Found at: Willy:s
One of my father’s favorite anecdotes is The Story of The Salty Liquorice, a story told so often in my childhood that it has taken on its own identity. It revolves around his university roommate (a Swede) and her boyfriend (now husband of 30 years). The two of them were road tripping (though the itinerary of the road trip changes with each retelling). The Swedish roommate, having recently received a care package from her home country, offers her boyfriend some (undisclosed) salty licorice, which he graciously accepts, not realizing that Swedish licorice has almost no relation to the strawberry flavored Redvines that he had grown up with.
What ensued was pandemonium, as the salty licorice flavor took hold. Usually, at this point in the account, the boyfriend is involved in a level of reckless driving matched only by The Fast and the Furious movies in an attempt to get to the side of the road where he can safely spit-out the offending candy. This part of the story often lasts some time, as a number of hypotheticals are discussed: from road conditions to the opinions of other drivers to the possible responses of 911 dispatchers – so disgusting is the salty licorice. And that is the totality of the story: a tale of candy so unfamiliar as to nearly cause a major traffic incident.
Thus conditioned, I have been avoiding reviewing these salty licorice cats since this blog began. Every trip to the grocery store, I have looked at them and thought: ‘Not today. I am not strong enough.’ I kept imagining myself sprawled across the sidewalk, having been too distracted by the salt flavor to see an oncoming light-post. I imagine the two Swedish detectives sombrely looking down at a yellow box spilling licorice across the pavement: “when will these Americans realize the dangers of salty licorice. Haven’t they heard about Rosemary’s dad’s college roommate?” So, it was Emil who finally had to do the honors for me, picking up a box at the store and regaling me with stories of his Swedish childhood when he and his friends would eat the entire thing in one go. I pride myself that I did not gag as he described dumping (what I had assumed to be) a box of salt into his mouth. So, with great trepidation, I tried one (sitting down so as to avoid any accident).
And, as usual, it seems that my imagination may have gotten the better of me. These are not pull-over-on-the-highway bad. In fact, they are not bad at all. They are very strongly licorice-flavored, and while I suppose there is some hint of saltiness, it is not something I would realize unless I had been told. The real issue is trying to chew these cat-shaped pellets as the tough and sticky texture seems to be constantly trying to pull my teeth off. If I had any fillings before, I am fairly certain that I don’t have them now. I’m not sure I could eat the whole box (or if I really even like them) but I am comfortable in saying that they are not the horror that I had once imagined them to be. I will live to see another day – at least until Emil brings home a saltier brand.