In the candy reviewing game, it seems to be all about writing up new and weird candies-staying ahead of the curve. But sometimes what gets lost in the shuffle are some of the best things around. Snickers? Haven’t reviewed them. Twix? nope. Starburst? Sorry. See what I mean? Also lost in said shuffle are some of the worst, which are semi-thankless to write about, but likely funny to read. In any case, when time allows, I like to pull from both of these cesspools of flavor. Today’s entry? No big deal. Only the best bag of licorice that’s widely available in the US.
Katjes. Yes, once again it’s Katjes, coming up big with huge flavors. They make a wide assortment of bagged licorice, ranging from traditional hard cats to soft spongy drops. These, however, are the best. I’m talking, these are “convert your friends who hate licorice” good. The literal translation is “Salty Herring”, which I KNOW makes all y’all wanna eat candy, right? Regardless of how you think you may feel about them, or about licorice in general, forget it. Like the title says, these little licorice fish have a slight layer of salt to them. What this salt does is basically explode the licorice flavor, while at the same time, adding an almost…undefinable umami-esque note to them.
Don’t get scared: that’s not salt crusted on the outside of the fishies, it’s sugar. The salt is incorporated into the candy itself, as it should be. These are, in a word, perfect.
Once you rip one open, you can see that familiar molasses-esque color popping through. And….now I’m salivating. Literally. Not sure whether that’s a testament to the candy, or just plain pathetic. These are chewy, sproingy, and deeply flavorful. The salt level is JUST enough to get you where you need to go, but in no way is overwhelming-which is often the case for salty licorice.
In Germany, Holland, and most places that excel in the licorice arts, salty licorice is traditional and commonplace. However, some of it is gnarly-even overwhelming and gross to a freak like me. I tend to notice a bit of an ammonia note in those extreme salty varieties-I don’t know why, but it tends to be there. These bear no resemblance-if the too salty ones are Lindsey Lohan, these are Olivia Wilde. If too salty is Kid Rock, these are Jay Z. If they’re “Frozen”, these are…basically any GOOD movie that doesn’t have an overwhelmingly annoying ear worm for a hit song. Feel me?
Usually I recommend-today I’m imploring: buy a bag of these. Try them. If you don’t like them, you’re doing something wrong. Generally speaking, these are available at World Market, but not 100% of the time. Click the link below to get them anytime, and hit me up with feedback.
I might just have to seek these out. Fortunately for me, the World Market is only a slight detour on my way home.