Like Salt for Licorice

I was very brave today. Be impressed! for lo, I willingly tried eating “salty black licorice“.

Now, you may not like black licorice. You may feel that licorice with a high salt content is a pretty gross idea as well. But actually, for our Nordic friends, that just wasn’t weird enough. No, the real base flavor for them is its third major flavor, “salmiak”. Sal ammoniac, for those of us with a historical bent, or ammonium chloride, to give its scientific name. Sour chemical salts. Only in the land of lutefisk would this be cuisine! But in fact, in Norse countries, the licorice and regular salt are only embellishments. Sal ammoniac is the real candy flavoring — and vodka flavoring, too.
The weird thing is that, after your first horrified taste, the flavor grows on you a little. Not enough to ever make you want to scarf a whole bag. Oh, no, one piece of candy is more than enough to overpower your tastebuds for hours. But it’s really not bad, per se.

I suppose repentance is a bit like that — a little bit salty with tears, a little bit biting with realism about oneself, and a little bit soothing like licorice. Also, definitely strange and outlandish, very much against the normal customs of the country. But it grows on you.

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