Monday, July 10, 2006

Love That Licorice

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.

Licorice allsortsWe 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.) Wink

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. )

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Sarabeth said...

Ewww! I'm not a licorice lover.

Michael Leddy said...

I remember Sen-Sen from childhood -- it represented, in my young imagination, grown-up sophistication. I liked having a packet around -- it was unlike any other candy.

When i teach an American novel that mentions Sen-Sen, I always bring some to offer to students. A brave few will try it and regret it. Like liverwurst and sardines, it's an "olden" sort of flavor.

Wrkinprogress said...

The Vermont Country Store frequently has candies that are hard to find, as well as all kinds of other old-timey stuff. Also there's a place called Mast General Store in Asheville, NC that has a bunch of old-timey candies.

And as for licorice, I'm with Sarabeth -- ewwwwwwwwwwww! In Norway they eat SALTED licorice candies, if you can believe that!

Genevieve said...

Like liverwurst and sardines, it's an "olden" sort of flavor.

Hmmm. I like liverwurst and sardines packed in sardines, too.

I like them in moderation, but I like licorice in excess.

In Norway they eat SALTED licorice candies, if you can believe that!

I am quite sure that I would give them an open minded try. :D

LeggNet said...

Okay...yes, I admit it... I love licorice too!

Sarabeth said...

wrkinprogress--there is a general store in Boone, NC that has old time candies as well.

I'll never forget the time that my in-laws offered me a taste of hoarhound candy. I gagged!

Genevieve said...

What am I talking about up there -- sardines packed in sardines?! I meant to say that I like sardines packed in mustard.

Hoarhound is another of those old fashioned flavors that people just aren't familiar with anymore. It was old fashioned even when I was a child, but I have sentimental memories of hoarhound lozenges.

Anonymous said...

I worked for Brachs Candy Co.I worked in the Gum dept.We made jelly beans.So I know what goes in them.

Genevieve said...

Don't you imagine, anonymous, that someone could say the same about any sort of prepared food? Whether it's been packaged in a factory or made in a restaurant kitchen or even a home kitchen, someone knows what went into the food, and everyone else just eats it.

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