Do you have a Trader Joe’s where you live? In the SF Bay Area we got em. I see that the
East Coast has a few. Not a lot in the flyover states…
Trader Joe’s are like Whole Foods mixed with Safeway, meets local ma and pa grocer: Lots of organic, some specialty items that only they sell, and half the time they could be out of what you’re looking for. But you love em like your cousin and they have the best prices in town.
Anyhoo – one thing TJ’s does really well is candy. And they got these red “licorice” candies that are phantasm. The name is a mouthful: Australia’s Darrell Lea (since 1927) Artificially Flavored Strawberry Soft Licorice. Kudos to them for not hiding the “artificial flavor” bit, but If I’m running the company that’s the first word we’re losing from the label.
(By the way – this is not the package you’d get from Trader Joe’s. There it’s in a small clear 1lb. plastic tub.)
Quick aside…though I’m sure I’ve ranted on this before — I love this red stuff but really, if it doesn’t actually taste like licorice and has absolutely no anise-like flavoring, then we can’t call it licorice. If you went to a Chinese food place and got Peking Duck, and when you tasted it, it tasted like Peking chicken, so you said to the waiter, “hey – this tastes like chicken” and he said “it is chicken” and then you said “then how come you call it Peking Duck” and he said “because it looks like duck” – um, you’d be pissed.
But to the review – which is really quite simple. This stuff is good. And Chewy. And sticks to your teeth. And you know I don’t love candy that sticks to my teeth. But these are tasty. Yes – artificial strawberry but the good kind. Not the general is-it-really-strawberry-or-just-some-other-berry kind. I can never just eat one. I always pound these things. And if you get them from TJ’s, they’ll be pretty cheap for that little pound clear box. Only thing I can’t figure out is how to age them. If I could just get these thing to harden a bit more over time – they’d be a solid 9. If you have figured out how to stale these lil puppies properly – drop me a comment!