Ooh la la. I love licorice, almost all varieties. But I’m especially fond of the salty stuff, providing it’s not TOO salty to the point where it’s a distraction (or painful). Finding this kind of thing at brick & mortars in the states is a near impossible task, save for one or two options at World Market. The internet though? A virtual treasure trove. I picked these up from our pals at www.candyhero.com:
So I’m looking at the bag, and see several different shapes and colors. Immediately, my curiosity is piqued: is that a chili pepper? A sea shell? Where am I?
One thing is clear: There’s a hell of a lot of salt there. OR IS THERE? No, there’s not. That’s sugar. If that was salt on the outside, we’d all be passing out when we ate it. The salt is baked in to the licorice, and generally speaking, its extremely well done with regards to amount.
There’s actually two different shapes for the black licorice: the one above on the left, and a tube like shape. Both are simply fantastic. Literally, everything you could want in a salty licorice is there: genuine, deep intense licorice flavor, outstanding chewy, tough mouthfeel, and that perfect level of salt that makes everything ok in the world. If the bag consisted of only these two shapes, I’d have a lot more of the bags at my house right now.
The problem for me are the other two pieces. First, the chili pepper. Oddly, it’s not spicy, which doesn’t bother me, but it’s weird. Also, it’s not the same kind of candy as the black licorice: it’s actually more of a gummy type thing. Think sour patch kids without the sour. The flavor was ok, but not really distinctive enough to think much of it. And after eating the black pieces, the consistency of this one was a let down.
The seashell however, just isn’t my thing. It’s got a softer consistency than even the chili peppers, and it’s flavor holds quite a bit of molasses notes. I really don’t like it, and I especially don’t like eating a few pieces of licorice and having this be one of them-it doesn’t enhance the black peices, it just makes me miss them.
Part of the allure of salty black licorice is that, as you chew it, the licorice flavor comes out more and more, tempering the salt to form a more perfect union.
Or maybe that’s from a Schoolhouse Rock-regardless, it creates something great, and the flavors were made to be eaten together. When the other two pieces join the party, at least for me, they kind of confuse the point. Instead of having a deep licorice flavor come out while chewing them, you can’t even chew them because they’re not chewy, and the flavors that develop aren’t particularly good-or maybe it’s a case of those flavors being too subtle to have in a mix with the hardcore licorice. Either way, it makes for a non-perfect mix, at least for me.
Would I buy these again? I might, actually that’s how much I love the black pieces. More likely though, I’ll find a bag by them that only has the legit stuff in it.
These are almost impossible to find, and stupid expensive when you can find them. Amazon, our usual go-to, has these for only $26 a bag. But our friends at Candyhero.com have it for literally a tenth of that. But they’re out of stock. Watch the link, I’m sure they’ll have them back soon.
Isn’t this fun!