Monday, February 18, 2013


I know some people love liquorice, and some hate it. I consider myself to be in that small category of people who are indifferent to it. I can take a Bertie Bassett if it happens to be lying around but I wouldn't ever deliberately buy a pack. So there I was working away merrily this morning when out of the corner of my eye I spied this packet of Danish liquorice lying on my coffee table. It was within my reach. I thought I'd just suck on one while translating - a sort of procrastination device really.

I innocently popped one in my mouth. It was unimaginably vile... hot and salty, it caught the back of your throat and made you gag. It was on a par (I imagine) with drinking someone else's vomit. In fact, it was a bit like taking a spoonful of porridge, expecting it to be warm and sweet, without realizing your old Gramps prefers to make his with copious amounts of salt.

I'm not a fussy eater. I eat everything. I have even manged to eat andouillette  once in my life when I was served it at a French friend's house (sorry Lydie, but it was vile!) without throwing up, but Danish salt liquorice is a step beyond edible. The piece in my mouth was 4cm long and at least 1cm thick but given there was no bin available, and no hankies to spit it in, I decided swallowing it whole and learning my lesson, was the only way forward.

I will never ever let a piece cross my lips again as long as I live.

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