Taste testing weird Icelandic candy


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/04/20/taste-testing-weird-icelandic.html


Accept no substitutes.


I’ve not watched the video yet, but someone at work brought back some Icelandic sweets.
They were supposedly chocolate covered liquorish, dusted in pepper, but mainly tasted virulently of ear wax. Even the merest touch to your tongue left a foul taste that took minutes to die down.
Careful testing led us to the conclusion that it tasted even worse than a Nintendo Switch cart. I have no idea why anyone would want to eat them, and they didn’t seem to be marketed as a joke.
Currently in the office we have a Marmite Easter egg. It’s almost entirely intact because nobody likes it (even those who like Marmite)


Sadly you can’t get the blue Opal any more - bizarrely it used chloroform in its production and that was banned as a food additive for health reasons.

Icelandic candy is great stuff - and many shops sell bags of bland í poka at half price on Saturday afternoons, so you can stock up on lots of it.

Much traditional candy is liquorice based which tends to catch the unwary out as Icelanders have no problems wrapping liquorice in chocolate (Nizza and Draumur) or hard candy shells (Djúpur). And there are some weird liquorice, chocolate and marzipan candies.

Good news if you don’t speak Icelandic, liquorice is lakkrís or lakrids.

And that’s without mentioning the horror that is ‘salt liquorice’ flavoured with ammonium chloride - that would be the green Opals and other terrors generically called saltlakkrís.

My favourites - Hraun (think a Lion bar but made with decent chocolate), Lindu Buff, Nóa Kropp, Froskur (green goo) or the majestic Kókosbollur. And all domestic chocolate is excellent.


I like Marmite, have cooked with it, tried Marmite potato chips, and enjoy Marmite on toast. A Marmite chocolate egg makes me want to hurl.


The most bizarre in my view is “Eitt Sett” (basically, “a set”), which is a chocolate bar and a strip of liquorice in a joint packaging. I love it!


That’s practically a staple in Nordic lands, and also in Germany and The Netherlands as well. If I’m passing through Grand Rapids, sometimes I’ll stop at a Dutch store and pick up a bag of Dubbel Zout. I don’t know why I like it, but I do.

While it hasn’t been updated since 2013, Salmiyuck has a hilarious take on the phenomenon of salted licorice.


It’s only parts of Germany. Rather a Nordic influence.

BTW, try Finnish. It’s the hardest to stomach, by my experience.

Oh, BTW, liquorice can actually kill you, and I remember that the amount needed to be regularly consumed to make your aorta susceptible to sudden bursting was actually manageable - but clearly completely weird. I think it was about 3kg a week, ballpark-wise…


I saw a big Haribo display in NY last week and raged to myself about how/why hardly anybody offers their salmiakki.


Friend of mine lived right across the street of the Haribo factory in Bonn. The smells were amazing. Every few days, the smell would completely change, based on the current product in the production line. Salmiak wasn’t among it, I recall…


Man, they’re hilarious. I want to be their friend.


They are made by Haribo Lakrids A/S in Faxe, Denmark.


These seem like just Scandinavian candies. Some of these - the candies and some of the brands - are familiar from time spent in Sweden, Finland and Denmark: chocolate-covered soft sweet licorice; salty/sweet licorice; hard salty, spicy licorice, etc.

They tried the Turkish pepper, which is the hard, salty licorice with pepper and an ammonium chloride center. Apparently one either loves it or hates it. I happen to love that stuff. I was introduced to it by Swedes in the US who carried it back with them from trips home.

I bought a big quantity on a trip to Scandinavia and I’ve been hoarding it since, though at this point you can buy it online. The markup is pretty outrageous, but it’s cheaper than a plane ticket…


I know, and sometimes I have ordered it. It just amazes me that I can find like fifty varieties of Haribo at domestic prices - except for the ones I actually eat! Brezeln, Salino, Piratos, Zan, Pontefract, etc, etc. Nobody ever stocks them.

I get a bit crazy about it because with the vast amounts of Haribo imported it seems that this would be the way to have cheap and plentiful northern-style licorice here.


The market for the salmiakki must be perceived, at least, as being too small to bother with, I guess. (But because it’s not available to anyone who didn’t get exposed to it elsewhere, there’s no chance of growing that market, either…)


Salt licorice, bring that over here. I grew up with Salmiak Pastillen, but would like to try the Turkish Pepper, it sounds interesting!


Many years ago my mom sent me a care package from back east: A box of Drake’s Cakes “Funny Bones”, i.e., chocolate covered chocolate cake with a peanutty center. DEEELLLLIISSHHH!!

In a sharing mood, I passed them around at work. They got snagged up pretty quick, just a couple of days… poof. I saved the last one for myself. It was only then that I noticed the expiration date on the box. The cakes had expired four months earlier. I told no one. And I ate my cake, anyway. It was great!


My IKEA store has a bulk candy section that is mostly gummy licorice.

Swedish Roulette.


I have a secret* love of Funny Bones and their fake-peanut-butter filling. I’m so glad they’re back after a brief absence!

*and by ‘secret’ I mean I have to eat them secretly so my Funny Bones hating boyfriend won’t judge me for them


That ain’t right!!