I will freely admit it: my licorice experience has been limited to Good & Plenty, Twizzlers and the occasional fancy licorice mix, but I've never really gone beyond the obvious American offerings. So when Betsy brought me back this cornucopia of licorice delights from her trip to Amsterdam, I was thrilled. The owner, Mariska Schaefer, wrote up a little list of the different "flavored" licorice that were in the bag. So far this is what I've figured out:
The left, middle row, are blueberry. Ah yes, there's blueberry again, insinuating itself into my life. These were actually really tasty, very unusual. The black licorice taste is very subtle. I don't know if I would've guessed these were blueberry; I probably would've said grape. Next to them are the honey licorice. I know this because they're shaped like honey pots and say "Honey" on them. I was expecting them to taste like Luden's cough drops, but whoa, they were really strong. That's a defining characteristic with these European licorices: they're absolutely not for the faint of heart. They're almost savory in their strength. Definitely not as sweet/sugary as American licorice.
Next I tried the top row, the brown coins and the flat black pieces. Yikes. Suffice it to say, my palate wasn't up to the challenge. These were strongstrongstrong! The little discs in the bottom left were equally as potent. The remaining flavors on the list are bay leaf, light salt and ??? (can't read it) sweet. It's hard to tell which is which because they're so overpowering.
I must admit, I don't think I'm ready to be a licorice snob, but I find the variety fascinating. The store looks really cool, the way a candy store SHOULD be! (Click on the Union Jack for English.)
(P.S. Look at those roses I bought for myself. Aren't they just spectacular?! Gotta love Trader Joe's.)