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.


  1. You really are starting to enjoy these. Please, I'm worried, seek help immediately, or send me a bag. I can't tell if they're actually good or if you've annihilated any sense of taste.

  2. FYI the first line is "Chocolate covered salmiac sweets" in Finnish and the second one is the same in Swedish.

    Also be aware that salmiac is an aquired taste. You might come to enjoy it eventually :).

  3. Actually, the second line is not Swedish, it's Danish or Norwegian. Not sure which though.

  4. The text at the bottom translates to "World's sweet candygags" (gags as in tricks or jokes). And no, "world's sweet" doesn't really mean anything in Finnish, either.

  5. It’s Norwegian. The manufacturer has a wide selection of equally… hilarious… confectionery, like “Rotten Fish”, “Sewage Sludge”, and “Dog Farts”.

    Of course, this being Scandinavia, actual rotten fish is considered a delicacy (i.e. excuse to consume large amounts of hard liquor), but in this case they don’t really mean it.

  6. No, Jens Ayton, bonbon is not Norwegian, it is Danish. The factory is placed in Holme Olstrup in Denmark, and Michael Spangsberg who "invented" the candy with the disgusting names is Danish.

    And more on topic:
    I am amazed that salmiak liquorice is considered almost unedible in other parts of the world. I did not know than until an hour ago. Piratos from Haribo were my favourite candy when I was a child.

    (And, much like Jens Ayton, I believed that Haribo was Danish, when it was in fact German.)

  7. BonBon was great, but sadly has been taken over and mostly dismantled. My favourite was "kloakslam" (sewer sludge), which is now only available in a lollypop-version and as part of a mix bag ("lossepladsen" - "landfill").

    They also made a theme park:

  8. After reading your blog, I'm beginning to think that salmiak candy is probably our most entertaining Scandinavian export :) I'll keep my eyes open for a *real* treat, and ship it over to you :D

  9. "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."

    Back in the days, there used to be a serie of TV commercials related to this specific brand. There were e.g. a pooping bird, peeing dog and other semi-naughty animal figures. Based on this, my guess is the facial expression means that the bull is pooping.

  10. Or, you know, because the product is called "Bull Shit." It's gotta get out somehow, you know.

  11. These are one of my favorites.

    Try out the Eldorado Salmiakkipääkallo (I don't remember if this is the exact name, the bag's yellow) - it'll blow your freaking mind. Not to be confused with the Eldorado Pippuriset Pääkallot.

  12. Anonymous, with “it’s Norwegian” above I was referring to the second line of text, not the manufacturer. Very important clarification!

  13. Anyone know if these are available anywhere in the US currently?

  14. Andrew, check your local European deli. Chances are you will find SOME salty liquorice, but maybe not this exact brand. It also depends on how large an urban area you are in, and how large of a North/Western European community you have.

    The scatological package art, while funny as hell, is alot less likely to turn up in rural southern US area but if you live in the Pacific Northwest where a lot of Finnish families immigrated some time ago to work in the forestry industry you have a much better chance of finding it.

    I prefer the Dutch Dobbel Zout (Double Salt) liquorice to Salmiak myself. Can eat a bag easy, although my tongue pays for it the next few days. :/

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