These were and unexpected, yet thrilling find for me. I was shopping in the Grove Farmer’s Market on Fairfax and 3rd here in Los Angeles. I saw this package tucked into one of the lower candy shelves, and picked it up because of the large image of the cheetah on it. I don’t speak a lick of French, but I could decipher a bit from the import tag on the back. It only really translated “Le bonbon tendre au gout sauvage” description on the front, which roughly translated to “The tender candy with the wild taste”. That was enough to sell me on it, and I brought it home with me.
I had to open the package once I got all my necessary photos out of the way. I tasted one and immediately understood the description. These are licorice caramels.
The bad holds a bunch of individually wrapped caramels. They come in colorful wax wrappers that mimic the bag they come in. The caramels have a beautiful color to them, like a dark “dulce del leche”. It smells slightly sweet and is firm to the touch.
The flavor is excellent. You first tastes notes of licorice, with sweet, earthy flavors. Then the sweet creaminess of the caramel bit comes through, adding the tastes of butter and cream. Together they makes a very creamy, rich flavor that is both mild and flavorful. I have to admit, licorice and caramel makes a pretty awesome combination.
Caramel isn’t something I crave very often, so I’m not sure this is a candy I’d come back to often, as delicious as they are. However if I do see other varieties of Krema out there, I’ll be sure to give them a shot.
Cybele from also did an excellent review over at Candyblog.net.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Tootsie Pop Drops are a candy I really enjoy and definitely don’t buy enough. I spotted these Candy Cane Tootsie Pop Drops in Target and eagerly snatched them up. Holiday candies are so much fun! I was excited to see these since Tootsie came out with the peppermint Tootsie Pops a few yard ago, and those were really awesome. I haven’t seen them recently, nor have I really looked for them either, but I have hoped they’d bring them back since they were a wonderful flavor combination. So seeing these Candy Cane Tootsie Pop Drops made my little candy heart happy. It’s good to see something you feel is classic on the candy shelves.
The box is pretty with a nice red/green color motif with images of candy canes and the actual Tootsie. The background to the box is pink, which I find to be an odd color choice, but I will admit that it really works well with the holiday motif of this package. They have a beautiful illustration of the candies in the bottom corner that I find appealing, and after seeing the candy firsthand, I feel they’re an accurate depiction of them. The box has a foil package on the inside that keeps the candies safe. I was happy to see them taking this extra step in making sure these drops are well protected from moisture and brute force.
The candy candy drops are adorable. They’re about the size of a nickel and are around 1/2 inch tall. They’re white with beautiful red stripes on them, and no two look a like. Th candies are well protected too, most were pristine and there wasn’t too much “dust” in the foil packet from candy damage.
The flavor is exactly like a candy cane. Fresh and full of that intense peppermint flavor. The shape s very pleasing in your mouth. After sucking on them for a bit, or if you’re me you swish it around in your mouth because candies like this are fun) you get it to soften and eventually break so you can get the tootsie interior. The Tootise inside is soft, chewy and chocolatey. It blends well with the peppermint flavoring adding a nice sweetness, yet the peppermint is still very powerful and is still the dominant flavor.
I really enjoyed these. I’d certainly go for a box of these over traditional mints or a candy cane. They’re small enough to feel like a quick little sweet, but big enough to feel like a treat if you’re just looking for a mint.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Tootsie Website
This pretty looking package is another fun find from a Mitsuwa market visit. It was one of the few candies that actually described the candy in the name: “Lemon Chewing Candy”. Pretty straight forward, don’t you think? Especially since a lot of Japanese candy seem to name themselves after some obscure English word. Immediately this candy appealed to me for many reasons; the top two are that I love chewy things and I love lemon.
Opening the cute petite package up, the candies look like squished sugar cookies. They’re flat-ish discs that have a nice yellow color and a sanding sugar coating on them. They have cracks on the sides from pressure. My guess is some of this happened with how these candies were shipped: squished or packed too tightly.
The texture is grainy from the sugar at first, then thick and chewy. The candy gradually dissolves as you chew it, like a Skittle or Starburst. The flavor reminds me of powdered lemonade mix at first. It’s bright, tangy and tart. It has nice strong lemon flavors and a excellent sourness to it. It’s very tasty and leaves a good “tart” burn in your mouth. My only complaint is these dissolve a little too quickly for my tastes.
