Thursday, September 23, 2010

Haribo Piratos

Arrrrr! If there be any suspicion that ye olde capt’n has grown accustomed to Salmiac, then the Haribo Piratos shall set the record straight. Gar!

Okay, no more pirate talk from me, I promise. But do feel free to leave pirate-themed comments!

Anyway, I picked the Haribo Pirates because I figured they’d be pretty mild. I don’t know, it just wasn’t one of those eat-something-that-makes-me-want-to-rip-my-tongue-out days. And seeing that Haribo is a pretty popular brand here in the states, known mostly for their gummy bears and similar treats, I figured I’d be safe. Oh, and pirates – that must mean they’re for kids, and therefore sweet and palatable!

I couldn’t have been more wrong. The Haribo Pirates literally taste like they came from the bottom of the sea. Without a visible grain of salt, these have a powerful salt-flavor that just won’t quit.

Tried as I might, I couldn’t get more than a dozen or so chews in before I had to call it quits. Sorry Haribo, but your Pirates are inedible. Now where can I find some gummy bears?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fazer Salmiakkitäytesuklaa

When I received the giant box of Salmiak on that one fateful day, the first candy I tried was the Salmiakkitäytesuklaa. According to box, which actually has some English writing on it, that's apparently Finlandese for "milk chocolate with salmiac filling".

My initial tasting was done weeks before I decided to start chronicling this pungent journey, and thus I feel qualified in saying that this was one of the few candies that has changed in character since first receiving it.

Mostly, the salmiac filling has dried out bit and has gone from a gooey filling to something more consistent with nougat. However, I do prefer the candy in this state, as the mixed textures of semi-soft (chocolate) and gooey (salmiac) was a bit unpleasant.

But no matter. Like all things covered in chocolate (including chocolate-covered ants), the Salmiakkitäytesuklaa was not bad. The chocolate muted the liquorice flavor while the sweetness and saltiness battled it out for dominance. Although sweet prevailed at first, the saltiness was able to hold out and eventually win the fight.

All in all, it was a very slight and gradual transition to the unpleasant sensation of having sucked on some saltlick. But since chocolate was involved, it wasn't that awful of an experience.

Congratulations, Salmiakkitäytesuklaa. You have not only surpassed the edible mark, but made it all the way to almost enjoyable.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dracula Piller

Now let's get one thing straight. Just because this is my second Salmiyuck! post this week does not mean that I'm starting enjoy it. If anything, I'm becoming more and more impressed at the things you Finns will not only voluntarily put in your mouth, but actually spend money on. Like, say, the Dracula Piller.


The artfully designed packaging is mostly transparent, allowing you to get a good glimpse of this candy before committing to it. Of course, I'd imagine that's to the manufacturer's detriment, as the Dracula Piller look about as appetizing as a rock.

Upon opening the package, I quickly discovered that Dracula Piller doesn't smell as bad as it looks. It smells worse. The best I could describe it: a mixture of burnt styrofoam, rotted wood, and smelling salts.

As for the taste... putting one of the candies on my tounge was just like licking a 9-volt battery, except more intense. This was the second salmiakki that proved that salt (or whatever unholy substance they have on these ones) can indeed be painful.

You'll notice the white candy to the right, which is the result of running it under water and scrubbing-off the coating. That, of course, I was able to eat... but I'm pretty sure that doesn't count. With the coating, these are clearly inedible and quite caustic.


Update! I just returned from the Cleveland Oktoberfest, where I offered up the  Salmiac Challenge to some friends. Whoever could go the longest without spitting out the Dracula Piller would get the two-dollar bill that I laid out on the table (washed out in the picture).

About eight took up the challenge, and within seconds someone nearly vomited. "I know you said these were bad," he told me, "but I didn't think anything could be that bad!" And one after another, others dropped out and chugged their beers in hopes of killing the offensive taste.

But somehow, three people made it through the challenge: none of them Finns, but all of them women. And frankly, one thing that was particularly disturbing was that one of them was my wife! Had I known I'd married into a gene pool with such defective taste buds, perhaps I would have reconsidered. Let's just hope that broken 'buds are a recessive trait.

No matter, with the three-way tie, I forked over two more twos to the "winners". They certainly earned it.