I’m excited to try some Finnish snacks – I know they lean heavily on salted black licorice (salmiakki in Finnish). It’s an acquired taste, but I love it. My mom’s side is Swedish with Dutch extended family, so I grew up with licorice as a favourite treat. However, Finland is known for taking their licorice to the next level, so I’m excited to wrangle with some of these legendary treats.
I found a great source of Finnish snacks at Lakomka Deli over in the west end of Ottawa – they have a lot of Baltic and Slavic foods too, and were really helpful when I asked about specifically things from Finland. All of these snacks are from Fazer, the biggest candy company in Finland.
Salmiakki Original Pastilles – I really love the little pocket-sized box, I guess it’s because salmiakki is used the same way mints are. This is your basic, classic salt licorice – a little firm licorice lozenge with that nice pop of salty ammonium chloride. Love it. I have to put these away so I don’t eat them all like candy (a bad idea between all the licorice extract and the salt).
Dumle – Individually wrapped soft toffee with a milk chocolate coating – almost slightly floral. If you’re a caramel lover, you’ll love this – and it’s not the “rip your fillings out” hard toffee you sometimes get. Apparently these come in a host of flavours, including apple, gingerbread, salmiakki, banana, and lime – though I’ve only been able to find the original available.
Lakritsi Salmiak – A soft licorice stick, this one is plain salted black licorice (milder than the pastilles) based off Fazer’s 1928 recipe but they also make them with different flavours of filling, like chocolate, lemon or mint. Just a nice straightforward treat.
Tyrkisk Peber – Literally “Turkish pepper” – salmiakki with pepper. It’s a hard licorice candy with a bit of a salty, spicy coating – once you bite through the candy, it’s a straight ammonium chloride and pepper middle. Hooboy! It’ll clean your sinuses out like wasabi does and leaves a spicy aftertaste. These are great. Apparently Tyrkisk Peber is frequently ground down and infused into vodka – I’m intrigued.