Saturday, April 28, 2012

All Things Liquorice is my new favourite online store. It's not cheap, but 'liq15' got me a 15% discount, ordering over 50 quid got me free p&p & John paid :D

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Finnish Christmas Market!

Here's one for peeps in London: the Finnish Church is holding its annual Christmas Market this week (It's been on this weekend too, but I've only just heard).

Remaining days are:
Wed 23.11. 12-20
Thu 24.11. 12-20
Fri 25.11. 12-20
Sat 26.11. 10-17

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ringing the Changes

I would like to add a 'Facebook like' or share button to this blog, but the existing template dates back to a time before widgets were invented and there is just no way :(

I'm a little loath to update the template at the moment because it involves extensive customisation and I've never progressed much beyond good old-fashioned HTML (the version that was in vogue in 1997!), so I'm undecided. What do you think?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Opal gem of Iceland

Opal green licorice candy iceland
So we're house-sitting for my in-laws and of course get to poking around their cupboards for treats. Lo and behold, this bold little box presents itself. It's from Iceland!

I shake it and hear the muffled rattle of pastilles in cardboard. My mouth starts watering. I tear into it, see the black Opal buttons inside and promptly pop one in my mouth. OMG! It's the real deal! What is it doing here? Who cares!

They were mild yet distinctly salty candies. Great texture, neither too hard nor too soft. And such an unlikely find, which I think made them taste even better.

Over half the box was gone before I managed to stop myself and stash it back where we found it. Lord knows I wanted to take them all and pretend we'd never seen them, but manners prevailed.

Found out later they were a gift from an Icelandic friend and not much loved by my in-laws. I should have taken them; they probably threw the rest out. It breaks my heart to think about it.

But isn't the packaging great? Here's a bit more on the design and company motto, which apparently translates as "make things better, livelier and happier." That day, it certainly did.

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Finnish Haul: Early Impressions

Forget the Black Shots, they're risible (I had to throw the rest of the package away!).

An early winner is Must 'Taste of the Sea'. My sister scoffed the entire bag in one sitting. These are Dutch though.

Super Salmiakki are good (8/10), but Salmiakki Mix will probably be perfection, as the diamonds got 10/10 last time. Saving it up for a special occasion.

If you want to take it easy, Tyrkisk Peber Firewood are the ticket. No nasty surprises and good balance & texture. Not really saltyliqs though.

[EDIT]: Oh, and as far as the Leijona are concerned, John called them 'wolves in sheep's clothing' (they're sugar-coated). Yes, he had some! I'll give them 7/10 but only because of the sugar. Otherwise they'd be 8/10, too.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter Delight

Muru Icecream

I have written previously about liquorice/flavour combinations but never got round to the planned series, probably because I only think about these things once the craving returns and I no longer have material at hand for reference ;) For the record, liquorice pairs well with honey, chilli, sour fruit and chocolate (but not the way Fazer do it!)

One combination I'd almost forgotten about is liquorice icecream, which I last had in Greenland. I did not expect to encounter this flavour again any time soon.

Before trying this delight I already knew that sweet liquorice pairs well with vanilla icecream, but it took a little bracing to imagine a lightning bolt of salty liquorice at the centre of a glazed vanilla cone. Well, I braced myself and it was worth it. I thought this was pure heaven, although when I told John about it he thought that this is the kind of foodstuff they serve up in hell.

Unfortunately he didn't get to try it this time around. He was at home with a cold—for which I'm sure this would have been the perfect remedy—while, at the other side of London, the temperature soared into the mid-twenties and the sun was blazing from a blue sky. Given the heat, I could not buy more than one of these delectable delicacies (and had to eat it quickly!), but it was the blazing sunshine which made me look in the icecream freezer in the first place.

The occasion was the Easter fair at London's lovely Finnish Church & community centre (it even has a sauna!). When I arrived there mid-morning on the 17th of April I was amazed at the crowds. People had been piling on and off the tube as if it was the Tokyo rush-hour. Surely they were not all on the way to the Easter fair?

They weren't. I was lucky not to be cut off by the tens of thousands of mad, sporty, fun-loving runners who streamed through Rotherhithe hour after hour, like a human river. This, apparently, was Mile 11 of the London Marathon.

Near Mile 11

I had been to the Finnish Church once before but it was at a very quiet time, a few weeks before the Christmas shipment. The container ship arrives with frozen and dried Finnish groceries twice a year, just before Christmas and Easter. This time around I made up for it, although I feel guilty about buying up most of the supplies... This haul cost me nearly 50 quid!

Salmiakki Haul

Of course it's not just for me. I've promised to share some of it with my friends.


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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ten out of Ten!

My search is at an end. And it came to an end rather unexpectedly last Friday night, after three pints of the Old Rosie's, when our downstairs neighbour invited us inside for a bit of wine to round off the evening. That is why I thought I was hallucinating when I remembered it the next morning. But I have the picture to prove it:

And I've just had another taste. The ammonium chloride is already fading slightly after the liquorice had been out of the bag for the past five days (in my jar with the other liqs and silica to keep 'em dry), but it's still there, its gentle heat almost sufficient to form fumes at the back of my throat. It's complemented by the familiar earthiness of sweetroot. And I don't know what else is in there, but it all conspires to make this liquorice perfect. It is not too hard and not too soft, it melts in the mouth just slightly too fast at the thought that it is the last one, but just at the right rate if you know you can grab another one later. The flavour is maintained throughout. I had a coffee just now but it brushes the taste aside without any ado, assuming a quiet and welcome dominance. The aftertaste lingers gently in the background until it is time for another sip.

Disconcertingly it says 'mix' on the pack, but I've only tried the little diamonds with the lattice pattern. I should hope that all the shapes in the pack taste the same, but there's only one way to find out.

Somewhere in this town there must be a Finnish shop.

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