Once again, Alex “I’m too busy and important to blog about salmiakki” has delegated this job to a subordinate. “I’ve had my eye on this one for a while now,” he told me, referring to our latest selection:
As someone that once spent a week in Finland about 14 year ago, I feel that I am completely qualified to translate that as “Salmiac mix.” It seems that the name doesn’t reveal much in this case (but then I guess it usually doesn’t). I ripped open the bag and took a closer look:
Salmiac Mix appeared to consist of antacid tablets, pills, and chewable childrens’ vitamins. Strange choice for a candy, I thought, but harmless enough. After popping one of the discs into my mouth, I realized that the white powder covering all of the candies was not sugar. I won’t lie; I spit the first one out, being totally unprepared for that salty coating. After seeing this reaction, John tried one and managed to finish it. Shamed, I tried again – this time one of the little pill-shaped pieces. I made it past the salty coating to discover that it actually wasn’t terrible! The pink and yellow pieces seem to have some sugar in them, while the other pieces are just salt and licorice.
Later that day, I thoughtfully offered Alex some Salmiac Mix. “It’s not that bad,” I told him. He grabbed a handful of the candies and put them in his mouth. “Once you get past the salty coating,” I added. You’d think he would be used to that overpowering salty flavor by now, but… his reaction suggested otherwise.
Salmiac Mix combines three tastes that are bad enough on their own: chalk, salt, and licorice into one unpleasant experience. However, the addition of sugar makes the pink and yellow ones tolerable once you get past that initial salty rush. Overall, it’s certainly not terrible, but that powdered ammonium chloride coating reduces the rating from edible to almost edible.