Tuesday, August 31, 2010

CandyWell salmiakki-meteorit

Last week, I was out of town and met with a few clients on the west coast. Somehow, one of our small-talk conversations shifted to a discussion on candy.

"You know," I said, "it's a shame I didn't bring any of the 'special' liquorice that I have back home. You guys wouldn't believe this stuff! It's Finnish or something, and it's infused with this super-salty salt -- ammonium chloride -- which is not your regular old sodium chloride table salt."

I got a few quizzical eye-brow raises and the unmistakable I'm-pretty-sure-you-shouldn't-eat-ammonium-chloride look. But nonetheless, they all expressed interest in trying this exotic delicacy and made me promise to bring it next time I'm on-site.

Yeah, right. Like that's going to going to happen. As I'm sure you all know, giving someone salmiac is #6 on the "Top Ten Ways to Kill a Relationship" list, and today's tasting of salmiakki-meteorit confirms why.

To the untrained eye, these spherical candies look like they could be sugar-coated chocolates. Popping the red-colored ball was not an unpleasant experience: there was a sweet, raspberry hard-coating that was just waiting to be chomped on. Bracing for the worst, I bit down... only to find the unmistakably spicy taste of liquorice.

The Yellow (banana, I think) and Green (no idea what flavor) shared the pleasantry: a hard candy coating with a liquorice center. Excited that this might be an edible -- nay, enjoyable -- candy, I eagerly popped the black candy ball in my mouth, only to find it repelled by my gag reflex almost immediately.

Somehow, that little black candy packed more salt taste than salt itself. Which is surprising, considering they all appear to be coated in about the same amount. No matter, because of the black ball of salty death, I have no choice but to rate the salmiakki-meteorit as almost edible.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dragster 3000: Super Salta

I got an email form Matti Nikki yesterday demanding that I subject myself to more of this torment. "Please, please, please," he pleaded, "more salmiyuck stuff already!"

Matti is absolutely right; I have been grossly negligent in maintaining this almanac of Salmiac. But I have good reason: I’ve been on a diet! And if you don’t believe that, I’ve been working too much! And if you don’t believe that, my internet has been broken!

But no matter. It’s once again time for Salmiac, and today’s Salmiac was Dragster 3000 Super Salta. And why Dragster 3000 Super Salta, you probably aren’t asking? Well because that’s what Matti suggested.

“You'll hate them,” he wrote, “you'll hate them real bad. But I think the balance and amount of salt is perfect on them.”

What, me, hate Salmiac? Who would have thought!

As you can tell from the pictures, Dragster 3000 is not lying about being Super Salta. The enlarged image accurately captures the evil-looking texture of this piece of “candy.” It really does look like it could be a little-bitty sugared chocolate donut… or maybe a piece of debris found in a salt truck.
What the pictures do not – nor could never capture – is the taste. Interestingly enough, the Super Salta came on light with almost pleasant licorice flavor. I actually managed to make it through a half-bite of one of the “ring” pieces.

In fact, that first taste emboldened me to try more: I took the “circle” piece (filled with the salty center), placed it on a “ring” piece, and chomped down. While that, too, came on a bit weak, within moments I felt the full fury of all that is Salmiac.

If you didn’t think that you could taste pure pain, then you clearly haven’t had Super Salta. I’ve been scorched by cinnamon, burned by wasabi, scalded by hot peppers… and now assaulted by salt. It was a harrowing experience.

On or about my seventh chew, my gums felt as if they had been corroded by some horribly caustic substance… which, arguably, they had been. My tongue was not spared either and experienced a brutal stabbing sensation. Now I know what it’s like to gargle with sulfuric acid.

Tried as I might, I had to rush to the garbage can to expel this offensive “candy”, literally drawing tears as I ran. It goes without saying that the Dragster 3000 Super Salta is inedible. However, it’s the first (and hopefully one of the last) that also gets the title caustic.