Another Trip Down Memory Lane...
Licorice is one of those flavors that people either love or hate. I'm a licorice lover.
I've been hooked on the flavor of licorice since the first time I turned my whole mouth black with Nibs. Nibs are bite-size slices of strongly flavored black licorice rope. The Nibs I remember from childhood were cut from a solid licorice rope, and they came in a bright yellow and red box that had a camel on it. They were usually very chewy.
Today I was thinking about Sen Sen Licorice Mints. I can't think what their package looked like, but as I recall, the mints themselves were folded inside a little white paper. They were tiny flat pellets that packed a tangy wallop of licorice flavor. They were sold as a breath freshener, and with their potency, I'm sure they did the job.
I also liked Smith Brothers Cough Drops, the black kind. To licorice lovers, the round black lozenges made by the Brothers were cough drops in name only. We knew they were really candy. (So were the wild cherry flavored lozenges made by Smith Brothers, but the licorice ones were better.) I haven't seen them for years.
I must also mention Black Jack chewing gum which had a lovely licorice flavor. It was my favorite flavor of chewing gum. I even loved the color of the wrappers, a beautiful blue. When I was young, girls made long zig-zag chains from folded gum wrappers, and Black Jack wrappers were the blue links in those chains.
My mother-in-law and I agree on a few things, and one of our points of concord is that black jellybeans are the best.
We both like licorice allsorts too. Walgreens Drugs sometimes has Bassett's Liquorice Allsorts, and I sometimes buy a bag. They're cute, colorful, and yummy, but they're surprisingly fattening, so I don't need to make a regular habit of buying them. Really, does food come much more processed than that? (I'm giving myself a lecture here.)
If you're a licorice lover, I've surely mentioned enough licorice candies to whet your appetite or at least your curiosity. You might enjoy a trip to the Licorice Finder.
(Licorice allsorts photo by Kim Parry. )