If there is one thing we swedes (and Finnish people) love, its licorice. If you are born in another country and move to Sweden you will probably never learn to like it. However, I love it! And what is better than eating licorice in abundance on a festival – dedicated to licorice! Join Bring Bling to Traveling as we entered the worlds largest licorice festival.
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Worlds Largest Licorice Festival in Stockholm
I’m not sure how much bragging rights Sweden gets for having the worlds largest Licorice festival. As far as I know there are not many competitors. There is a fair in Finland to but other than that I’m not sure. But for me, 2000 square meters of this black gold was like entering heaven. Ok so my weakness is actually salty licorice. That’s the kind you offer to your foreign friends and watch them squeal while trying to pretend like its good. Apparently licorice is an European thing and salty licorice is a nordic thing, including Iceland. With over 50 different companies at the fair, presenting their products and giving samples you can imagine how much I ate. Mini is not a huge fan but he did like all the different chocolate that was infused with licorice.
What does licorice taste like?
Licorice is is the root of Glycyrrhiza glabra. Yes that makes you no smarter to know how it tastes but lets say its a mix between anis and fennel. If you add ammonium chloride you’ll get the salty licorice. Don’t bee fooled by the candy you can buy in the US that is called licorice. Its not the same as you buy in Europe. And come to think of it… anis and fennel with ammonium chloride sounds quite nasty but believe me – its great! And its known for its laxative effects if you eat to much. Hmmm let me get back to you tomorrow on that ;).
All things with a taste of licorice
Chocolate is great, lets all agree on that. The licorice festival had a lot of chocolate. In all honesty – much more than I expected. A lot of it was chocolate with licorice but there were some cheaters too. They had maybe two different chocolates with chocolate and the rest were with nuts and fruits and other things. Don’t get me wrong – it was all so good! Chips with licorice? And believe it or not but they were really good! Its the Swedish company Larsviken (larsviken.se) that has created the chips that are covered in licorice. I got a bag and I can’t wait to see what my sister thinks of it.
My sister is just as crazy about salty licorice as I am. When her children started eating candy, she forced them to eat salty licorice. At first they did not like it. Finally Natalie started to like it and we have her on our side today. Oscar is still not a fan. We made it by 50% my sister says!
New flavors and a large amount of expensive licorice
A lot of the vendors at the fair had some really good but also really expensive candy for sale. Buying a set of 12 chocolate-licorice pralines for almost 350:-SEK is really expensive if you ask me. However if you know how to enjoy a piece of chocolate (or maybe two) you are fine. If you are like us you will eat it all in one sitting. That makes a lot of the licorice at the fair really expensive. There was a lot of great stuff at the festival and I will name a few of them:
The worlds most expensive Licorice
Haupt made the worlds most expensive licorice and its all for charity. All the proceeds go to “barncancerfonden” a charity that focuses on children with cancer. They made one kilo of this expensive candy and its divided in ten boxes. Every box is hand painted by Cecilia Haupt and the licorice is mixed with white and black truffles, Iranian caviar and hazelnuts. The price? You’ll need to cough up 3 600:-SEK. But its all for a good cause.
The Swedish magazine “Journal Chocolat”
On the festival we got a magazine about chocolate and licorice. Boy have I missed out on some fantastic reading and recipes?! Im hooked and if you are Swedish readers – make sure to check them out because this is inspiration on a high level. If you love your chocolate and licorice – this is the magazine for you!
Salt with licorice
One of my absolute favorites. Salt from Iceland with licorice flavor. Do I need to inform you that I bought a jar of salt?! I love spices and this fits me like a glove. Its made for cooking so I will have to experience with it now. The only thing that could be better was if the salt was salty licorice, but we can’t get it all can we?!
Ok so I have rambled on forever about licorice but guys… you need to try it! Make sure to check out the next licorice festival next year in Stockholm, Sweden. I’ll leave you with a recipe with salty licorice in. I haven’t tried it but be sure that you’ll get all the info once I do!
Potatoes with salty licorice butter (4 persons)
- 12 Small potatoes with skin
- 3 table spoons of White wine vinegar
- 1 liter of Water
- 2 liters of Frying oil
- 120g butter
- 10g salty licorice Powder (you can buy it in speciality stores in Sweden)
- 1g Black licorice powder
Preparation: Slice the potatoes as thin as possible but leave a portion of the ground so the potato sticks together. Boil the water with the vinegar and bring to the side. Add the potatoes and let soak for 1 hour. Beat the butter with salt licorice powder and spread on waxed paper. Stop in the freezer to harden. Heat the oil to 170 degrees. Remove the potatoes and dry in paper towels. Fry them until they are golden brown.
How to serve: 3 potatoes per plate and break a piece of the frozen butter and place on top. Powder the plate with the black powder.