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Salmiakki, a soft liquorice with ammonium chloride: The not-so-sweet sweet

Author:   Date:2015-5-14 12:25:30   Visits:
Salmiakki, a soft liquorice with ammonium chloride added to give it its distinctive saltiness. More ammonium chloride means stronger, saltier and more potent salmiakki.           
 
It is an acquired taste many in Finland, Scandinavia and the Netherlands learn to love its sharp, sour flavours during childhood. But for those who are introduced to it later in life, the black stuff can be hard to stomach. 
 
This confectionery- if such a salty snack could be described as such - was thought to have originated in pharmacies who manufactured their own cough medicine. Ammonium chloride- known for being able to break down mucus- was added to the mixture. 
 
No one is sure when ammonium chloride and liquorice were first combined, but by the 1930s it was being produced in Finland and a number of other countries as confectionery. 
 
                                                 
 
Many Finns said that the first thing they miss when they are abroad is salmiakki. Those who move away ask their friends and relatives to send it to them. Also some Finnish come to visit friends from other countries bringing a type known as “bombs” with them for playing tricks for fun. 
 


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