Umami Mart Barware
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As I've written in a post some years ago, Iceland is a nation of candy addicts. Especially if the candy is chocolate mixed with liquorice. It's crazy how much candy the Icelandic people eat - but since there's no fresh ice cream tradition like in Italy or warm, salty pretzels like in Germany - I guess you can't blame them. This is what they got.

Check out this shitload of nammi - candy in Icelandic. It goes all the way to the end and continues on the other side.

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This and many more aisles are standard equipment in all supermarkets of Iceland.

They also have a lot of darkness in Iceland. In the winter there's hardly any light so the body and mind needs something to get a little positivity from when you're curling up under the blankets while it snows outside and the lava and volcanos are bubbling underneath the floor boards. This is the exact opposite of sunny Los Angeles where people wake up every morning under a palm tree and blue skies - no need for anti-depressives or truckloads of candy in the city of angels.... oh, never mind.

The island of Iceland is a vast, windy, miserable, mysterious and very evil place to live.

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Out driving and having fun on the icy roads. Well, actually we almost died, but that's another story...

But it can also be very very beautiful.

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Especially the Icelandic horses are super friendly, brave, strong and very well bred.

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And they're always ready to give you a ride to the nearest supermarket.

Like, for example BÓNUS, the most popular discount chain in the country.

Here you really have a visual company identity with Icelandic attitude: shocking yellow featuring a pink fucked up piggy bank on drugs.

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It's so awful that it totally rules. You can see from miles a away when someone's been shopping in BÓNUS with one look at their plastic bags. Great branding.

This is where most Icelandic peeps get their daily groceries from. A yellow/pink plastic hell.

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There's a very long way to Berkeley's green farmer's markets and organic outdoor hippie stalls.
At least that little dude is eating a banana. It's not nammi time all the time after all.

So, back to Copenhagen where for dessert last week,  my Iceland-resident (but American) friend brought nammi (candy) from Iceland. And I thought I'd snap a few photos and talk about it.

Basically, it's all chocolate with liquorice. Not everyone likes that mix, many people don't even like liqourice in the first place.
But this is Scandinavia and babies are fed liquorice from before they can walk.

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Lakkris sprengjur (liquorice bombs)

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Liquorice flavoured hard caramel covered in chocolate.

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They're really good, but watch your teeth. They might crack when biting into a bomb.

Oh, and what is this? Lakkris konfekt. I wonder if this is available outside Scandinavia? It sure is popular here.

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Yes, the theme again is liquorice, you guessed correctly. Those other colours are stuff that tastes of sugar, marzipan and mint.

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Quite good. Very toxic. Stay alert for spontanious rashes.

But wait, there's more. Nizza Lakkriskurl (liqourice chippings bar) is super popular in Iceland with many variations in flavour and colour.

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This one's the classic.

It's a chocolate bar with bits/chippings of salt liquorice inside.

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Can't really say I dig this one, actually.

The milk chocolate tastes cheap--like the hollow chocolate bunnies you get in Easter holiday gift baskets from people you don't like. Low-quality factory chocolate for children with undeveloped tastebuds.

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Big bits of liquorice inside. I can't eat the whole bar unless I want to see my lunch again.

Last bag of nammi: Perlur (Pearls). Stökkar súkkuladiskeljar med lakkrískjarna (Crazy chocolate shells with a liquorice core):

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They look like mint drops, and they actually taste like that; mint, chocolate and liquorice.

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The taste is kind of busy, there's too much going on. Again, the taste of the chocolate reminds me of kids' Christmas calendar candy.

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In spite of the above general fails of icelandic nammi sampling, there's still a lot from the dark island that is very good and edible.
And if your local kiosk doesn't carry these jewels do not despair, www.nammi.is is a webshop dedicated to ship Icelandic goodies across any borders for you to munch in.

You should try the Lakkrísreimar Fylltar, the Marzipan Liquorish Rolls or the handmade by local farmers Rhrubarb Caramels.

Happy nammi shopping!
Column: Skankynavia
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1 comment

  • Oh my god, I love that drunk, hydrocephalic piggy bank. What exactly is going on there? What does it mean? Every time I see something like this, I think about how a bunch of people (or at least one person) had to approve the idea. Like, can you imagine the artist who came up with this image? Did s/he actually hand it over to the art/branding department people at Bonus corporate offices with a straight face…?

    worm on

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