Saturday, February 25, 2012

Anthon Berg Salmiak (salty licorice)

100g (3.53oz) bar
Ingredients: Fair trade cocoa mass, f.t. sugar, cocoa butter, licorice powder, ammonium chloride, glucose syrup, canola lecithin
39% sugar (labeled)

Today's licorice bar is the third and final item I brought home from New York's Sockerbit. As I mentioned, I'm slowly acquiring a taste for licorice, especially the more challenging “salty” licorice made with ammonium chloride (not the sodium chloride salt we usually use in cooking) and popular in Scandinavia. This bar includes licorice in the chocolate as well as licorice “chips” made of sugars, cocoa butter, licorice, and ammonium chloride—which is to say that both bar and chips are licorice flavored, and only the chips are salty. Huh! 

Corporate Info: (copied from 2/18/12) Denmark's Anthon Berg was founded in 1884 and is now owned by Toms International, a chocolate and candy company operating in Scandinavia and the UK (though the subsidiary site avoids mentioning Toms). Anthon Berg produces assorted chocolate items including flavored fair trade bars, chocolate-covered marzipan, and those little foil-wrapped chocolate bottles filled with branded liquor. 

Appearance: Thin, flat, semi-glossy, reddish-orangish-brown, with the lighter-colored “chips” visible under the surface. When you break it, it turns out that those “chips” are tiny, clear candy crystals. 

Smell: I don't smell licorice, which is a vastly different experience from the last and only other licorice-related chocolate I've tasted, Venchi's high-powered absinth bar. There is a faint whiff of something unusual, though, dark and rich like prunes and blackberries, but as I've said it's faint, just a slight variation on the chocolate norm. 

Taste: Weird. After having eating some intense licorice candies (other purchases from Sockerbit), I find this surprisingly subtle, if mouth-filling; I definitely know I'm eating something other than chocolate, but it's not obvious to me what that is. If you hate the flavor, maybe this would scream licorice and gross you out, but to me it just tastes kind of savory, with an only flavor-boosting saltiness that balances out the sweet of this 57% cacao bar. In the past I haven't liked bars flavored with tiny crystal candies, which never seem to give me what I want (whether that's mint or fruit or whatever), but here it's...intriguing. The licorice flavor itself is complex and not what I'm used to, not exactly sweet, salty, bitter, or sour, and for what it's worth it lingers long after the chocolate is gone. It's certainly unusual. 

Conclusion: Anthon Berg Salmiak (salty licorice) isn't at all intense, but it is really different.

No comments:

Post a Comment