Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/30 sec, f/5.6, ISO 500 — image data
Photo-buddy Damien Douxchamps came back from a trip to Finland, and sent me a huge care package of Läkerol, the not-available-in-Japan candy he introduced me to last year (seen on my blog in “Cornucopia of Tasty Läkerol Licorice” and then later in “Priceless: Candy and Pottery in a Surprisingly Tasteful Display”).
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/160 sec, f/5, ISO 4500 — image data
The care package included 122(!) boxes of a dozen different Läkerol flavors (many new to me), plus a few extra odds and ends.
Some of the boxes were exceptionally colorful, and some were exceptionally colorless...
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/20 sec, f/5.6, ISO 500 — image data
though I don't yet know what actual flavor “Africa Gold” might be describing
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/25 sec, f/5.6, ISO 500 — image data
in real life, the name of the black-box candy is almost undetectable
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/4 sec, f/5.6, ISO 500 — image data
through some aggressive post processing
I'm also not sure what tastes these names (“Black Diamond” and “Sparkling”) might represent. At least “Elderflower” is probably pretty clear to someone who has an idea what an elderflower tastes like, but I'm not among them.
Discovering the tastes, and mixing and matching them, is half the fun.
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/15 sec, f/5.6, ISO 500 — image data
Another taste I'm not currently familiar with is kumquat, nor what that taste might have to do with elephants (in what might be northern India?). Maybe elephants eat kumquat? Maybe elephants taste like kumquat? Having eaten neither, at present the connection is left up to the imagination.
Among the non-Läkerol items in Damien's care package was a bottle of licorice liquor from Finland, with an almost unreadable label.
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 5 sec, f/5.6, ISO 500 — image data
whatever that means
It took some creative lighting and aggressive post-processing to make out the full label:
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 3 sec, f/5.6, ISO 500 — image data
The third line is clearly English, but I don't understand the rest. Perhaps it's Finnish?
As far as I know, this stuff is not marketed in any English-speaking country, but there's English all over. Maybe it's the same as it is in Japan, where English is “cool”. But then, Japan has a history of deep ties to America (not the least of which is having been occupied and ruled by America for seven years after WWII), so the English here is a bit more baffling.
The bottle neck labeling says “Suomi 〜 Finland” (Suomi is Finnish for “Finland”). The back label is almost all English: “Deep in its dark, liquorice-infused heart, Koskenkorva Salmiakki is an unforgettable drinking experience waiting to be released. Drink as shots, but don't be misled.” I have no idea what that means, either. It goes on “Experience the spirit of Finland and taste Finnish folklore.” This is marketingspeak on overdrive.
It also notes: “Please, shake well.” So very polite.
It says “Liqueur” and “Contains Liquorice” in English and two other languages.
Anyway, despite labeling that leaves me scratching my head, the stuff is tasty when used in extreme moderation. Adding a few drops (literally) to a big glass of Coke gives it a surprisingly strong, durable, pleasing licorice taste. I can't possibly imagine taking a spoonful of this stuff, much less a shot as it suggests.
Damion had once given me an almost-empty bottle he happen to have brought with him to Kyoto, with less than 1mm of liquid left at the bottom, but it lasted me almost a year. This full bottle may well last 30. It's a gift that keeps on giving.