Trader Joe’s is quietly becoming a player in the candy game. Their strategy of selling confections made by various manufacturers solely for them (or just with unique labels to differentiate them from selling the exact same candy in other venues) has yielded some great eats. Licorice though…that’s a unique niche.
It’s retro! I love the box. Ya know how when you go to the movies and buy a box of this size, there’s usually a plastic bag inside, one half the size of the box with the actual candy in it? Talk about a buzzkill. This is NOT that. There’s no inside bag on this bad boy, and the box is basically full to the brim.
First, let’s call these what they are: Good & Plenty clones. And if you know us, you know G&P are among the holiest of holy candies. It’s not gonna be easy to top them at their game.
For those of you born after 1946 or who have never tried Good & Plenty, it’s candy coated black licorice. These are the same thing, but with a few key difference.
Color: who the HELL decided that white, yellow, orange and purple was a good selection? it’s like…..something really bad. Not sure what. But the color selection is totally bizarre and not super appetizing for me. Strike 1.
Candy Coating thickness: too thick. WAY too thick. The key with the candy coating is to be thin, to crack easily, to simply “contain” the explosion of licorice, NOT to compete with it. Strike 2.
Licorice: it’s good, I think. I can’t really tell onnacounta the hell coating that tastes like red candy. Ball one.
Candy Coating flavor: Yuck. Although i can’t identify what flavors these are, they’re pronounced, fruity, and…in my opinion just don’t mingle with the licorice. Out.
I really REALLY wanted to love these. But I didn’t. At first I enjoyed them, but as the candy coating flavor became more pronounced, I just lost complete interest. These things should be about quality licorice flavor with a crispy, lightly sweet edge. Like Good & Plenty.
These? A bastard love child of Good & Plenty mixed with Good & Fruity. There’s a reason those were two distinctly different candies.
Having said all this, I know a few black licorice fans who enjoy these, so it might be the purist in me that’s unsatisfied with these. Give them a try if you’re brave and live near a Trader Joe’s, but…you’ve been warned.