Tyrkisk Peber is another one of those Scandinavian treats that may take some getting used to. It was created by Danish confectioner Per Fjelsten, whose company manufactured it until taken over by Fazer, a Finnish company.
As for what’s in it, this is from Fazer’s website:
Feisty Tyrkisk Peber has been stealing the hearts of salty liquorice lovers since 1977. The salty liquorice crust of Tyrskisk Peber Original sweets reveals peppery salty liquorice powder. The feisty salty liquorice sweets are one of Fazer’s most popular classics – around the world!
That salty licorice flavor is from actual licorice and salt — not regular sodium chloride (although there is some of that, down on the ingredients list), but ammonium chloride (known as “salmiakki”), which sounds threatenting but actually is edible. As for the “peber,” yes, there is actual pepper in it. (The ingredients also include sugar, glucose syrup, vegetable oil, and coloring, plus unspecified flavorings.)
Tyrkisk peber comes in three strengths, mild, strong, and hottest. The bag I got was in the third category.
So, what’s it like to eat? The first taste is of salt, followed closely by licorice and heat. It’s close to being a hard candy — the shell is fairly brittle — with a core of what seems to be more pepper, plus the ammonium chloride. It’s not something I’m ready to eat a lot of at one sitting.