Salmiakki is a Finnish, kind of salted licorice candy that Finns are crazy for. When foreigners try salmiakki for the first time, you usually see some strange faces being made because the taste is so unusual and so completely different than anything most foreign people have ever tasted. Despite being called salted licorice, salmiakki doesn't necessarily include that much salt - the salty taste is caused by adding ammonium chloride to the candy. Salmiakki may raise your blood pressure so don't go eating bags of them on a daily basis. Some popular salmiakki candies are Tyrkisk Peber, Halva Salmiakki and Pantteri.

For lots of fun with silly Americans with no appreciation for good salmiakki:

(1) largish group of people (preferably friends, less danger of bodily harm)
(1) (more than enough) bag of Tyrkish Peber.

It also doesn't hurt to have some type of liquid nearby, though it doesn't do much to dull the aftertaste.

Some comments I've received about salmiakki:

"I ate it in the morning and could still taste the stuff at dinner"
"The aftertaste only lasted 3 hours"
"augh *spit it out*"

Hours of entertainment!

Salmiakki (Salmiac), NH4Cl, also known as ammonium chloride and sal ammoniac.

As told above, it's used in candies in Finland; My personal favorite is Super Salmiakki from Fazer.

Fazer's Salmiakki was first marketed by them in 1939. The Salmiakki candies are traditionally rhomb-shaped (to the extent that "salmiakki" also means a rhomb shape in Finnish!). Super Salmiakki candies are round and flat, but have rhomb pattern imprinted on them.

Finland even has a society of Salmiakki lovers (Suomen Salmiakkiyhdistys Ry).

Salmiac is produced by chemical reaction between ammonium and hydrochloric acid; we actually made bunch of this stuff in chemistry class in high school, and the teacher let us taste it. (The paper on which the salmiac powder was on was completely spotless when people came back from break... =)

This stuff also has some other uses as a chemical. It can be found in batteries, for example. (Some brave souls apparently ate salmiac from there. Brave. Really brave. Kids, don't try that at home unless you know what you're doing. These days, batteries also probably have some not-that-harmless stuff. =)

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