While we’re on the subject of shopping, let’s discuss another culture shock.

Culture Shock PicMonkey


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:

Candy Aisle

omg so much candy nom nom nom

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.

Toms candy display

Toms candy display

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!

Salte Fisk

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.


10 thoughts on “Lakrids

  1. They are, as you observed, obsessed with licorice. I get sent various licorice lollies at Xmas from friends in Dk. And the salty variety, totally agree. I usually give that one away to the one person at work who loves it!


  2. That is awesome, I have a secret love of licorice, even the black kind! I have tried ginger licorice and it is nasty. T.J. Maxx and World Market sell fancy licorice here that is up to $5.00 a bag. Apparently Australia has a love for licorice as well. What happened to good ol’ Twizzlers. What was even more disturbing to me about the salty licorice is it is shaped like fish! As gross as it is you have to bring some home for us to try!


    • I also like licorice, but only the red, cherry flavored kinds. We’ll be sure to bring some back so you can see if you like Danish licorice 🙂


    • I often find myself being grateful that we have Denmark as our first expatriate experience as it’s a fairly gentle one. Everyone speaks English, the customs, food, and weather are all only slightly different, etc. Doing the whole new expatriate thing in India must be quite a shock to the system! But I also think that the benefits you get from being an expatriate – a new perspective, exciting new experiences, personal growth, etc. – are greater the further you step outside of your culture comfort bubble. For example, all the wonderful Indian dishes you’re learning! There are Danish dishes I could make, but they’re really not all that exciting or different from what we eat in the US.


  3. Haha, salte fisk is my favourite! Yum yum!

    I think you may be right about the growing up part! Here in Dubai, they only have one type of licorice! ONE! And that is a sweet, finnish type licorice 😦 So we stock up!


    • 🙂 I would say that I’ll post some pictures of us enjoying salte fisk so you can live vicariously, but I just can’t! I even tried the salty licorice again to see if it would grow on me, but it’s just still the same and I can’t do it 🙂 Sometimes you have to know your limits.


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