Salty liquorice, salmiak or salmiakki is a variety of liquorice that contains a relatively large amount of ammonium chloride (salmiac) in addition to the liquorice root extract, sugar, and starch or gum arabic that constitute normal liquorice. Ammonium chloride has a spicy taste that vaguely resembles that of sodium chloride (table salt). However, salty liquorice does not necessarily contain any sodium.
Although some types of regular liquorice can also contain a small amount of ammonium chloride, salty liquorice can contain up to about 8 percent of ammonium chloride. Moreover, the salty taste is typically less masked by a high sugar content compared to regular liquorice. Salty liquorice candies are almost always black or very dark brown and can range from very soft to very hard and may be brittle. The other colors used are white and variants of grey.