Bassetts Allsorts are an iconic candy in my life. They’re the one consistent sweet I’d see my Mom buy for my Dad, as he’s just crazy for them. He learned to enjoy them from his dad, so I guess it’s fitting for tradition that I learned to love them too. I’d always seen and enjoyed the black licorice variety, so when I saw these red licorice ones in an Irish market in Queens I could resist them. I never knew such a thing existed, and since I am a fan of red licorice too, I was eager to see how it compared to the traditional black kind.
Out of the box these are just stunning to look at. They’re so beautiful. For some reason, the red adds just that extra spark of color to them, so instead of feeling old fashioned and classic like the black licorice Allsorts, these has this funky, psychedelic vibe to them. It was such a pleasure to photograph them.
As far as flavor goes, they’re pretty similar to regular Allsorts. The sweet coating on the bits of licorice are lightly flavored of fruits: orange (orange), lemon (yellow), strawberry (red), blueberry (white) and currant (purple). The original Allsorts has coconut too, but alas that is omitted here. The texture of the coating is grainy, a little crumbly and greasy. It’s similar to shredded hard-packed coconut. The flavors were all pleasant and juicy and were very satisfying. But combined with the red licorice, they just stood out on their own. Or should I say, they were so flavorful that the red licorice, which tends to be mind in flavor to begin with, was just lost in the fray. I did take a piece apart to eat some of the red licorice on it’s own, and it’s very nice. Fragrant, bright, and juicy of berries and “red” flavor.
I prefer the black licorice Allsorts of these. The black licorice is strong enough to compete and balance out the flavors of the sweet coating, whereas with the red, it’s just lost. Then again, I eat Allsorts for the licorice, so if you eat them because you enjoy the coating, or aren’t a fan of black licorice, these are worth checking out.
Rating: Might Eat Again