These are great candies for someone like me who loves the lemon yellow Starburst and could eat them all day. You have to really love lemon to enjoy these. If you are, hey, if you happen to be in an Asian mart, see if they’re in stock. You’re in for a zesty treat.
Rating: Will Eat Again
It’s not often that I get a good sampling of candy from a foreign country. Usually you find isolated samplings of them in stores, a Haribo product here, a Cadbury product there. This only give you a small sliver of their confectionery offerings, that you hardly get a good picture of the flavor preferences of that country. Ingrid’s Candy Shop is an online store that specializes in Swedish candy, and they offered me the chance to taste what Sweden has to offer. I was super excited since I really only knew of Swedish fish and they few candies you see displayed at IKEA. I selected a few candies that sounded good to me and eagerly awaited them in the mail!
Brio frukt (look like chiclets) “Square shaped fruity candy from Malaco”: These candies look like chickets, square, colorful and shiny. The come in pastel colors of green, white, yellow and pink. The texture of these is very thick and stick, like a hardened Starburst or HiChew. The green tastes like pineapple: sweet, juicy and fresh. White is sweet and tastes of green pear with delicate juicy notes. Yellow is immediately sweet and zesty of lemon. Orange is sweet and tastes of tangerine, with a very juicy edge with a hit of zest. Pink is sweet with light floral notes and hints of berry. A very “pink” flavor. I really liked these a lot, one of my favorites in the sampling.
Gelehallon “Raspberry gelee with sprinkled sugar on top ”: They’re about the size of normal gumdrops, but they’re more vibrant and squishier. They have a nice coating of granulated sugar on them and they smell fruity. The texture is very soft and chewy, and is easy to chew. The flavor is…fruity, then it gets very bitter. It must be from all the red food coloring because it tastes very much like a cherry medicine to me. For some that’s a good thing, but for me, I’d rather not eat something that tastes like something I take when I’m sick.
Hallon lakrits skallar “This licorice head is a hybrid candy that have a mix of raspberry flavor with lakrits. Delicious sweet chewy candy!”: These are large gummis. They’re easily an inch and a half long. They’re skulls with the top half red and the bottom black. It’s raspberry/licorice flavor combination. The chew is very dense and stick, and it’s hard to eat at first. The licorice part is salty, to my surprise. You really taste the salt over the licorice and raspberry flavors. It’s disappointing since I love liquorice but the salt really dominates too much. A nice candy if you’re into that though.
Swedish Fish “The original”: The green fist tastes a generic fruity flavor at first, then I get hints of lime and pineapple. The chew is wonderful dense and thick, and isn’t too sticky so it’s easy to work with. Yellow tastes like lemon right from the start. It’s zesty, sweet, with a nice tart edge to it. Orange starts off with this strange artificial flavor similar to floor cleaner. It’s floral and bitter. I taste some notes of orange in there, but the “fake” note to it just makes it taste too chemical for me. Red is very fruity, like a mix between strawberries and raspberries. Light, sweet and refreshing.
Stora colaflaskor “Big cola bottles that are chewy & sweet” Thew chew on these is much softer and chewier. It’s a nice relief from the harder gummis. The flavor is a very mild, very flavorful cola. Complete with good accents of spice and fizz, with a rounded molasses edge to it. it’s very nice, It’s sweet and flavorful. I really liked these.
Sura körsbär “Sura körsbär is basically sour cherry’s, Now this one is one of the best sour candies that I have ever eaten, it’s a promise!”: They’re right. these are pretty awesome. They’re large gummis, and they have a very dense and compact sanding of sour sugar on them. The chew is very dense. You do have to work it some to take a piece off. The flavor is immediately sour, and it’s a nice, intense sour too. It really sits you upright in your chair, as so tp speak. The flavor is very cherry, but a bright, fruity cherry and not a thick and syrupy cherry from a medicine bottle. The gummi becomes sweet once the sugar coating wear off, and it becomes sticky to chew. I really enjoyed these.
