Picks

Our Favorite International Snacks You Can Buy Online

Tokyo Bananas, Happy Hippos, and Percy Pigs candies.
Photo illustration by Slate.

The wise traveler knows that the most important stop in a foreign country isn’t a museum or a historic site—it’s the supermarket. A new place means a new selection of munchies to choose from, and the snack aisle can tell you a lot about the local tastes and culture. Do they call them chips or crisps or something else? Do they prefer salty to sweet? Does the licorice outnumber the chocolate? (Gasp.)

Here at Slate we take snacking seriously, so we asked our staff to tell us about their adventures in exotic snacking. The answers hail from Argentina to Japan and range from family favorites to surprise treats discovered while on vacation or studying abroad. Fortunately, you don’t need a plane ticket to enjoy any of them. They’re only a click away.

Mint Aero Bubbles

Mint Aero Bubbles are a variety of Aero, an aerated chocolate bar from England. This mint-chocolate snack is a true delight both in taste and texture, which is so light it instantly melts in your mouth. Skip the candy bar version and go for the bubbles as they are easier to snack on and are more in line with the Aero schtick. —Emily Mulholland, senior HR and talent coordinator

Mint Aero Bubbles
Nestle

Haldiram’s Khatta Meetha

Haldiram’s is one of India’s most beloved snack companies and a staple for immigrant households all over the world. My personal favorite from its vast collection is khatta meetha: a blend of crunchy noodles, puffed rice, peas, and peanuts that’s both a little sweet and spicy in equal measure. It’s a great casual snack right out the bag, or you can even sprinkle it on a special salad or rice dish if you’re feeling somewhat adventurous. —Nitish Pahwa, copy editor

Haldiram's Khatta Meetha
Haldiram

Misugaru

Misugaru is one of my go-to breakfast drinks. It’s filling but not overindulgent, it’s packed with an assortment of delicious grains, and it tastes great iced or hot. There’s a cafe called Coffee Project close to Slate’s Brooklyn office where the baristas make a lovely misugaru latte and order the multigrain powder from a supplier based in South Korea. One time they ran out, and because it takes a couple of months to receive the shipment, I looked for closer-to-home alternatives in the meantime. —Christina Djossa, associate producer, The Gist

NongShim Shrimp Crackers

Shrimp crackers are a very popular snack in Asia. They’re light, airy, and crispy with the right touch of salt and umami. For an extra kick of flavor, get the spicy version! —Laura Lai, analytics engineer

NongShim Shrimp Cracker
NongShim

McVities Dark Chocolate Digestives

McVities Digestives are a popular biscuit that originated in Scotland. They’re slightly sweet and have a crumbly texture (similar to a graham cracker). While the plain ones pair best with tea, I am a tasteless American consumer who prefers things to be a bit sweeter, so I’d go with the dark chocolate variation. —Nan Copeland, interaction designer

McVitie's Chocolate Digestives
McVitie’s

Percy Pig Gummies

When I was studying abroad in Cambridge, England, I often missed some comfort foods of home. Another American student I met shared her (distinctly English) Percy Pig gummies with me one day, and I was immediately hooked. They have a bizarrely artificial, almost foamy consistency, but as soon as you start to eat them, you won’t be able to stop. I particularly enjoyed getting them from the British grocery store Marks & Spencer, where you could also pick up a canned gin and tonic to wash them down. —Madeline Ducharme, research assistant

Percy Pig Gummies
Percy Pigs

Tokyo Banana

Tokyo Banana is a popular souvenir sweet from Japan, but unlike other edible souvenirs, it is also extremely delicious. The basic form and structure is similar to a Twinkie—it’s a sponge cake with cream filling. However, the sponge has the lightest, most delicate texture and the cream, flavored with actual banana puree, is just sweet enough. —Cleo Levin, commerce production associate

Tokyo Banana
Grapestone

Salmiakki

I have always loved licorice. (By licorice, I mean the original black licorice extract flavor, not your pretend strawberry nonsense.) And then I discovered that my people, the Finns, really really love licorice. (By “my people,” I mean my great-grandparents on my father’s side who immigrated from Finland a century ago.) They especially love salty licorice, so of course I had to try some. I have never felt closer to my kind-of Finnish roots than devouring my first bag of salmiakki. Finn or not, if you like intense candy flavors and a salty-sweet combo, you might become a salmiakki devotee, too. —Heidi Strom Moon, product manager

Fazer Super Salmiakki
Fazer

Havanna Alfajores

My husband is from Argentina, so we visit every few years. There are two immediate must-do items on the itinerary for every trip: 1) Kiss his family and 2) Go to Havanna for coffee and alfajores. The alfajor is the quintessential Argentine treat. It’s a huge cookie sandwich usually filled with dulce de leche and dipped in chocolate or meringue. There are a million versions but, in my opinion, Havanna has the best ones. We usually bring a suitcase full of them back with us and then ration them strictly. They’re very hard to find in the U.S., so I was delighted to find them online. —Faith Smith, Slate Live executive producer

Havanna Alfajores
Havanna

Happy Hippos

Happy Hippos are my Proustian madeleine, calling to mind a summer my mom and I spent in Urbino, Italy, when I was younger—the breeze through the trees, the bustle of piazza, and unfettered access to Kinder confections. Don’t let those innocent hippo eyes fool you. Inside the delicate, crispy wafer exterior of the Happy Hippo awaits a mouthwatering, almost punishingly sweet filling. They’re not for the faint of heart, but if you have a true sweet tooth, one box won’t cut it. You’re going to want a whole case. —Marissa Martinelli, assistant editor

Kinder Happy Hippo Cocoa Biscuits
Kinder