Monday, October 18, 2010

Ruining a Perfectly Good Bottle of Vodka

Our journey to the dark side of Finland — home-made Salmiakkikossu — has begun. What on earth is Salmiakkikossu? you may wonder: it's the unholy combination of Salmiakki and vodka.

While our original Finnish friends (Pekka and Toni) were insightful enough to send a small bottle, I thought it'd worthwhile to compare it to the home-made variety. A worse vs. worst competition, if you will.

Step One: Crush a Bag of Turkin Pippuri ("Turkish Pepper")
Don't forget to wear a respirator; remember, this stuff is toxic!

Step Two: Mix with Vodka
We went with Grey Goose, but any variety will do.

Step Three: Wait until it disolves
That is one unhappy goose.

I suspect it'll be a while before this concoction is ready, so stay tuned!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fazer Super Salmiakki (xylitol)

Today's Adventure in Salmiakki was suggested by Toni Spets, who wrote: "I'm very thrilled to advertise one brand I particularly like, Super Salmiakki. Despite the name the taste is very mild and enjoyable."

Wait. What?!? There are no words in the English language that are better antonyms of "very mild" and "enjoyable" than "super" and "salmiakki." But no matter. Having lived through - and somewhat enjoyed - my last indulgence of BonBon's jocularly-named confection, I was feeling bold and ready to try something super.

Opening up the small box of Super, I was immediately overtaken by an overwhelming eucalyptus explosion. While many might find such an odor offensive, I'm actually impartial to menthol-flavored things. Maybe even biased: Jenkki Frozn was the first (and still only) salmiac to earn the halfway-decent rating.

One thing I can say is that Super is no Frozn, largely due to its texture. Like emulsified Vick's VapoRub, or that Halls cough drop you found under your bed that's since turned into jelly, an overly-sticky and gummy texture mixed with salty menthol is just too much.

Surprisingly, Super is missing the distinct licorice and overpowering salty flavors. There's a hint of both, but neither can compete with the menthol. While I'd personally rate this edible — perhaps because I kinda enjoy that menthol kick — I'm sure many would find it inedible. I say we meet in the middle and call it almost edible.

UPDATE: After snacking on these all day (but not liking it... I swear!), there is simply no way I can justify the almost edible raiting. Congratulations, Super Salmiakki, you are officially edible.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Halva Batman Chili Salmiakki

Batman “Gotham City’s candy stores have a serious problem, Batman,” commissioner Gordon declared gravely.
Batman responded incredulously, “You lit the bat signal for this? Surely Gotham has more serious crimes to deal with than the theft of some candy.”
“It’s not just theft,” the commissioner continued, “one by one, all of the candy for sale in Gotham is being replaced with…this.” Gordon offered a seemingly ordinary-looking piece of licorice, which Batman popped into his mouth.
”ACK!!” Batman exclaimed, spitting out the candy, “what is that?”
”Salmiac,” Gordon responded, “we call it salmiac.”

Will the Dark Knight discover who is behind this new, salty menace?

Ok, let me just apologize for the use of Comic Sans in this post.  That’s the end of that, I promise.  As you’ve probably guessed, we have some Batman-themed salmiac today!

Batman Salmiakki Package

Since Alex has actually been seen snacking on and enjoying his last Salmiyuck entry, I decided he was unfit for more salmiac reviewing until his sense of taste has returned to normal.  Don’t worry, he’ll be back at this pretty soon, damaged sense of taste or not, as I have no desire to find myself in the position of enjoying this stuff like he apparently does right now.  That being said, it all works out since I’ve been wanting to try the Batman Chili Salmiakki, being something of a Batman fan and having never experienced chili with my salmiac.

Batman Chili Salmiakki

Opening the package, I was greeted with the smell of licorice, which was a pleasant surprise.  Each Batman Salmiakki is simply a stamped Batman logo on a seemingly ordinary piece of black licorice.  I cautiously tried a piece and found that it was not terrible!  Having learned my lesson about the dangers of biting into salmiac, I let the candy slowly dissolve for a while, just waiting for that inevitable offensive taste… but it never came.  Bracing myself, I started chewing and discovered just a little spicy kick from the chili flavoring.  I managed to finish it and didn’t find it at all repulsive!

Overall, Batman Salmiakki is actually pretty good (for salmiac).  It has a modest amount of licorice, sugar, salt, and chili flavoring, but none of these are completely overpowering.  While it is by no means my favorite thing to eat, I would consider having one once in a while if I was really hungry.  Thanks to its largely inoffensive quantities of salmiakki and chili flavor, the Batman Chili Salmiakki earns an edible rating.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

BonBon Bullshit

"No Bull Shit," claims the back of today's taste testing, "just candy! A unique mix of salt liquorice and milk chocolate - a new combination you really should try."

You can't argue with that. Nor the colorful packaging proudly advertising the "now softer" variety, along with a bunch of randomly strung together letters. Or is that Finnish?

In case it's not very clear from the photograph, the illustrated bull is not actually smiling, but is instead making a stressed and painful face. Why? Clearly, someone fed the poor bovine some salmiac.

On the scale of things salmiac, BonBon Bullshit is not the worst thing I've ever eaten. In fact, it doesn't taste bad at all.

The milk chocolate is certainly the "value" variety that's found mostly in dollar-store Easter candy and off-brand M&Ms. But I don't mind cheap cocoa in relatively small quantities. Give me a few ounces of it, and I'll be fine. Give me a pound... I'll probably be fine, too. But after a few pounds, I'll tired of the cheap stuff.

The spicy liquorice flavor quickly joins the party after biting down, but it's certainly not an unwelcome guest. It's texture is somewhat enjoyable, making the whole experience similar to an extra-chewy Raisinete.

As for salt, while there's no hint of it at first, it sure comes on strong later. Within minutes of popping a good six or eight of these, I was completely parched. If it weren't for that, these would be slightly more than edible. Just make sure to have water on standby.