On the second day that my exchange student was here, she gave happy hosts gifts to me. It was incredibly nice of her, and I was in for an extra special surprise.
She gave me a book on Swedish culture and traditions, which I immediately read in the days that followed. She also gifted me an adorable Swedish moose bottle opener, without any knowledge of my love of beer. And lastly she handed me a few sampling of Swedish candies. The chocolate was deliciously creamy, compared to my dislike of Hershey's (how un-Pennsylvanian of me). The marshmallow car were extra chewy and not too sweet. But then she encouraged me to try her favorite Swedish candy nicknamed "Jungle Roar."
Unfortunately I don't have a picture showing my reaction to this great Jungle Roar, however I knew as soon as I tasted it that I would one day subject my poor friends to some unusual punishment. (Sorry again, guys.)
My exchange student loves this candy, as most Swedes do. And they eat it whenever the opportunity presents itself. Instead of eating popcorn and Milk Duds at the movie theaters, they chow down on their Jungle Roar.
And just as I suspected, here was what happened when some of our friends and family takes a sampling of this infamous candy.
"What is this?"
"I hate everything about this."
For those of you still curious and questioning the reactions of our poor unsuspecting guests, let me explain: Jungle Roar is a small piece of extra-chewy black licorice coated in salt. This is correct: salt. Table salt to be exact, and an abundance of such. (Imagine face-planting in the ocean and gurgling the sea water.) This quantity of salt is exactly what calls for the intense reactions from these victims.
At first the sensation is odd and unknown, and then it hits you like a big salty brick. If you can suffer through the layers of salt, there's then a chunk of real licorice beneath that'll make your teeth ache. Don't hesitate to rinse and spit.
Don't get me wrong, I love salt just as much as the next person, but apparently I don't love it nearly as much as the Swedes do.
So if you ever need a boost in your sodium intake, just ask for some Swedish candies. We've got a whole shipment coming in for my student's birthday so we'll have more to share soon.
Best One Liners
"Why is there so much sugar on this?" - My brother asked seconds before realizing it was NOT sugar.
"Mommy, what's wrong?" - My friend's daughter was so worried when she saw her mom's tears after tasting the Roar.
"Is this payback for something I did?" - An unfortunate friend
"It's not bad." - Freak of nature who enjoyed this candy
And please: a very serious shout-out to our friends and family members who dared to try the Jungle Roar and so graciously allowed me to mock them here on the blog. You guys are amazing as always!