Haribo “Piratos”

I love licorice, but these? Not so much.

Reviewed by Jonny

July 14, 2008

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When you talk about licorice, you open a can of worms. Is red “licorice” even licorice? Is it salty? If so, how salty-ammonia-like salty, or mild salty?
Or do you not know what I’m talking about?
Regardless, let’s discuss Haribo’s “Piratos”. These are black licorice discs with pirate imagery on them. And they’re salty, folks-HELLA salty. In fact, the cover of the bag advertises 7.99 salt, which…apparently is a butt-load.
When you first start chewing this, if you’re a licorice aficionado, you’ll notice that the discs aren’t as firm as you might be used to for typical licorice that’s shaped like this-kind of a bummer, as I love them ultra firm. Immediately, the salt takes over, and it’s pretty overwhelming. However, the overall flavor is very good, very classic.
I don’t know if I can recommend these highly as you really have to love the salt to eat more than one-but if you’re a salty licorice fan, these might be up your alley. -J—-I can’t stand these. Way too salty. And really – way too iodine-y. Who likes these? Who eats these? I could potentially see eating one piece every 6-8 months. If that’s the kind of candy eater you are, then these might just be the value you’re looking for.

And fyi – I love licorice. And I like it kinda salty. But these put the ocean to shame. I think if salt could eat licorice, they would say “Jesus – these taste WAY too much like me. I need a little less of me and a little more of my buddies anise and sugar cane.”

Yuck. -M

Jonny’s bottom line: Not the best salty licorice out there, but decent in a pinch if you can handle the extreme salt flavor.Matty’s bottom line: Taste like crap to me. If you want your candy to last a long time though, buy these. They’ll last you years — no one will eat more than one at a sitting.Scott’s bottom line: I flipped and flopped on this one. I liked the firmness, juicymouth and ability to play with it a bit in my mouth. Also, of interest was the overly salty outer coating that melted off – leaving a less salty candy. But still to salty for my tastes. Really who would like this? No really who? But someone must because it is not even as salty as some other licorice out there. These won’t even work for me in a pinch.




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  1. GreenTigerDragon

    Ammonium Chloride! Our household has recently gained a Danish exchange student, who came with a surprise / care package of these dark disks of evil. As an Aussie, I can handle the salt easily (Vegemite, anyone?), but I have been unable to figure out the other, weird, taste. Familiar, but from where? Maybe cough medicine, or a chemistry experiment?
    Now I know. 😉

  2. Name

    I grew up in a Scandinavian household, and salt licorice was always readily available. Piratos are my personal favorite. The licorice can be very rewarding if you can get past the initial overwhelming feeling of wanting to spit it out. An acquired taste for sure.

  3. Berynice

    I love them!

  4. Emma

    I absolutely luuuuuuve these! Any less salty and it’s not salty liquorice 😉
    As Marie said, they are addictive.

    You should try Djungelvrål if you want to be in for a ride. Manufactured by Malaco.

  5. Marie

    I have to confirm enrique iglesias: This is genuine Danish-style licorice and the taste that happens to bother you is ammonium chloride… Up here in the North, we’re addicted to it and doctors frequently put out warnings as to not over-consume Piratos as both the high content of salt and ammonium is not too healthy in the long run.
    But we still chew away – bag after bag – and I can guarantee that not many Piratos bags last more than 6-8 days (not months) here!
    Salty greetings, Marie

  6. enriqueiglesias

    Honestly, it is not “salt” you are complaining about, but ammonium chloride. These are truly strong licorice you get used when growing up in north Germany and Denmark. Apparently it is an acquired taste and when offering this to colleagues here in Britain, they usually run after the first chew.
    An alternative might be “Pinguin” licorice which are tad less “salty”.

  7. greebs

    Interesting – I’m suprised that there isn’t more toothstick…they look like the kind of licorice that would be hella chewy.


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