Although my friends are wary to taste anything I give them after suffering through Dracula Piller, they had all drank enough to be willing to try not just one, but three different Salmiac candies. The first one I opened up was Amanie's Extra Hot Pepper Drops.
"You denounced an entire country based on this stuff?" my friend Dan commented as he picked up a piece, "it doesn't smell that bad." He then popped the piece in his mouth, and I had one as well.
Although my Salmiac palate is much more refined than most of my peers, it doesn't take a connoisseur to recognize bad. After sucking on the pepper drop for about a minute, he couldn't take it anymore and spit it out. I held on a little bit longer and asked what he thought of it.
"The taste was good for a second—"
"Wait," I interrupted, "did you say good?"
"Err, I should say, good by comparison. It was somewhat normal, and then it started... uhh... leaking a bad flavor."
Clearly, Dan was unprepared for powdered yuck found in the center of most of these pepper drops. I enquired further, asking what the flavor was like.
"It's hard to say... salty battery acid?"
That sounded about right. The battery acid taste started getting to me as well, so I spit the pepper drop out and chased the flavor with some Diet Coke. For the record, that combination was even worse. But one thing that was noticeably missing from these extra hot pepper drops was the hot.
"They weren't hot at all," he confirmed, "I couldn't taste anything past the bad. Which, by the way, is still going -- this is like a Jäger shot that just won't end."
As for the others, the general consensus was "awful", "terrible", and "seriously, people eat this stuff?" But as far as pepper drops go, Amanie is no Pirkka, but they still are inedible.
Look for the other two other reviews later this week. Also, I picked up a small batch of some fresh, salty licorice at a German grocery store nearby where I'm staying.