Shortly after I moved to Calgary in the fall, my friend Jason introduced me to the most amazing little shop in the city’s Beltline area. It’s called Kalamata Grocery, and it’s an old-fashioned corner store – quite literally on the corner of 11th Street and 15th Avenue SW – with a Greek/European flavour to it. It’s one of the best places I’ve found in town to get remarkably fresh pita bread (to whip up some shawarma, which is kind of a thing in Calgary) and authentic Greek oregano, not to mention olives, feta, baklava and Ethiopian bread. Even now, sitting at home in front of my computer, I can conjure up the smell of the place. If you’re ever in Calgary, check it out.
And one more reason to love Kalamata? They have a great selection of interesting candy that you’ll have a hard time finding elsewhere.
In this case, the candy is Ki-Ki Jagoda Strawberry, a strawberry-flavoured toffee candy made by Kras in Zagreb, Croatia.
The Pitch: “No artificial colours + 10 vitamins.” If you look at the ingredients list, you’ll see vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, C, E and H. “Bilo kuda Ki-Ki svuda!” (Google Translate turns that into “Anywhere Ki-Ki everywhere!”)
The Look: A cute, slick package that looks more Japanese than Croatian. An adorable cartoon character adorns the front, with simple little strawberry illustrations scattered all over the bag. Inside, each strawberry toffee candy is individually wrapped in bright pink waxed paper.
The Taste: Like strawberry Starburst. Starts tough and chewy, then melts and softens from the heat in your mouth. Very sweet and a bit creamy, with a pleasantly fruity (though artificial-tasting) strawberry flavour. To be clear, it tastes like a candy, not real strawberries.
RATINGS AND DETAILS
Cost: $1.29 for a 100 gram (3.5 oz) bag at Kalamata in Calgary.
Value for cash money: Fantastic!
Availability: Very limited. If you’re not in Calgary, check European import shops.
Nutrition?: Per 5 pieces (23 grams): 98 calories, 2 grams of fat, 2 mg of sodium, 0 grams of fibre (I think), 0.2 grams of protein. Also, 11.5 % daily value of vitamin C.
Vegetarian?: No. There’s gelatin in there.
The verdict: Not vastly different than other products already available in Canada (see Starburst, plus countless other strawberry toffees), but the price is insanely good. Tasty, and probably a hit with kids.