I recall with great and sweet memories when I was a child in Copenhagen my mother would send me to the pharmacy in order to buy althea bolsjer - big, wonderful, flavored, golden hard candy with the flavor of bergamot.
To any Dane, the image of "Blandede Bolsjer" (mixed hard candy) will bring pleasant memories. I have always been fascinated by itís forms, color, and combinations.
In Denmark, bolsjer is known since 1100 when sugar was first imported to Europe where pharmacies would produce bolsjer in order to sweeten medicine. In 1700 the sugar bakers took over the production of bolsjer in Denmark.
The oldest known bolsjer are:
"Althea" (bergamot), "Malt" (malt), and "Kongen af Danmark" (anise/liquorice) which got itís name after cough medicine that the personal doctor of King Christian 5 produced in 1601.