While we’re on the subject of shopping, let’s discuss another culture shock.
Danes are gaga for licorice.
When we first got here, Brian and I saw this section in the grocery store where you can choose and bag your own Haribo candy:
We thought it was interesting that it was inside a grocery store – in the US, these types of things are found in independent candy stores, typically in malls – but we didn’t really think anything of it.
Until we started seeing similar displays everywhere. Literally, EVERYWHERE.
In every grocery store. In gas stations. In stores that are more like Targets than grocery stores. And they’re super popular, especially on Friday afternoons, when apparently everyone gets their weekly candy fix.
And next to this giant bag-it-yourself display of candy are other displays full of premixed candies.
You might think that this sounds awesome. Constant access to candy! But what you don’t know is that 90% of the candy in these displays is licorice of some kind. Seriously, 90%. (And I’m only exaggerating a tiny bit!)
To Americans, licorice is a very specific, very unique, very strong flavor. It is used sparingly and eaten rarely. In fact, our licorice candy is usually not even really licorice flavored.
But the Danes are very serious about their licorice and apparently need a multitude of ways in which to consume it.
And some of this licorice… wait for it… is salty. SALTY!
And it’s literally the saltiest thing I’ve ever eaten. I couldn’t believe what I was tasting the first – and only! – time I tried one. It boggles the mind that this is an acceptable flavor, one that people like and seek out. Who first thought to put salt and licorice flavor together?
This may be one thing that I will never be able to adapt to. Rugbrød is one thing. That’s more like coffee, an acquired taste. But salty licorice? I’m pretty sure that if you haven’t grown up eating it, this is a taste that can never be acquired.