I have been eating a lot of black licorice lately (dually because I love black licorice anyway, and also in case it raises my blood pressure) and my go-to licorice of choice to date has been the delicious Panda brand licorice. It has a lot going for it: natural ingredients, actual licorice extract, great taste, and so on. I haven’t found a better classic licorice.
However, since I’m also trying to lose weight, and I can easily blast through quite a bit of Panda licorice 🙂 I was recently enticed to try a small sugar-free licorice flavored candy I ran across. It’s called Licorette! (Which continues to remind me of Nicorette… but there’s no relation to quitting smoking as far as I can tell 😛 except it might be a great way to keep your mouth occupied if that’s your goal).
I picked up an individual pack of Licorette at the local Cost Plus (World Market) store. According to the package, it’s imported from Australia, but the package looked familiar to me, so I think I’ve seen other flavors by the same company at small artisan groceries and cafe counters.
The candy comes in small, slightly-less-than-dime sized ovals, imprinted with a leaf on top. The texture is neither hard nor soft, but sort of rubbery. In fact, the overall shape and consistency was exactly like this Eucalyptus flavored candy I used to love many years ago, which I think was put out by a different company, Lakerol (if I’m recalling correctly). I haven’t been able to find the Eucalyptus candy for a very long time so I’m not able to make a direct comparison, but despite the similar look I’m pretty sure it was not the same company as makes Licorette, which is called “Ferndale”.
I actually quite liked the rubbery texture. It did not end up stuck in my teeth if chewing on it, nor did it shatter. Quite a satisfying texture, though very different from most candies I’ve run into (if you haven’t previously had Lakerol eucalyptus or its relatives).
The candy had a very intense and satisfying licorice flavor. In fact, I ate almost the whole box in a course of an afternoon (it’s not a very big box :P). However, I didn’t feel as bad about this as if I’d eaten a box of panda licorice, because since it’s sugar-free Licorette is 5 calories per 7 candies, making for about 35 calories per box. Also each candy lasts quite a while and is fairly refreshing and satisfying. I didn’t feel like snacking on anything else, and it was both longer lasting and more satisfying than mints, while equally refreshing (since my favorite Cinnamon Eclipse Mints are no longer being made, alas).
The box itself was kind of neat, too. It was just folded cardboard, but the way the top folded, it would snap shut and keep itself closed. I appreciate these little construction details :).
The biggest drawbacks to these candies are probably the artificial ingredients. Unlike panda licorice, this is probably not a large source of real licorice extract, though that is one of the ingredients. The ingredients listed are as follows: Gum Acacia, Sorbitol, Natural Flavors, (Licorice Extract, Menthol), Artificial Sweetener, Acesulfame, Potassium, Natural Color (Caramel). Contains 44% Sorbitol. Excess Consumption may have A Laxative Effect.
Note: despite consuming most of the box I did not notice a laxative effect, but your results may vary :). I wouldn’t have minded a little of that though at the time so I can’t say that I was particularly concerned. I will say that sorbitol is one of the few artificial sweeteners I can stand (most of them, I really dislike the flavor of) so that was a selling point when I read the package ingredients in the store. Despite also listing menthol, I didn’t find it particularly minty tasting (mint and licorice seems like an odd combination in my mind, but maybe the amount of menthol is quite minimal).
One serving (7 candies) does contain 35% daily value of vitamin C, and 2 g fiber, which isn’t bad at all!
Nothing for this category, these guys were quite impressive and assuming I can find them again, I plan to buy some more! 🙂 I guess the only negative is if there aren’t any more available at the store (there was only one box at the time) so insha’allah that does not turn out to be a problem! I did notice that the candy seems to be available at numerous sites online at the moment, with a quick search (making sure Google hasn’t “autocorrected” it to Nicorette! lol).