Much debate swirls around what licorice candy really is. Are Red Vines and Twizzlers really licorice? What about the licorice inside Good & Plenty? How about those pinwheel-shaped licorice wheels at Snooks Candies? What about Nibs?
Now adding to the national discussion is a new product by Welch's - the juice folks - which has teamed with Frankford Candy. Filled Licorice comes in strawberry and Concord grape flavors ($1.59 for a 3-1/2-ounce package). They call it "a fun innovation. (It) combines a soft licorice outside with a flavorful (gel) filling inside... made with real fruit juice."
Well... We rounded up a panel of tasters for their comments:
They're slightly sweet, gummy and chewy, average flavor, not too strong."
"The flavors were distinct and good, but if you had not told me this was 'stuffed' licorice, I would have simply thought this was flavorful, fruit-flavored licorice. Tasty on the tongue, but I'm not sure what advantage the 'stuffed' angle gets you, unless you like your licorice to be particularly dense."
"I was not impressed with the strawberry flavor, but the grape one packs a good sour punch. And the snack is soft enough that I don't have to tug on it to be able to bite it. I still have the aroma of grape on my fingers."
"The licorice sticks weren't the worst I've ever tasted, but they weren't great, either. I like fruity licorice (like red or grape twists), I like jelly, but the two together did not make it better. It stuck to my teeth and had a metallic aftertaste."
"The grape flavor tastes like the grape Kool-Aid of my childhood."
"The strawberry taste is much more muted than the grape, so it's a bit like chewing on rubber. I guess the strawberry flavor could be taken as more 'adult' than the grape, but if I'm going to eat sticks of sugar, I want a flavor that packs a punch, regardless of whether it tastes like fake fruit or real fruit."
"The center looks like it should ooze, but it doesn't. I know if I was still a kid (OK, maybe even now), I'd want to squish out the insides or suck it out before I devour the outside (think Gushers fruit snacks)."
"I'm not sure about the purpose of filled licorice, but the taste is great. I was happy to discover the filling isn't too gooey."