Cybele and I just wrapped up our newest Candyology101 podcast (which will be out really soon) and the theme was fruity licorice, so I figured I better get this review written up before it airs.
A lot of "true" licorice fans will argue that fruity versions aren't real "licorice" and they're right, but what else would you call this stuff? Fruit flavored extruded licorice-like candy? That's like The-Artist-Formerly-Known-As-Prince. It's no where near as appealing, and it's hard to say. I call it licorice, for the sake of simplicity, but really, it's kind of it's own style of candy.
As always with the Specially Selected line, we have a black backdrop with white text. The layout is crisp and clean with plenty of red- accents and there's a lovely photo of the product. For a no-frills store-brand, this design is very appealing. My only recommendation would be that the napkin on the front of the package should be a different color. Black, white and red are the most powerful colors in graphic design,but this is just too much of the same red. If the napkin had been a darker burgundy color, or some bright and colorful contrast, I think it would have made the package stand out more.
The bag opens easily, and inside there are plenty of semi-translucent red licorice twists. Color-wise they look very similar to the Darrell Lea's soft eating licorice that I love, but they're pinker and a different shape. (Darrell Lea offers this shape in their Twist Mix, but their normal strawberry licorice is cylindrical.)
I love the smell of this stuff. The aroma is so light and fruity. Almost like a strawberry jam mixed with cotton candy. If this were a perfume, I'd wear it every day. (Come on Bath & Body Works! Bring back the Temptations line and give me a red licorice scented body spray!) I took a bite, and the chew is waxy and a bit stiff, just like the Darrell Lea version. This texture always reminds me of wax soda bottles, or lips, but it actually breaks down as you chew it and releases way more flavoring. Initially this tastes sweet and mild, like wax lips, but as you chew the flavoring is released and the fruitiness is more obvious. There's a sweet authentic strawberry jam flavoring, but it's not as deep and complex, which is great, but I still prefer Darrell Lea version. I feel like the flavoring isn't as deep and jammy, but it's still really enjoyable and I'll easily eat this entire bag.
This Aldi version is leaps and bounds better than a Twizzler, and it's an incredible product, but it's not better than my favorite red licorice on the market, Darrell Lea. (Although it's really close!) Still, I highly recommend it because, even if it doesn't beat out my favorite, I'll be buying this stuff more often anyways because it's cheaper and I'm more likely to shop at Aldi than a "normal" grocery store. It's a must-try for fruity licorice lovers who still want a premium product, but don't want to shell out premium cash to get it. (Like me.)
© Maria Smith http://poison-and-antidote.net
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