It’s rare that I write about candy, but I can’t resist sharing this story.
Let me introduce you to my friend Martin. I met Martin through stair racing, so it’s appropriate that is picture was taken on the roof, after our 54-story stair race last weekend. Martin is speedy, too – he finished 3rd overall! (I finished 41st, out of 166.)
Martin is Danish, and came all the way from Denmark to compete in this race. And he brought me a very thoughtful, completely awesome gift! First, here’s a little bit of backstory.
I’m a nerd, and this story is super nerdy, and I love it. I track all the miles I complete doing any kind of cardio, log them, and add them up. I include my cardio miles totals during my monthly progress report and weigh-in posts (like this one). Every once in a while, when I reach a milestone during my cardio miles, I write a Fun With Maps post.
I wrote a Fun With Maps blog post in April, after completing 1,500 cardio miles. I love writing these posts, because it combines so many things I love: data, exercise, maps, and trivial research. (See? I’m a total nerd!)
In that post, I shared that if I were to start in Madrid and travel 1,500 miles, I’d end up in rural Denmark, near a small town that had a theme park. I researched the park and discovered a fantastic video, about Hundeprutterutchebane, which literally translates to ‘Dog Fart Roller Coaster.’
Yes, you read that correctly. There’s a roller coaster in Denmark themed around a farting dog. Watch the video – there’s a farting dog statue in the middle of it, and piles of poo, too.
Before the race on Saturday, I hadn’t seen Martin since the 1 World Trade Center race in New York in May. And when I saw him in New York, I asked him about Hundeprutterutchebane, because let’s face it, I don’t think I know any other Danish people! Martin had never been there, but he had more info. The theme park is called BonBon-Land, and it was built by the BonBon candy company. Many of the rides and attractions in BonBon-Land are named after their different candies.
Can you guess what Martin brought me all the way from Denmark?
Hundeprutter candy! How awesome is Martin!?
And if you can’t connect the dots, that’s Dog Fart candy – just look at the image on the bag!
And that’s not all. Martin also brought me a second bag, called Rädne Fisk, which translates to rotten fish. Rotten fish candy!
Both are hard candies. Chewing isn’t an option – you just suck and suck and suck some more.
So – are you wondering what Hundeprutter/Dog Fart and Rädne Fisk/Rotten Fish candy tastes like? Well… Hundeprutter doesn’t taste like a fart, but… it’s definitely an acquired taste. It’s very strong and potent, and the first one I tried was downright gross. I’d describe it as kind of like root beer gone bad, like it’s been spoiled or fermented (if such a thing could happen to root beer).
Turns out the flavor of Hundeprutter is actually salmiakki, which is also known as ‘salty licorice.’ Salmiakki is common in parts of northern Europe, and salty licorice is a good descriptor, because that’s exactly what it tastes like. I know that because I ate another Hundeprutter after reading about salmiakki, and yup, it’s definitely true. Hundeprutter tastes like salty licorice.
Fun fact about salmiakki: it’s made by treating licorice with ammonium chloride, which is a form of salt that’s also used…
- …as an ingredient in cough medicine.
- …in metalworking shops as a way to prepare metal surfaces to be galvanized of soldered.
- …by giant squid to remain bouyant. An ammonium chloride solution courses through their bodies, and it’s lighter than seawater. It’s also pungent, and it’s one reason why giant squid aren’t considered good for human consumption. (Another reason: they’re super hard to find and nearly impossible to catch.)
Mm-mmm! Salmiakki! I will say that I’ve eaten a few pieces of Hundeprutter since I got it on Saturday, and the taste is slowly gaining on me. I said above that it’s an acquired taste, and I’m on my way to acquiring it!
Luckily Rädne Fisk is much better tasting. It tastes nothing like rotten fish. It’s actually a blend of strawberry and salmiakki, although the dominant flavor is definitely the strawberry. It’s downright delightful! And, it’s hard to tell in that picture, but the candies are shaped like little fish, which is fun, too.
It was so kind of Martin to think of me and bring me these gifts! Thanks, buddy! It was a complete surprise and totally appreciated. That Martin has a great memory! And while I normally don’t keep candy in my house, I’m happy to make this exception. Pigging out and eating the whole bag of Hundeprutter (which has around 500 total calories) won’t be an issue, because the taste is so strong I can’t eat more than one at a time!
Keep it up, David!