Zoo “This one is a must in your candy bag, one of Malaco’s best sweets!” These candies are small and look like sitting moneys. So no wonder they’re called “zoo”. The texture is very plastic-y, I’m reminded of Twizzlers, but denser. The flavor is like a nice red candy strawberry. Notes of berries, but more of a “red” flavor really. Tasty, I really liked them.
Cocobat “Cocobat is mint coco with licorice” The texture of these is quite dense. It took some chewing to get them going. The inside is way more flavorful than the outside. You immediately taste the cream once you chew through the licorice exterior. it tastes…sweet? It’s hard to lay a finger on the flavors since this candy is really more about texture to me. I tired the other colored licorice tube (the ones with the green) and it tasted fruity to me. Tasty for sure!
Djungelvrål “These jungle ape’s are salt lakrits that turn sweet. Swedish licorice that top’s the list” These are very salty to start. Very salty, so they were hard for me to eat at first. Once the salt melts away you get a flavor of a nice herbal licorice with notes of anise and molasses. The chew is dense and sticky and I had to pick a lot out of my teeth. Still, for salty licorice, I liked it. The salty part will take some getting used to, but the licorice itself is very tasty.
Punschpraliner “is a swedish classic! Punch cream covered with chocolate and sprinkles.” These look like squat gumdrop sized Nestle Snowcaps: chocolate coating with white non pariels. They smell rich and sweet of the chocolate. The texture is soft and chewy and smooth from the chocolate. You get a slight crunch from the sprinkles. The flavor is very complex with notes of vanilla, butter and rum. It reminds me of rum raisins in a way, it’s a very buttery flavor. Tasty, unique.
I really enjoyed trying all these candies from Sweden. It’s rare to get some a taste of another country without actually going there yourself. It was interesting to see a pattern with the candies styles and flavors, and I felt it gave me a sense of Sweden’s candy sensibilities. The seems to love red fruit flavors, and they’re also a big fan of licorice. Both things I understand! If I had to choose a favorite it’d be the Sura körsbär. I’m usually not a fan of sour candies but these are so awesome and tasty! I extend a huge thanks to Ingrid’s Candy shop for letting me try these amazing sweets.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Ingrid’s Candy Shop Website
Since licorice is one of my favorite varieties of candies I’m always looking to try new kinds and brands. Licorice isn’t very popular in the USA, so it’s somewhat tricky to find a good selection. That’s why import stores have become a to-go to place, since they often the only stores where I can get my fix. This tube of VanSlooten’s Flowers & Butterflies licorice was a recent find from Cost Plus World Market, which is a store that has yet to disappoint me with their licorice selection. So far my experience has taught me that Dutch and German licorice brands are my favorites, so I was very excited about finding these since they’re Dutch.
I like the packaging. It allows for you to have some licorice and save the rest for later a lot more easily than the bag styles. Especially since certain types of licorice can go stale. These licorice candies are all covered in pretty sanded sugar, so they don’t look so intense and black like some licorice can appear. The tube smells rich and herbal, which is an aroma I love and usually is a good sign for the candy.
The shapes of these licorices are pretty cute! The light colored ones are all butterflies, and all the flowers are black. I noticed two different molds for the butterflies, or it maybe have been how the one style has been squished and shaped in the can.
Butterflies: Same as a type of licorice called “Groitten” which are licorice sugar cubes. The flavor is nice and mild and a strong flavor of molasses with a subtle edge of salt. the texture is soft and chewy and has a nice give to it.
Daisy Flower: Much chewier in texture than the others. The flavor is sweet and very mildly of licorice. Like the butterfly, it has a strong flavor of molasses, but it doesn’t have the salty kick to it. Very tasty, I’m a fan!
Sunflower: The texture here is also pretty chewy, the flavor is similar to the daisy with strong molasses notes to it and mild licorice taste.
Tulip: This one is my favorite. The texture is chewy and you immediately get a wonderful strong, sweet licorice flavor. It’s herbal, it’s sweet, and it’s just wonderful.
I really loved this collection of licorice. Each piece varies in flavor slightly so if you’re in the mood for one type you can just pick out that specific flavor. I really liked the whole selection and feel it’s a solid assortment. It was easily gone in a week. A must for any licorice lover.
Rating: Will Buy Again