Licorice is extremely popular in Finland. When I was living there, I ate a lot of licorice, and I mean A LOT. I was probably eating licorice every day, several times a day. I’m not sure exactly how the Finns developed their taste for licorice, but needless to say it remains immensely popular. The traditional Finnish licorice is called Salmiakki (Salty Licorice). It truly is an acquired taste, I didn’t like it at first. If you have never had salty licorice before, it is extremely pungent and rich in flavor, think menthol cough drops but mixed with a very very dark tasting licorice. This is not a completely accurate description, but you get the idea. You have to taste it to know it! Finnish Sweet Licorice is similar to varieties like Red Vines or Twizzlers, but usually the licorice will come in small pieces not the “vines” that are found in America.
Finnish Sweet Licorice, when found in Finland is also sold in varieties that are filled with chocolate, mint, other gelees- and there is such a variety of licorice items available, I would often think that Licorice could be its own food group in Finland.
When I moved to New York, I was sad that I wouldn’t be able to find any Salmiakki here, however I did find some at the American Scandinavian Foundation in New York City, in the gift shop! I bought many pieces and enjoyed them immensely!
Finnish Sweet Licorice
In my time living here, I have also managed to find some Finnish Sweet Licorice (like actually the made-in-Finland kind) in a small specialty food store in South Brooklyn. When I saw it I was in awe, and bounced to the cash register remembering my wonderful days in Finland, and walking out of the store with 2 boxes. (I would have bought more, but I was short on cash that day!) The licorice I found was Finnish Sweet Licorice, by Panda. While I am planning my upcoming wedding this summer, I was thinking of interesting candies that we could have as wedding favors for the guests, and Salmiakki came to mind. But then after looking online I found it would be extremely costly to ship 100 or more boxes of Salmiakki to the states. I am still thinking about incorporating Finnish Sweet Licorice into our wedding somehow, just because it’s such a delicious candy.
You can also order many varieties of licorice on this site as well. Licorice International Store
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