
From pics of the chocolate bar overlooking a plunging waterfall to it being used as a meditation device, the choc bar has been adopted by the 330,000-odd inhabitants of the island as an unofficial national symbol.
Indeed, the snack from the city of Cieszyn has been such a hit on the island since it was first introduced over 60 years ago that it is estimated that Icelanders now consume around 160 tonnes of the stuff every year.
Local singer-songwriter Svavar Pétur Eysteinsson renamed himself Prins Póló and another songwriter even wrote a song about the chocolate bar.
Ola Stanik, a Pole living in on the West Coast of the island and owner of islandialove.com, a website dedicated to all things Icelandic, told TFN: “Years ago the Icelanders used to hang Polish candy bars on their Christmas trees.
“They don’t do it anymore, we are all aware how bad sugar is, but they still somehow admire this sweet thing from Poland.”
The reason for its popularity goes back to the fifties when there were strict rules in place about what sweets could be imported to Iceland.
To get around the rules, spirited entrepreneurs managed to convince lawmakers that Prins Póló wasn't a sweet but a biscuit.
The first bars were introduced to the island in 1955 in a trade deal in which in return for the chocolate snacks, Poland received fresh fish.
Sixty-three years on, it is now a national icon.
“Prins Póló is just so damn good, especially with a bottle of coke. That’s what I hear from the locals” says islandialove.com’s Ola.
Dr. Anna Rabczuk who was teaching Polish at University of Iceland a few months and has an Icelandic partner told TFN: “My boyfriend comes from Iceland.
“Whenever he visits Poland, he buys Prince Polo… Because his friends ask him to bring the original from the candy’s motherland.
“For many Icelanders it is a first step to being introduced to Poland – and a sweet and very seducing one.