Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Katjes: Little Harmonies

We have a delightful chain of stores here in the states called World Market. In addition to fun home décor and furniture, they sell treats and candies from around the world. They’re usually a pretty mild versions – for example, they don’t stock sugared, freeze-dried squid snacks – because, as Americans, we want to feel like we’re doing something exotic… not actually do it.

So I was a bit surprised to find actual salty liquorice at the store. It was probably a mistake on the part of World Market’s buyer, as I’m pretty sure there’s an import ban on the stuff. Or, at least there should be. The salmiac was hidden among other foreign-looking liquorice.



Like most of Katjes products, Little Harmonies look harmless. The cheerful model on the front even proclaims it, “My daily yin & yang.” I could see how a foreign-candy buyer might get confused. This actually looks like real candy.



Opening it up revealed a spongy-textured teardrops of salty liquorice and... whatever the heck the white stuff on the other side is.


My experience with Salmiac has taught me to fear candy that looks sugar coated, so I was a bit reserved when I took a bite. But it actually was sugar. The texture was a bit strange - somewhere between a marshmallow that has been left out for two days and a gummy bear - but it was not unenjoyable.

As for the taste... it was really difficult to pin down. There was some salt and some liquorice, but it was all very muted. I suspect that's a result of the fluffy texture.

All in all, I can't say that I liked them... but I didn't dislike them. Therefore, I'll award them the bland edible tag.

24 comments:

  1. So wait, you are actually BUYING MORE? Is it intervention time?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Please, always make sure that the "salty licorice" actually contains ammonium chloride. That's what makes it proper salmiac (and delicious).

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looking at the first picture it looks that those were not the only salty liquorices in that display. The "Salzige Heringe" I think might also be salmiac but that is just how I understand the name with my limited command of German ("Salty herrings").

    ReplyDelete
  4. The blue "Finnish soft liquorice" is probably salmiakki as well.

    ReplyDelete
  5. you shouldn't buy the German stuff. In Germany, liquorice is usually not this salty. though I have never tried the "salty herrings". There is also sweet stuff from Haribo, i.e. a combination of real candy (usually very colorful) and soft sweetend liquorice (black). stick with the Scandinavian stuff if you're into pain... there's also ice cream if you don't want to miss the taste during summer.

    ReplyDelete
  6. and if you're wondering why there is a special katjes-kinder (kinder=children). salmiak is considered toxic to small children. this is why they sell it with a lower dose. there is a regulation in Germany that you have to label candy with more than 2% of salmiak. I guess you can imagine why... ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Try the stuff in the boxes on the lower right. Loads of real ammonium chloride.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The blue box on right side down looks right something decent ;D You should try it out for me, please!

    ReplyDelete
  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  10. puhleaze buy the salty herrings and tell us what you think of those. I know them and it would give some perspective of how much of a liquorice (no offense intended!) wimp you actually are ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Licorice in the news:
    Warning on liquorice in pregnancy
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/8292392.stm
    "Eating 100g of pure liquorice a week could affect a child's development Pregnant women who eat large amounts of liquorice could negatively affect their child's intelligence and behaviour, according to research."

    More:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1301261/Mothers-warned-liquorice-fears-children-diseases-later-life.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    ReplyDelete
  12. Like many have said salty licorice is not salmiakki. Usually it's kind of salt covered licorice candy where actually the candy part is sweet not salty at all and it doesn't necessarily contain ammonium chloride at all.

    I wouldn't consider anything that goes with a name salty licorice as salmiakki. It's just a totally different thing.

    Salty licorice is something that even my foreigner friend actually liked and decent salmiakki was something she couldn't eat at all. So there is a huge difference.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hmm. I might have to send you some Hockeypulver. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. German sweets with licorice taste, not finnish salmiak. So the "edible" rating does not break a rule.

    The Salzige Heringe are quite sweet stuff too, if you know real salmiak.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Unless you already haven't, you should really try these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terva_Leijona

    ReplyDelete
  16. By the way, these comes straight from hell: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakrisal

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think you should try Djungelvrål, it's a swedish salmiak/salty candy

    ReplyDelete
  18. Been too long without a post Alex, you need to go back to this store and buy some more stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  19. The Salzige Heringe bag is labeled "Lakritz mit Salmiaksalz," by the way. I made a trip to the nearest World Market and bought a bag of it, and also a box of Halva Salmiak, the blue-and-white box in the lower right of the photo. A week before, I had tried Katjes Lakritz Batzen, a milder (but still salmiak-salted) licorice, and was hooked.

    I almost wiped out the entire bag of Salzige Heringe before I got home! I still had a few left, so I compared it with the Finnish-made Halva. The Halva is a bit softer in texture and more intensely flavored than the Salzige Heringe... and now I'm even more hooked.

    ReplyDelete
  20. You need to make a new post or I'm going to end up buying these every time I check if there has been a new post!

    ReplyDelete
  21. So is this dead now?

    ReplyDelete
  22. I can't claim to know anything about salmiakki, but I must object to your apparent suggestion that freeze-dried squid snacks are something better contemplated than actually eaten. It is actually amazingly good, if it's not too heavily salted/sugared! I actually prefer it to the "normally" cooked kind. (And I grew up in the States without ever having squid as a part of my childhood diet, but somehow, in adulthood, I loved freeze-dried squid on first taste.)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am craving Little Harmonies so bad right now! Cost Plus has sold out. I can't find in on the internet unless I pay $29.00 shipping fees. If you didn't finish your bag could I have the rest?

    ReplyDelete