Postcard: Black Licorice Ice Cream

Helen Rosner

Photo: Helen Rosner

I'll admit it: before last week, most of what I knew about Swedish eating habits came from my biannual treks to IKEA to buy pressboard bookshelves and eat a cafeteria-style lunch of meatballs and gravy. (Okay, that plus the occasional deeply indulgent meal at Aquavit.) But on a quick jaunt to Scandinavia two weeks ago, my world expanded. The herring! The reindeer! The potatoes! And, oh man, the licorice. I'm a black licorice fan, but the version they serve in Sweden is powerful stuff, almost astringent in its saltiness. At an ice cream shop in the fishing town of Torekov, one of my traveling companions found something perfect: black licorice ice cream, a beautifully balanced scoop of salty and sweet. Stealing a bite was no problem; the hard part was not stealing the entire thing. — Helen Rosner