I swear I have not forgotten about the licorice challenge that I put forth to the world a few weeks back. It simply has fallen by the way side as I search for licorice root in order to get a baseline flavor on what licorice should taste like, instead of what we see today in the store.
However, I hadn’t actually gone outside of my home to look for real live licorice root as of yet. Instead, Ive trusted myself to the gods and goddesses of the online world. The order is now in, but it still may be several weeks before it gets to my door.
So, in its stead, I’m going to start off, not with the actual vegetative matter of licorice, but candy. Well, candy/throat lozenge, which is something that you’ll see in many of the instances of licorice that I have lined up. They say that they are medicine, but we know better, don’t we.
First up on the big licorice challenge is a Swiss licorice from Chateau D’Lanz located in that locale know for their Swiss influence, Arlington, Washington.
Ah…Hmmm. Well then.
Okay, no points off for not really being Swiss. After all, we love Häagen-Dazs, right? (For those of you who do not know this yet, Häagen-Dazs is made in New Jersey, and has had little to no Northern European influence upon it. I’m sorry to burst your bubble.)
The licorice comes in a gold packet, and has what is likely the most unfortunate motto “Suck, don’t chew!”. Ingredients include (and I quote verbatim): Sugar from Beets, Gum Arabic, Syrup from Corn, Tapioca Dextin, Licorice, Caramel Color, Anise.
Anise. That is interesting. More on this aspect in future posts, as I’m waiting on the licorice root to test a theory.
Taste: Y’know what? It’s not bad. Pleasant even. The problem I have with most licorices is that they are so overpowering with the anise flavoring, that it detracts from everything else. Not here. The balance of anise versus sweet works quite well here. What the anise brings to the table is, I believe, is an herbal taste up front, with a tiny hint of savory in the back. Not much, but enough to make it definable as ….well…licorice. (Okay, you try to describe anise. It’s a tad bit difficult isn’t it?)
Would I go out of my way to buy this? Ah…eh…hmmm. Not likely. This isn’t much of an endorsement, I know, but I’m coming from the “licorice? Oh GOD, get that out of my face!” camp. So admitting that it was pleasant can be seen as a victory of sorts.
I sucked instead of chewed, for what its worth, and it coated the throat quite well, what with the sugar an corn syrup. Molecularly, I suppose it would temporarily coat irritated parts of the throat which is why it’s been used for cough drops and the like.
Remember, my goal here is to not necessarily review licorice, but get to a point where I understand the product as a whole. As such, Chateau Arlingt…err..D’Lanz provides a baseline of sorts. Being the first tested, others will be either worse than, or better than. We now have our baseline.