Aren’t these just perfectly creepy? Just in time for Halloween too! I first heard of Griotten from a post Cybele made on CandyBlog a few months ago. They immediately caught my attention and I’ve kept an keen eye out for them for some time.The kind displayed on CandyBlog look like brown sugar cubes which is how you’d normally find them. I hadn’t seen them in spider form until I was given these as a gift.
Since I’ve had both shaped of Griotten before, I want to say there’s really no difference other than size. The spiders are about the equivalent of three of the cubes. The texture of these is so much fun. They’re squishy; similar to marshmallows but a little denser. They hold their shape instead of caving in with you play and eat them. The granulated sugar coating is a nice touch. It adds a subtle crunch to the light, fluffy and chewy texture. It also adds to the creepy-crawliness of the spiders.
The flavor is of black licorice, just so you know. It’s very heavy on the molasses aspect, so the flavor is much milder than the other licorices out there. It’s a good starting point if you want to learn to appreciate black licorice and want to start on something less intense. The sweetness is mild too, not too much and certainly doesn’t overpower the rich licorice and molasses flavors.
Like so many other candies this time of year, the shapes are so perfect for Halloween treats alike. I wish I could keep myself from eating them so I could put them to creative purposes. They’re just too tasty though.
Rating: Will Buy Again
As a fan of licorice, but not a fan of Twizzlers, there can be a drought of red licorice options when the craving hits me. That’s why I was so excited to learn of Red Vines, a traditional licorice confection that’s mainly found on the West coast. Which is probably why it took me so long to learn of it.
It took some looking, but I finally found some Red Vines to try. I located the Sugar Free Strawberry vines in Target. Usually I am weary of sugar free stuff because some of the side effects they can deliver and of course the odd aftertaste associated with them. They’re a wonderful thing if you can’t have the real stuff, but since I can, I don’t see much point in eating them. Regardless, I was so eager to get my first taste of Red Vines, I decided to get them. Sugar free or not.
That being said, I was pleased with the flavor of these. It is a standard “red flavor” licorice flavor but with more strawberryness to it. It’s a tad sweeter and the berry flavor shows in the aftertaste. It has a nice texture to it; not too sticky so it’s lodging itself in my molars but still giving a good chew. If you let these sit out for a few days they do get harder and I find the flavor fades some. The texture also becomes firmer and a little more rubbery. Still tasty, it really just depends on your licorice mood. The twists themselves are a gorgeous red color and are just delightful to look at.
Fun fact, Red Vines are the number one non chocolate confection in the West, according to their website. Pretty cool! I am hoping they get wider distribution out East here so I can try the rest of their line.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Red Vines Website
I’m not a fan of “hot” candies, nor am I a fan of Twizzlers. So by all logic, I should have avoided this new variety of Twizzlers at all costs. Yet, I found myself intrigued by them. No, I can’t explain it, but something about them called to me like the sirens from the shelf. I was helpless and could only comply to their evil candy wishes.
You can smell their spiciness right away which is a very sweet, warm, cinnamon aroma. I’m reminded of red hots or atomic fireballs. The Twizzlers are the pull ‘n peel variety, meaning they’re not the standard ribbed licorice tube, but instead a rope of twisted laces of licorice. The color is very dark, a deep crimson. It’s also extremely soft and pliable, I was expecting them to have a more plastic like consistency.
Peeling off the first strand was quite fun as these beauties really prefer to remain stuck together. I popped a piece in my mouth and to my surprise, I liked it. And this comes from a gal who hates “hot” candies, so please understand the magic that is happening here. The cinnamon flavor is vivid and strong, but it’s just enough to register as “hot” but decides to play nice and instead of burning your mouth out, it levels off with a subtle sweetness. The texture is the best part, it’s wonderfully soft and chewy, but not sticky. I found myself pulling and peeling another lace off the rope before I realized what I was doing.
The bag of these won’t last long, I assure you. The biggest surprise of all, I found a Twizzler product I actually like. Hershey’s finally found a way to take my main complaint of Twizzler’s typical “lack of intense” flavor to work in it’s favor. And that’s what Twizzler’s Fire does. Yum!
Rating: Will Buy Again
“Black licorice and fruit gummies?” was what ran through my head as I saw these on the shelf at a Cost Plus World Market. I have a big spot in my heart for black licorice, and the idea of a chewy version of it combined with fruit flavors was too much for me to handle. So into my shopping bag they went.
The fruit flavors here are tropical: kiwi, mango and passion fruit. I’m tickled by this choice, as I’d imagine more domestic fruits like apples, pears, peaches and strawberries blending better with licorice. I’m not a candy maker though, so what would I know? I can only imagine and express what my taste buds say to me.
The shapes of these are really cute; some are round and coin shaped while the others are more slender and oblong. The texture is like how I’d imagine a flat DOT would be: soft, chewy, lightly firm and nice staying power in the mouth.
Kiwi (green): The kiwi flavors are really juicy and the taste a nice mix between apple and peach. I don’t know how that translates to kiwi, but I’m open to the interpretation. The licorice matches with it well; it’s refreshing with strong notes of molasses and an herbal zest to it.
Mango (yellow): The mango is not quite mango in my mind. It’s more peachy and a little more berry tasting than the kiwi. It also lacks that signature “bite” I associate with mango. The flavor mixes nicely with the licorice side which tastes milder to me than the licorice in the kiwi.
Passion fruit (red): Tastes of peach (I’m seeing a trend here), strawberry and grape. Also blends nicely with a milder licorice.
These were fun to try and certainly quite tasty. I admit I’m slowly working on my bag, choosing to savor them as opposed to feeling that I need to gobble them up immediately. I love how unique they are, I cannot think of anything like this sold here in the United States. I’m happy that I got to try them, but I don’t see myself craving these once my bag is gone.
Rating: Will Eat Again